Special prosecutor Robert Hur has completed his investigation into the withholding of confidential documents by US President Joe Biden and published his findings. The report exonerates Biden on the legal level, as Hur does not recommend launching proceedings against him. However, he points out the fragility of the 81-year-old president, particularly his “bad memory” which seems to have deteriorated in recent years. This has weakened Biden on the political level, especially as he is in a close race with his main opponent, Donald Trump.
Hur’s 388-page report states 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 highlighting Biden’s memory lapses during interviews with US officials and his biographer. Hur points out that Biden’s memory has deteriorated since 2017, making him appear inconsistent and demonstrating 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 on the political level, 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, also facing accusations of keeping confidential documents, reacted to the report by denouncing a “two-tiered judicial system”. Republicans have seized the opportunity to attack Biden’s competency, making statements about elderly individuals with bad memory not being fit to hold the nuclear codes.
The White House reacted negatively to the report, stating that the comments on Biden’s memory were not accurate or appropriate. They argued that the interviews took place during an international crisis, which may have contributed to Biden’s inaccuracies. Biden himself responded angrily to the report, insisting that he does not have memory problems.