As it happenedended1707754521

Biden lawyer calls special counsel Hur’s report ‘off the rails’

Special counsel Robert Hur released report on Thursday about investigation into alleged mishandling of classified Obama-era materials at two private locations

Biden addresses special counsel classified documents report

Joe Biden’s lawyer called special counsel Robert Hur’s report commenting in part on the president’s age and health “off the rails” and “shabby” on Sunday.

An angry and animated Joe Biden previously hit back at the Republican prosecutor’s claim that his memory is faulty during a last-minute and at-times chaotic press conference on Thursday.

The president hit out at parts of the report released earlier in the day by Justice Department special counsel Robert Hur into his handling of classified documents and became infuriated at a suggestion that he did not remember the year his late son, Beau Biden, died from brain cancer.

On Friday, Kamala Harris joined the White House fight back, slamming the report as “politically motivated”, and saying she found details in it “gratuitous, inaccurate and inappropriate”.

She said she has been “privileged and proud to serve as vice president of the United States” under Mr Biden, and said Mr Hur’s remarks on Mr Biden’s age and memory were “gratuitous, inaccurate, and inappropriate”.

Mr Hur’s report concluded that Mr Biden will not face charges for “willfully” holding onto documents after he left office as Barack Obama’s vice president in January 2017.

The report, which was delivered to Congress after many months of investigation and preparation, recommended no criminal charges for the incumbent president, even were he not protected by immunity from prosecution due to his current stature.

However, the investigators painted a picture of a senile president with severe memory issues whose innocence was less clear than his supporters would have hoped, while not necessarily coming across to a potential jury as malicious or criminal.

It stated that the materials included files on military policy in Afghanistan and handwritten notes on national security, also suggesting that Mr Biden would look like an “elderly man with a poor memory” to a jury if he were to be hit with criminal charges.

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Watch: White House doesn’t rule out releasing transcripts of Biden’s special counsel interview

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2024 19:10
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Watch: White House says DOJ staffers say report gratuitous and inconsistent with policy

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2024 19:28
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Democrats use Mike Johnson’s Iran-Israel gaffe to take heat off Biden

Democrats are rushing to defend President Joe Biden after he appeared to confuse Mexico with Egypt during a press conference called to refute claims about his poor memory.

Following the release of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on Thursday – which claimed Mr Biden’s memory was “significantly limited” – Democratic lawmakers pointed to House Speaker Mike Johnson’s own gaffe, where he confused Iran with Israel last week.

Martha McHardy has the story:

Democrats share Mike Johnson’s Iran-Israel gaffe in bid to take heat off Biden

Amid concerns over president Biden’s age and cognitive ability, Democratic lawmakers have accused MAGA supporters of double standards after speaker Mike Johnson appeared to confuse Iran with Israel

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2024 19:30
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Oliver O'Connell9 February 2024 19:37
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Biden launching task force to prevent classified doc mishaps

President Biden will soon name a high-level task force to recommend procedures that will prevent classified materials from being mishandled or inadvertantly lost during presidential transitions in the future, White House spokesperson Ian Sams said on Friday.

Mr Sams, who serves as a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office, was addressing reporters at the daily White House press briefing following the release of a report from Special Counsel Robert Hur in which Mr Hur, a Republican who served in the Trump administration, assailed Mr Biden’s memory while declining to charge him with any crime stemming from the discovery of classified materials at his Wilmington, Delaware home.

He told reporters that the National Archives has found that the misfiling of classified materials during transitions has been a common occurrence which Mr Biden believes should be fixed.

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Biden launches task force to prevent future classified document mishaps

White House spokesperson Ian Sams says Mr Biden will put a ‘senior government leader’ in charge of the task force

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2024 19:45
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Analysis: Biden just denied he was mentally unfit – then made things even worse

John Bowden writes:

Joe Biden tried to brush off concerns about his mental fitness and memory on Thursday at an impromptu press conference – but he made a glaring mistake that undermined his indignant defence of his abilities.

In isolation, it was perhaps just another relatively minor moment of misspeaking for the president, but it came at exactly the wrong moment.

Continue reading...

Joe Biden just tried to deny he was mentally unfit – but he made a glaring mistake

Analysis: In the wake of the classified documents report from Special Counsel Robert Hur, the president sought to convince voters there were no problems with his memory. Instead, Joe Biden did exactly what his team had been hoping to avoid, writes John Bowden in Washington DC

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2024 20:00
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Watch: What do Democrats do now?

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2024 20:15
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Harris launches into fiery defence of Biden as she slams ‘integrity’ of special counsel

Andrew Feinberg, our White House correspondent, filed this report:

Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday came out swinging with a full-throated defence of President Joe Biden in the wake of an unflattering report on his conduct by a Republican special prosecutor.

Ms Harris was speaking in the Indian Treaty Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at an event hosted by the White House’s gun violence prevention office when she addressed the matter of Mr Hur’s report, which critics have assailed as including gratuitous attacks on the president even as it announced that he will not face any criminal charges stemming from the discovery of classified documents at his Delaware home.

She said she has been “privileged and proud to serve as vice president of the United States” under Mr Biden, and said Mr Hur’s remarks on Mr Biden’s age and memory were “gratuitous, inaccurate, and inappropriate”.

Continue reading...

Kamala Harris gives fiery defence of Biden and slams ‘integrity’ of special counsel

Ms Harris hit out at Special Counsel Robert Hur after the Republican prosecutor attacked Mr Biden’s memory

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2024 20:30
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Biden: Failure of Congress to not support Ukraine is ‘criminal neglect’ and ‘outrageous'

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2024 20:38
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Key takeaways from the report into Biden’s classified documents

A report on the Justice Department’s investigation into Joe Biden’s unauthorised retention of classified materials was made public on Thursday – and it was as troubling for the president and his public image as it was vindicating for those who argued he had committed no crimes.

The report was authored by Robert Hur, a former US attorney appointed by Donald Trump and later elevated to the rank of special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Delivered to Congress this week after many months of investigation and preparation, it recommended no criminal charges for the incumbent president, even were he not protected by immunity from prosecution due to his current stature.

It did, however, contain much that will concern many Americans and was overall far from complimentary of the incumbent president.

The investigators painted a picture of a senile president with severe memory issues whose innocence was less clear than his supporters would have hoped, while not necessarily coming across to a potential jury as malicious or criminal.

Let’s take a look at the key takeaways from Mr Hur’s report:

Classified documents kept by dog bed and memory troubles: Takeaways from Biden report

Special counsel raises serious concerns while drawing distinctions between actions of Biden and Trump. John Bowden reports

John Bowden9 February 2024 21:00

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