Republican Seek To Make The Most Of Special Counsel Hur’s Biden Report

After an investigation that has spanned a year, carried out by Special Counsel Robert Hur, concluded that President Joe Biden‘s handling of classified documents does not warrant criminal charges, House Republicans have invited Hur to discuss his finding at a Congressional hearing.

While the legal questions around documents marked top-secret turning up in Biden’s home in Delaware and a Washington office space are resolved, the political ramifications of the report could have lasting effects on the Biden campaign.

The report details how the mishandling of classified documents happened but goes out of the way to use Biden’s age and “limited memory” as a reason prosecutors would have a hard time making the charges stick.

In the report, Hur said, “Given Mr. Biden’s limited precision and recall during his interviews with his ghostwriter and with our office jurors may hesitate to place too much evidentiary weight on a single eight-word utterance to his ghostwriter about finding classified documents in Virginia, in the absence of other, more direct evidence.”

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This is a reference to Biden reading from his handwritten notebooks from his vice presidency to a ghostwriter while working on his memoir, Promise Me, Dad.

“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,” said investigators, again characterizing Biden as less than mentally capable, a characterization the Biden campaign has been fighting during the lead up to the general election.

Biden’s lawyers took umbrage with Hur’s portrayal of the president.

Bob Bauer, Biden’s personal counsel, and Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said in a letter to Hur, “The report uses highly prejudicial language to describe commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of years-old events.”

The lawyers also note that the five-hour interview with the special counsel began the day after the October 7 attacks on Israel, when the president had much else on his plate.

Biden forcefully defended himself in a press conference hours after the release of the Hur report. “My memory is fine,” Biden told reporters. “I’m well-meaning, and I’m an elderly man, and I know what the hell I’m doing.”

He took particular issue with a line in the report that suggested Biden did not remember when his son Beau died. “How in the hell dare he raise that?” Biden exclaimed.

Vice President Kamala Harris quickly jumped to Biden’s defense as well. She called Hur’s report “gratuitous, inaccurate, and inappropriate.” She went as far as to call the report political. “The way that the president’s demeanor in that report was characterized could not be more wrong on the facts, and clearly politically motivated,” she said.

Former President Donald Trump quickly seized on the report using the sections about Biden’s memory as a reason why Biden is not fit for office and called the lack of charges for the mishandling of top secret documents an example of a “two-tiered justice system.”

Trump is currently facing more than three dozen federal criminal charges for his own mishandling of top secret documents.

In his report, Hur drew several distinctions between the Trump and Biden cases, noting that Trump refused to return classified documents to the government and allegedly obstructed investigation, while Biden handed them over willingly.

Clark Franzman

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