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Biden disputes special counsel report, says memory ‘fine’

On Thursday night, President Joe Biden strongly disputed new claims by Justice Department special counsel Robert Hur that he “intentionally withheld and disclosed classified materials” as a private citizen, and that he had displayed a poor memory during an interview about that material.

“My memory has not gotten worse,” Biden told reporters in a nationally televised speech at the White House hours after Hur released his report.

“My memory is fine.”

But moments later, Biden referred to Egypt’s president as the “president of Mexico.”

Biden was visibly angered by Hur’s claim that he could not remember the year his son Beau Biden died, which the special counsel cited among other examples of evidence that Biden’s memory “appeared hazy” during interviews with investigators. .

The president said that when he was asked a question about that year Beau died, “I thought it was none of their business.”

“How the hell dare he bring that up?” Biden said of Hur. “I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away.”

The main legal conclusion of Hur’s report was the special counsel’s decision not to criminally charge Biden despite what Hur said was the president’s intentional withholding of classified documents and disclosure of some classified material to the ghostwriter. from his 2017 memoir.

Biden said: “I’ve seen the headlines since the report about my intentional withholding of documents was released.

“These claims are not only misleading, they are simply wrong,” the president said.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the special counsel’s report in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 8, 2024, in a surprise last-minute addition to his agenda. day.

Mandel Ngan | afp | fake images

Biden strongly denied sharing the material with the writer.

And the president noted that Hur on page 215 of the same report wrote that “while it is natural to assume that Mr. Biden put the Afghanistan documents in the box on purpose and that he knew they were there, in fact there is a dearth of evidence about These points.”

“We do not know why, how or who placed the documents in the box,” the report reads.

On page 12 of the report, Biden noted, the special counsel wrote: “For other recovered classified documents, after a thorough investigation, the decision to reject criminal charges was simple.”

Those classified documents were found in a Washington, D.C., office that Biden had used after ending his term as vice president in January 2017, and in collections of his U.S. Senate papers at the University of Delaware.

“The evidence suggests that Mr. Biden did not intentionally retain these documents and that they may have been taken to these locations in error,” the report says.

Despite that language, Hur in his report used evidence of what he said was Biden’s “poor memory” to further justify his decision not to criminally charge the president.

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview, as a sympathetic, well-intentioned old man with a poor memory,” the special counsel said. in his report.

Hur’s repeated references to Biden’s memory sparked a bitter reaction from the White House and Biden supporters before the president delivered his televised address.

This is breaking news. Please check for updates.



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