Biden’s ‘poor memory’ plays key factor in special counsel classified documents finding: Live updates
Biden addresses special counsel classified documents report
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President Joe Biden will not face charges for “willfully” holding onto classified documents after he left office as vice president, according to a report released by Special Counsel Robert Hur.
On Thursday, Mr Hur released his report from the investigation into his alleged mishandling of classified Obama-era materials at two locations tied to the President.
In the report, Mr Hur said that Mr Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen”. The materials included documents on military policy in Afghanistan and handwritten notes on national security.
However, the report concluded Mr Biden should not face criminal charges.
One of the key factors in the decision included the “significant limitations” of Mr Biden’s memory, according to the report. Mr Hur found that Mr Biden could not remember the year his son died, or the years he entered and left the Vice Presidency. The report speculated Mr Biden would present himself to the jury as an ‘elderly man with poor memory’
Following the discovery, Mr Biden cooperated with investigators – unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, who is now facing charges for his mishandling of classified documents since leaving the White House.
Afghanistan documents left next to dog bed, finds report
Special Counsel Robert Hur found that the classified documents on Afghanistan were found in Mr Biden’s garage next to a dog bed and a broken lamp, among other things.
“We also expect many jurors to be struck by the place 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 crate, a dog bed, a Zappos box, an empty bucket, a broken lamp wrapped with duct tape, potting soil, and synthetic firewood,” the report reads.
Ghostwriter allegedly destroyed evidence after learning of special counsel probe
Mark Zwonitzer, ghostwriter for President Joe Biden’s 2017 memoir, allegedly destroyed relevant recordings of Mr Biden, according to the report.
“After learning of the special counsel’s appointment in this matter, Mr Biden’s ghostwriter deleted audio recordings he had created of his discussions with Mr Biden during the writing of Mr Biden’s 2017 memoir,” the report reads. “The recordings had significant evidentiary value.”
However, Special Counsel Robert Hur declined to bring charges against him. The report states Mr Zwonitzer deleted the recordings after he found out about the probe but before the Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted him for an interview.
Mr Zwonitzer was forthcoming about the fact that he deleted the recordings. Experts were able to recover much of the deleted recordings, and for the portions they could not obtain the writer handed over his transcripts, the report said.
Donald Trump gives statement on Biden documents investigation
“THIS HAS NOW PROVEN TO BE A TWO-TIERED SYSTEM OF JUSTICE AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL SELECTIVE PROSECUTION,” Mr Trump said in a statement. “the Biden Documents Case is 100 times different and more severe than mine. I did nothing wrong, and I cooperated far more.”
The Special Counsel’s investigation emphasized President Joe Biden’s cooperation with their investigation.
“And [Biden’s] 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.”
In addition to charges regarding the files themselves, Mr Trump currently faces charges of “false statements and representations” and “conspiracy to obstruct justice” in his Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. He has pled not guilty to all charges
The Republicans of the House Judiciary Committee condemned the investigation’s recommendation against charges.
“Special Counsel Robert Hur recommends no criminal charges against President Biden in classified documents case,” the group posted on X. “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.”
President says he’s ‘pleased’ with results of investigation
Mr Biden praised the results of the investigation and emphasized his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Hur in a statement Thursday.
“I cooperated completely, threw up no roadblocks, and sought no delays,” Mr Biden said. “In fact, I was so determined to give the Special Counsel what they needed that I went forward with five hours of in-person interviews over two days on October 8th and 9th of last year, even though Israel had just been attacked on October 7th and I was in the middle of handling an international crisis.”
Investigation says Biden’s memory has ‘significant limitations’
Robert Hur’s report alleged that President Joe Biden appeared to have “significant limitations” to his memories.
“Mr. Biden’s memory also appeared to have significant limitations…Mr. Biden’s recorded conversations with [Mark] Zwonitzer 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.”
Mark Zwonitzer was Mr Biden’s ghostwriter for his 2017 memoir.
“In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse,” the report said. “He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended…and forgetting on the second day of the interview whenhis term began…He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.”