Prosecutor Robert Hur has completed his investigation into the withholding of confidential documents by US President Joe Biden and released his findings. The report exonerates Biden on legal grounds, as Hur does not recommend initiating proceedings against him. However, he notes the fragility of the 81-year-old president, particularly his “bad memory” which appears to have deteriorated in recent years. This has weakened Biden politically, especially as he faces a tight race with his main opponent, Donald Trump.
In his 388-page report, Hur highlights that Biden knowingly kept and disclosed classified documents after his vice presidency while he was a private citizen. Despite this, the report does not recommend an indictment, as a jury would likely give the benefit of the doubt to an elderly man with a bad memory. The report includes passages that demonstrate Biden’s memory lapses during interviews with US officials and his biographer. Hur notes that Biden’s memory has deteriorated since 2017, making him appear inconsistent and exhibiting diminished faculties and memory defects.
The report also accuses Biden of keeping classified documents at his home without authorization but suggests that a juror could conclude that he may have forgotten or been unaware of the existence of these documents. While the report may weaken Biden politically, it also highlights that he was entitled to possess these documents at the time of their discovery in his capacity as president.
Former President Donald Trump reacted to the report by denouncing a “two-tiered judicial system.” Republicans seized this opportunity to attack Biden’s competency, stating that elderly individuals with poor memory were not fit to hold nuclear codes. Meanwhile, the White House responded negatively to the report, arguing that comments on Biden’s memory were inaccurate or inappropriate. They argued that interviews took place during an international crisis and contributed to Biden’s errors. Finally, Biden himself responded angrily to the report, insisting once again that he did not have any memory problems.
In conclusion, while Hur’s investigation exonerated Biden legally, it severely weakened him politically by giving his opponents ammunition to question his fitness for office.