President Biden’s great-great-grandfather received a pardon from Abraham Lincoln

Biden's grandfather was involved in a fight and sentenced to jail.

Records from the National Archive show that President Joe Biden’s great-great-grandfather received a pardon from President Abraham Lincoln after he was involved in a fight with a Union Army civilian employee, The Washington Post reported.

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Biden’s grandfather, Moses J. Robinette, was charged with attempted murder after the fight in the Army of the Potomac’s winter camp in Virginia on March 21, 1864, according to National Archives records.

According to the documents, John J. Alexander overheard Robinette say something about him to a cook, and he rushed at Robinette.

The two men scuffled, and Robinette pulled his pocketknife and attacked Alexander, cutting him in several places.

Robinette, who was 42 years old, had been hired by the Army as a veterinary surgeon. According to the documents, he insisted that Alexander “possibly might have injured me seriously had I not resorted to the means I did.”

“Whatever I have done was done in self-defense, that I had no malice towards Mr. Alexander before or since. He grabbed me and possibly might have injured me seriously had I not resorted to the means that I did,” Robinette said at trial.

He was convicted and sentenced to two years of hard labor. Three Army officers went to bat for Robinette, petitioning Lincoln to overturn his conviction. According to the officers, the sentence was unduly harsh and Robinette had been defending himself against someone “much his superior in strength and size.”

Lincoln agreed and signed the pardon on Sept. 1 of that same year.

Article II, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution authorizes presidents “to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

The president’s full name is Joseph Robinette Biden, and Moses J. Robinette is among his paternal ancestors who came from western Maryland.

Robinette died in 1903.