April 22, 2024

Special Counsel Hur: ‘I Did Not Exonerate’ Biden in Classified Documents Case

Special Counsel Hur: ‘I Did Not Exonerate’ Biden in Classified Docs Case

Special Counsel Robert Hur unequivocally corrected Democrats’ claims that his report exonerated President Joe Biden for his mishandling of classified materials.

Special Counsel Robert Hur unequivocally corrected Democrats’ claims that his report exonerated President Joe Biden for his mishandling of classified materials.

In February, Hur submitted his report to Attorney General Merrick Garland stating that he would not charge Biden for his handling of classified documents but included stunning revelations of the deterioration of Biden’s mental state that factored into that decision.

Hur, who resigned from the Justice Department a week prior, testified Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee about his report.

When questioning Hur, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) claimed his “lengthy, expensive, and indecent investigation resulted in a complete exoneration of President Joe Biden,” saying Hur found “insufficient evidence the president violated any laws about possession or retention of classified materials.”

Hur attempted to correct her, although Jayapal would not allow him to do so.

“I need to go back and make sure that I take note of the word that you used, exoneration. That is not a word we used in the report and that is not part of my task as a prosecutor,” Hur said over continual interruption from Jayapal, which included “you exonerated him.”

“I did not exonerate him,” Hur stated definitively. “That word does not appear in the report,” at which point Jayapal immediately reclaimed her time, ending the exchange.

Hur provided more clarity under questioning from Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-OR).

“Your report is not an exoneration so much as a determination that the evidence as you saw it would not overcome the defenses that you had identified, plus whatever lack of evidence you perceived,” Bentz said. “So its not an exoneration, is it?”

“The word exoneration does not appear anywhere in my report,” Hur replied, “and that is not my conclusion.”

Hur confirmed Biden’s “willfully retained” classified documents were found in seven places throughout several locations.

Hur described Biden in his report as “an elderly man with a poor memory” but testified that he could not charge the president with “willfully retaining” classified documents. During Biden’s interview with Hur, he could not remember when his son Beau Biden died or when he was vice president, according to a transcript of Hur’s interview obtained by Breitbart News.

Hur told Congress:

My task was to determine whether the President retained or disclosed national defense information “willfully”—meaning, knowingly and with the intent to do something the law forbids. I could not make that determination without assessing the President’s state of mind. For that reason, I had to consider the President’s memory and overall mental state, and how a jury likely would perceive his memory and mental state in a criminal trial.

The evidence and the President himself put his memory squarely at issue. We interviewed the President and asked him about his recorded statement, “I just found all the classified stuff downstairs.” He told us that he didn’t remember saying that to his ghostwriter. He also said he didn’t remember finding any classified material in his home after his vice presidency. And he didn’t remember anything about how classified documents about Afghanistan made their way into his garage.

Hur said his responsibility was simply and solely to weigh whether Biden “willfully retained” or disclosed classified documents.

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Biden repeatedly told Special Counsel Robert Hur he didn’t ‘mean’ to retain classified documents, had ‘no idea’ how they ended up in his home and admits moving boxes in his garage to get to his Corvette

Biden repeatedly told Hur he didn’t ‘mean’ to keep classified docs

President Joe Bide during his interview with Special Prosecutor Robert Hur repeatedly said he had ‘no idea’ when asked specific questions about how government materials ended up in his home.

  • Biden said he had ‘no goddam idea’ how a tranche of material ended up at home
  • ‘I wish I could say I was more organized,’ he told prosecutors
  • He said he recalled moving boxes to access his classic car 

President Joe Biden repeatedly told Special Counsel Robert Hur he had ‘no idea’ how government documents ended up at his D.C. office and his Wilmington garage, according to an interview transcript released minutes before the start of a bombshell hearing Tuesday.

Hur’s report has drawn attention for his decision to include instances of the president’s failure to recall key events in his life – an explosive move that fueled an election year debate over his cognitive ability.

But the president also repeatedly states that he doesn’t recall information directly related to the investigation – namely how government materials that were supposed to go to the National Archives ended up at home. 

During his White House interview, Hur asked Biden about a ‘second tranche’ of documents that ended up at his home in December 2022.

‘I have no goddamn idea. I didn’t even bother to go through them,’ Biden responded. 

Asked how he knew when the boxes arrived in his garage, Biden responded: ‘No, because I had been out.’ He said it ‘could be building material of what they’re doing now,’ in a possible reference to renovations at his home, with information redacted.

Biden was asked how long he anticipated living at a Virginia home after he left the vice presidency.

‘I have no idea,’ he responded.

Did he know if contents of a file cabinet were removed from a file cabinet in preparation for a move? ‘I have no idea,’ Biden responded.

‘They probably locked the cabinet and put it in a truck. I don’t know, though.’ 

Asked about notebooks with his notes on foreign policy dating from his time as vice president and where they were, Biden was apologetic.

‘I have no idea, I wish I could say I was more organized,’ Biden said.  

The president’s failure to recall specific details of the movements of materials came in a process that culminated in Hur concluding there was not sufficient evidence to charge Biden with a crime, in a probe where he had to assess Biden’s intent.

Biden, a lawyer who describes early parts of his law career during long tangents in response to Hur’s questions, also said he didn’t keep documents ‘knowingly.’

That is how he fielded a question from a prosecutor about memos and documents about Afghanistan from his time as vice, when asked if there were other documents he kept.  

‘Not knowingly. I mean, it wasn’t anything I consciously – there may have been something that was kept in a notebook or something, but not conscious,’ he replied.

Biden’s failure to recall how classified information at his home came to light before a House hearing that featured video from his fiery press conference immediately after Hur released his report.

‘I take responsibility for not having seen exactly what my staff was doing,’ Biden said.

Biden also tried to put blame on subordinates during his interview, without naming names. ‘I don’t want to hold them responsible or get them in trouble, but I believe they were the ones who were packing it up,’ he said. 

There were other areas where Biden’s memory was crystal clear, including a binder marked ‘Corvette,’ related to his classic Stingray.

‘Now I have stuff in there. I remember this,’ Biden said. ‘I had all materials of things that mattered to me personally, He mentioned the $5,700 sticker price, the ‘original key ring’ he maintains. ‘I have all the stuff about the Corvette,’ he said.

He also recalled seeing boxes in his garage in 2019 or 2020 – and moving them himself to get to his cherished vehicle.

‘I remember moving boxes, literally physically moving them, with help, one side to the other so I could get the Corvette in the garage …’ he said. 

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