A short historical past of colourful presidential family members, from Alice Roosevelt to Hunter Biden

A short historical past of colourful presidential family members, from Alice Roosevelt to Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden, the youthful son of U.S. President Joe Biden, is predicted to plead responsible to 2 misdemeanor tax prices as a part of a lately introduced cope with the Justice Division that may assist him keep away from the federal prices for possessing a gun whereas utilizing unlawful medicine.

Joe Biden has lengthy defended his son amid his drug habit and different private points, together with a paternity scandal and ongoing court docket battle over youngster help.

The president responded to the information of Hunter’s prices, saying on June 20, 2023, that he’s “very happy with my son”.

I’m a scholar of the American presidency and have checked out how the youngsters and different members of the family of presidents have been thrust into the nation’s highlight, usually unwittingly. Their shortcomings, vices and typically even bodily look have been fodder for gossip columns, political opponents and comedians.

Hunter Biden just isn’t the primary youngster of a president to be charged with against the law. Jenna and Barbara Bush pleaded “no contest” in 2001 to misdemeanor prices of underage ingesting and utilizing a false ID. Amy Carter was arrested for protesting in 1985, and earlier than his father was president, Donald Trump Jr. was arrested for public drunkenness in 2001.

However practically all presidents have had incidents involving their children and different members of the family that attracted public scrutiny. Among the occasions fall into questionable prank class, like when Tad Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln, sprayed dignitaries with hearth hoses.

Different incidents are much less innocuous and amusing.

A colorized portrait of former President Theodore Roosevelt’s household options his oldest daughter, Alice, within the middle.
Inventory Montage/Getty Photos

Youthful indiscretions

James Madison raised his troubled stepson, John Payne Todd, as his personal. Todd usually engaged in playing, ingesting and womanizing. Madison went deeply into debt making an attempt to repay Todd’s vices, together with as soon as bailing him out of debtor’s jail. Within the mid-1800s, Todd’s money owed ultimately pressured his widowed mom to promote the household property, Montpelier.

Todd even had a lawyer go to his mom on her deathbed to rewrite her will, making himself her sole inheritor.

Alice Roosevelt, the oldest youngster of Theodore Roosevelt, additionally introduced some issues for her father throughout his presidency within the early 1900s.

Alice had a strained relationship along with her father and his second spouse, Edith. When her mother and father recommended sending her to a boarding college, Alice responded: “In case you ship me, I’ll humiliate you. I’ll do one thing that may disgrace you. I let you know I’ll.”

In a time when girls had been anticipated to be demur, Alice smoked, drank, partied and even typically wore a pet snake as an adjunct.

Theodore Roosevelt as soon as mentioned, “I can do one in every of two issues: I could be president of the USA or I can management Alice Roosevelt. I can not presumably do each.”

Alice was later banned from the Taft White Home after burying a voodoo doll within the likeness of the brand new first girl, Helen Herron Taft, on the property.

Neil Bush, son of George H.W. Bush and brother to George W. Bush, additionally has a colourful historical past.

Neil was the director of a massive financial savings and loans firm that collapsed in 1988, after it made improper and unlawful loans. This value taxpayers greater than US$1 billion on the time and resulted in an embarrassing payout to federal banking regulators.

Folks additionally criticized Neil due to his ties to Chinese language buyers and his restricted information about industries that employed him, resulting in accusations of affect peddling.

Neil Bush, like Hunter Biden, was additionally the topic of paternity accusations throughout his divorce.

That’s my brother

Presidential brothers have been one other specific sore level for some presidents.

Lyndon Johnson’s brother, Sam Houston Johnson, was usually fairly talkative after he had a number of drinks. The president ultimately had to make use of the Secret Service to comply with his brother to make sure he didn’t disclose any embarrassing info to the press .

Billy Carter, former President Jimmy Carter’s brother, reveled in his notoriety. Because the president’s brother, he toured the nation to make cash and hawk his personal Billy Beer.

He urinated on a runway earlier than the press corps whereas ready for individuals.

When Carter was working for reelection in 1980, Billy took cash from the Libyan authorities and have become a overseas agent for the nation – whereas additionally making inflammatory and antisemitic statements to justify his habits.

Billy’s affiliation with Libya finally led to a Senate investigation and difficult his brother’s failed reelection marketing campaign.

The side profiles of two men are seen as they have their arms around each other - one is Bill Clinton and the other is a man wearing a white hat.

Former President Invoice Clinton comforts his half-brother Roger in 1994, shortly after their mom’s loss of life.
POOL/AFP through Getty Photos

Roger Clinton, the youthful half-brother of former President Invoice Clinton, additionally engaged in questionable actions. Within the Eighties, earlier than the Clinton presidency, Roger bought cocaine to an undercover officer.

Later, through the Clinton administration, Roger’s Secret Service codename was “Headache.”

Invoice Clinton pardoned Roger for his drug offenses proper earlier than leaving workplace in January 2001.

Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, both wearing suits, stand next to each other, with their arms crossed.

Hunter Biden stands subsequent to his father, President Joe Biden, at an occasion in 2016.
Kris Connor/WireImage

Conserving it within the household

Presidents are like everybody else. They, too, have members of the family who do or say issues that ultimately turn into tales for the dinner desk – or tales individuals wish to push below the rug.

A federal decide nonetheless must approve Hunter Biden’s deal with the Justice Division that may permit him to keep away from jail time for paying $1 million in taxes late and possessing a gun.

And he’s nonetheless not freed from different controversies. The Republican-controlled Home continues to examine his financial institution data, in addition to lingering questions on cash he obtained from overseas organizations.

Hunter himself has mentioned that he’s accountable for his actions, and I don’t suppose it’s honest to conflate the administration with the actions of an grownup son.

He isn’t the primary presidential relative who has brought on turmoil, and he gained’t be the final.

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