President Joe Biden is making the most of a top story from a damning special counsel report on his mishandling of classified documents: He says he was “pleased” no charges were filed after a “thorough investigation.”
Special counsel Robert Hur’s report gives Biden the result he sought, even as he presents arguments that are political landmines. The report even says Biden would appear to a jury as “a sympathetic, well-intentioned old man with a bad memory,” the kind of weak praise that could be devastating in a campaign ad.
Hur mentioned several times that Biden’s failure to remember key details of his own life and political biography could be part of his possible defense. His report even said it was possible a jury would find that Biden had not deliberately mishandled information since he stored classified documents along with a broken lamp and other household “detritus” in his Wilmington garage.
“I was happy to see that they came to the conclusion that I believed and knew from the beginning they would come to: that no charges would be brought in this case,” Biden said, declaring victory in a speech to House Democrats just minutes later. for the report to be made public.
President Joe Biden defended the report in a statement and in remarks to House Democrats shortly after special counsel Robert Hur announced he would not be charged.
“As many of you know, this was an exhaustive investigation that goes back literally more than 40 years – 40 years, when I became a United States senator as a child,” Biden said, referring to his election at age 29. .
“I cooperated fully, did not put up any obstacles and did not seek delays.”
“In fact, I was so determined to give the special counsel what he needed that I went ahead with five hours of in-person interviews over two days, on October 8 and 9 of last year, even though Israel had just been attacked by Hamas. in October”. 7th.’
“I was in the middle of managing an international crisis. But I was especially pleased to see that the special counsel made clear the stark differences between this case and Donald Trump. As the special counsel wrote, and I quote: “The substantive distinctions between Mr. Trump’s case and Mr. Biden’s are clear — this is a Republican lawyer, by the way.
Biden continued reading: ‘He returned classified documents and avoided prosecution. Trump allegedly did the opposite. … According to the indictment, he not only refused for many months to return documents. He also obstructed justice by recruiting others to destroy evidence and then lying about it.’
It said Biden provided documents to the Archives, consented to the searches, appeared for a voluntary interview and “cooperated in other ways with the investigation.”
Biden said in a written statement that “I simply believed that was what I owed the American people to let them know that charges would not be filed and that the matter would be closed,” Biden continued.
Biden said he has “always worked to protect America’s security.” “I take these issues seriously and no one has ever questioned it.”
The White House, which decided not to include any redaction in the report or invoke any privilege, also provided a statement of Special advisor to President Richard Sauber
He cited Biden’s “extraordinary cooperation.” Although he did not mention Donald Trump, the former president has been accused of his own mishandling of national security documents after being accused of conspiring to withhold them after they were discovered.
The circled box in the foreground contained documents about Afghanistan. The photograph was taken in December 2022 in Biden’s garage, with other household items.
Framed in: Comments about Biden’s memory and his own handling of classified information make it difficult for him to pursue rival Donald Trump, who is accused of obstruction and withholding national security information.
“As the special counsel’s report acknowledges, the president cooperated fully from day one,” said White House counsel Richard Sauber.
Biden did not respond to shouted questions about the new report.
‘As the Special Prosecutor’s report acknowledges, the President cooperated fully from day one. His team quickly self-reported the classified documents that were found to ensure that these documents were immediately returned to the government because the president knows that is where they belong. “Not only was there no obstruction, but the President’s cooperation throughout this 15-month investigation has been extraordinary,” he stated.
‘As the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, errors in packaging documents at the end of an administration or when members of Congress leave office are, unfortunately, common. It has happened with every administration, Republican and Democrat, for the last 50 years. “Now that this investigation has concluded, President Biden plans to take substantial new steps to help prevent similar errors in the future and will announce this soon,” Sauber said.
He did not address the specific language Hur included, but he did not say that “we disagree with a number of inaccurate and inappropriate comments in the Special Counsel’s report.” However, the most important decision the special counsel made – that no charges are warranted – is based firmly on the facts and evidence.
It didn’t take long for Trump’s forces to capitalize on the findings.
If you are too senile to stand trial, then you are too senile to be president. “Joe Biden is unfit to lead this nation,” said Alex Pfeiffer, communications director for Make America Great Again Inc.
The report repeatedly takes aim at Biden’s memory and comes during a week in which he mixed up world leaders’ names on multiple occasions.
Special counsel Robert Hur included damaging information in his report even as he said no charges should be brought against Biden.
‘In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse. He did not remember when he was vice president, he forgot on the first day of the interview when his term ended (“if it was 2013, when did I stop being vice president?”), and he forgot on the second day of the interview when his term began (“in 2009, “Am I still vice president?”)’, according to the report.
‘He couldn’t remember, even after several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory seemed hazy as he described the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him.
The report also included embarrassing details, even as it made a report that could prove Biden had forgotten about documents thrown into a pile of trash.
“We also expect many jurors to be surprised by where the Afghanistan documents were ultimately found in Mr. Biden’s Delaware home: in a badly damaged box in the garage, near a collapsed dog cage, a bed for dogs, a box of Zappos, a “An empty bucket, a broken lamp wrapped in duct tape, potting soil, and synthetic firewood,” it said.
Biden’s official response from his lawyers, included in the back of the Hur report, criticizes the inclusion of “highly prejudicial” language about his memory and questions why other witnesses got a pass for “confusing” memory lapses. She says she relies on “highly damaging language” to describe memory lapses that are “a common occurrence.”
If he criticizes Hur for even mentioning how Biden could defend himself before a jury, since his report concluded that he should not be indicted.