Special Counsel Robert Hur described President Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” and said he would bring no criminal charges against the president after a months-long investigation into his improper retention of classified documents related to national security.
Hur’s report was made public Thursday afternoon.
Hur has been investigating Biden’s improper retention of classified records since last year. Those records included classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, among other records related to national security and foreign policy which Hur said implicated “sensitive intelligence sources and methods.”
“We conclude that no criminal charges are warranted in this matter,” the report states. “We would reach the same conclusion even if the Department of Justice policy did not foreclose criminal charges against a sitting president.”
But Hur, in the report, said the special counsel’s team “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.”
“Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone from whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt,” the report states. “It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him—by then a former president well into his eighties—of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”
Hur’s report pointed out that Biden’s memory was “worse” during an interview with the Special Counsel’s office.
During the interview, Biden “did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 – when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’).”
“He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him. Among other things, he mistakenly said he ‘had a real difference’ of opinion with General Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Eiden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama,” Hur’s report said.
Biden is 81.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.