a special prosecutor ruled out criminal charges this Thursday against US President Joe Biden for withholding classified documents, but described him as “a well-intentioned old man with a bad memory.”
The report takes a weight off Biden, a candidate for re-election in the November presidential elections, who will probably compete against his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump.
The latter faces a criminal trial for allegedly taking many confidential documents with him when he left the White House and refusing to cooperate with investigators.
However, special prosecutor Hur estimates that the current president's memory is so impaired that He doesn't even remember what date he was vice president. and when his son Beau died, who died of cancer in 2015.
A Trump spokeswoman, Karoline Leavitt, reacted with a message on the social network X: “How are we supposed to trust his ability to lead our country?” if your memory has significant limitations??”
Republicans described the document as “deeply concerning.”
“A man too incapable of accountability for the mismanagement of classified information is certainly not suitable for the Oval Office,” said the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican Mike Johnson, close to Trump.
Republicans called the document on Biden “deeply troubling.” Reuters Photo
The White House said it is “satisfied” with the decision not to file charges against Biden, 81, but disagrees “with a series of inaccurate and inappropriate comments in the special counsel's report.”
Hur was appointed in January 2023 by Attorney General Merrick Garland after secret documents were found in a Biden home in Wilmington, Delaware, and in a former office. They date back to when he was vice president (2009-2017) of Barack Obama.
The 388-page report states that Biden has “intentionally withheld and disclosed classified materials” after leaving the vice presidency, long before defeating Trump in 2020.
Hur, previously appointed by Trump as the top prosecutor for the state of Maryland, explains that FBI agents recovered documents on military affairs and foreign policy in Afghanistan, among other matters.
“We conclude that the evidence they are not enough to convict him and we exclude recommending prosecuting Biden for having withheld the classified documents from Afghanistan,” he stated.
He also rules out that a jury wants to convict Biden.
Donald Trump will surely be Joe Biden's rival. Reuters Photo
To the researchers it seemed like a “understanding, well-intentioned old man with a bad memory”he emphasizes, and considers it “difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him” when he is over 80 years old.
Hur sees differences in the Biden and Trump secret document scandals.
According to the indictment, Trump “not only refused to return the documents for many months, but also obstructed justice hiring others to destroy evidence and then lying about it.”
“To the contrary, Biden provided classified documents to the National Archives and the Department of Justice, agreed to searches of multiple locations, including his homes, submitted to a voluntary interview, and cooperated in other ways with the investigation,” it details.
Trump, 77, pleaded not guilty in June to multiple charges for illegal retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.
Special prosecutor Jack Smith accuses him of having endangered national security by withholding top-secret nuclear and defense information after leaving the White House. He is scheduled to stand trial in May.