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Major Takeaways From Special Counsel’s Report On Biden’s Classified Docs

via MSNBC
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Special counsel Robert Hur’s report did not charge President Joe Biden with a crime but highlighted his mishandling of classified information, citing his forgetfulness and age-related memory limitations.

Although Biden cooperated with the investigation and returned the documents, the report raised concerns about his fitness for office.

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Hur wrote.

“Mr. Biden’s memory also appeared to have significant limitations,” Hur wrote in another passage, adding that his conversations with his ghost writer “from 2017 are often painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.”

Biden vehemently criticized the depiction of him as an elderly man with a poor memory, but his response was overshadowed by a verbal mistake during his remarks.

Republicans quickly seized on the report, using it as evidence of political bias and questioning Biden’s fitness for office.

“It’s clear @joebiden does not have the cognitive ability to be president,” House GOP Whip Tom Emmer wrote on X.

“For example, Mr. Biden could have found the classified Afghanistan documents at his Virginia home in 2017 and then forgotten about them soon after. This could convince some reasonable jurors that he did not retain them willfully,” the report states.

“In addition, Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017, and in his interview with our office in 2023,” the report reads, “And his cooperation with our investigation, including by reporting to the government that the Afghanistan documents were in his Delaware garage, will likely convince some jurors that he made an innocent mistake, rather than acting willfully – that is, with intent to break the law – as the statute requires.”

“There’s even reference that I don’t remember to when my son died,” Biden said. “How in the hell dare he raise that?”

“Frankly,” Biden said, “when I was asked the question, I thought to myself it wasn’t any of their d— business.”

“Every Memorial Day we hold a service remember him attended by friends and family and the people who loved him,” Biden said. “I don’t need anyone – I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away.”

“I’m of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza, in the Gaza Strip has been over the top. I think that, as you know, initially, the president of Mexico al-Sisi did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him,” Biden said, mistaking the president of Mexico with the president of Egypt.

“Despite the fact that Hur acknowledges Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen. DOUBLE STANDARD,” the House Judiciary GOP wrote on X.

“This is not a transparent Administration, and our investigation will not stop,” Oversight committee Republicans wrote on X.

However, the report also emphasized the differences between Biden’s case and that of former President Donald Trump, who faces criminal charges for similar issues.

“Most notably, after being given multiple chances to return classified documents and avoid prosecution, Mr. Trump allegedly did the opposite.” Hur wrote. “According to the indictment, he not only refused to return the documents for many months, but he also obstructed justice by enlisting others to destroy evidence and then to lie about it.

“In contrast, Mr. Biden turned in classified documents to the National Archives and the Department of Justice, consented to the search of multiple locations including his homes, sat for a voluntary interview, and in other ways cooperated with the investigation,” Hur said.

“Among the places Mr. Biden’s lawyers found classified documents in the garage was a damaged, opened box containing numerous hanging folders, file folders, and binders,” the report stated. “The box, which was labeled ‘Cabinet’ and ‘Desk file,’ was in a mangled state with ripped corners and two top flaps torn off.”

“Inside the box, the FBI located two folders containing marked classified documents related to the fall 2009 policy review on Afghanistan.”

The White House criticized the report’s treatment of Biden’s memory, calling it inaccurate and inappropriate, and accused the special counsel of investigative excess.

“We do not believe that the report’s treatment of President Biden’s memory is accurate or appropriate,” White House counsel Richard Sauber and Bob Bauer wrote. “The report uses highly prejudicial language to describe a commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of years-old events.”

“Whatever the impact of those pressures on the final Report, it flouts Department regulations and norms,” Bauer said. “Very little in this opus adds to a clear, succinctly stated understanding of a straightforward conclusion: no misconduct occurred, no charges are warranted. The Report delves into a discussion of the ‘evidence’ of ‘willful’ retention of classified documents, only to acknowledge that there is, in fact, no case of ‘willful’ retention at all.”

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