Special Counsel Defends Biden Findings Amid Heated Questions From Lawmakers

Epoch Times Staff
By Epoch Times Staff
March 12, 2024Congress

Robert Hur is grilled by House Republicans on why he didn’t press charges over Biden’s handling of classified documents. Follow here for the live updates:

Hearing Over

After almost five hours, the House Judiciary Committee concluded its contentious hearing with Mr. Hur about his report that President Biden allegedly mishandled classified information but would not be criminally charged.

GOP Congressman Presses Hur on What is Wilfully Holding Onto Classified Info

By Jackson Richman

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), shortly after announcing he is retiring at the end of next week as opposed to finishing his term, pressed Mr. Hur what is the standard of wilfully possessing classified information.

Mr. Buck noted that President Biden said he found classified information in his Virginia home when he was with his ghostwriter, Mark Zwonitzer, in 2017.

President Biden forgot about the documents and therefore a jury could be convinced that the president did not intentionally withhold the classified materials, according to Mr. Hur.

Another rationale for President Biden not wilfully holding onto classified information, said Mr. Hur, is that it could have been his staff that was moving the boxes of such materials to multiple locations including his Virginia home and residences in Delaware.

Finally, said Mr. Hur, is that it would be hard to convince a jury that one of the documents found in President Biden’s garage in his Wilmington, Delaware, home contained national security information.

Mr. Hur said in his report that a jury would be sympathetic due to President Biden’s poor memory.

Jordan Compares Biden Document Locations With Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Documents

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) questioned Mr. Hur about the locations where President Joe Biden’s classified documents were discovered, and the timing of the investigation.

When asked if his investigation into President Biden began after the Justice Department began its investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents, Mr. Hur said he believed his initiated shortly after.

Mr. Jordan also pressed Mr. Hur for information about the number of locations where documents were found, including the Penn Biden Center’s current and temporary offices, the University of Delaware Library, the University of Delaware Biden Center, the president’s temporary offices following his time as vice president, as well as multiple locations in President Biden’s residents, totaling nine different locations.

Mr. Hur agreed that documents were found in all the named locations.

Mr. Jordan then compared those discoveries with the investigation into President Trump, saying, “And it was documents over a 50-year timeframe.

“And then by comparison, because the Democrats want to keep comparing to President Trump’s classified documents at his home with Secret Service protection … I think that I think that’s an important distinction.”

Hur: Biden Ghostwriter Did Not Have Permission to Access Classified Info

By Jackson Richman

Mark Zwonitzer, President Biden’s ghostwriter, did not have the security clearance to access classified information, said Mr. Hur.

Mr. Zwonitzer, who wrote President Biden’s two memoirs, was at President Biden’s Virginia home in 2017, when President Biden allegedly found classified information about Afghanistan in the home.

Mr. Zwonitzer allegedly deleted audio files of President Biden, as he confessed to the FBI he “was aware that there was an investigation” when he did so.

Nonetheless, according to Mr. Hur’s report, “when asked whether he deleted the recordings to try and prevent investigators from obtaining them, Zwonitzer said that he did not.

Mr. Zwonitzer, like President Biden, was not charged.


By Cathy He

The hearing now goes into recess as House lawmakers head to the floor for votes.

Texas Republican Claims Report Indicates Biden Should Have Guardian

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Nathaniel Moran (R-Texas) asserted that the findings of Mr. Hur’s report indicate that President Joe Biden’s memory issues likely rise to the level of deficiencies defined by Washington D.C. law to necessitate guardianship.

The lawmaker noted multiple instances in the report where Mr. Hur asserted that President Biden was in some way impaired or had a “poor memory.”

The lawmaker ended his recitation of the instances with a quote from the report which said, “Mr. Biden’s apparent lapses and failures in February and April 2017 will likely appear consistent with the diminished capacities and faulty memory he showed.”

Mr. Moran went on to quote a D.C. statute that asserts the need for guardianship of any adult whose “ability to receive and evaluate information effectively and to or to communicate decisions is impaired to such an extent that he or she lacks the capacity to manage all or some of his financial resources.”

“Quite frankly, I see tons of overlap from what you set forth in your testimony and your written report, and the definition here. The phrases are almost identical,” Mr. Moran said.

“I would posit that if he cannot manage national top secret resources, I’m not sure how he can manage his personal financial resources … and that he is a person with ‘diminished faculties.’

“It makes me wonder how close he is coming to meeting this definition of an incapacitated individual, such that he should have a guardian appointed by the D/C/ courts for his personhood.”

Jordan Pushes for Reasons Behind DOJ Withholding Recordings From Investigation

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) questioned Mr. Hur if there was any reason that Congress should not receive access to the audio recordings the Special Prosecutor used in formulating his report.

The Ohio Republican noted on multiple occasions that the transcripts from the special counsel’s investigation were only released on the morning of the hearing.

“Mr. Herr, are you opposed to the U.S. Congress having access to the audio tapes of the people you interviewed during your investigation?” Mr. Jordan asked.

Mr. Hur repeatedly deferred to the Department of Justice and the White House in making that decision: “I am not in a position to articulate an opinion one way or the other. That is not really up to me, I’m a former employee of the Department of Justice. I would refer you to the White House in DOJ.”

Mr. Jordan pressed further, saying “You’re an accomplished lawyer. Is there any reason why we shouldn’t why the United States Congress didn’t have access to the same information you had access to and that was the basis of your decision?”

Mr. Hur responded, saying, “Chairman, it is not for me to opine on what materials the Justice Department released.”

Democrat Congresswoman Draws Contrast Between Trump, Biden Allegedly Handling Classified Materials

By Jackson Richman

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) asked rhetorical questions to Mr. Hur as she painted a “stark contrast” between President Trump and President Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified information.

In response to these questions, Mr. Hur said he was not aware of thousands of people accessing Biden’s residence whereas there are that many people at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Whereas Mar-a-Lago—where classified materials were confiscated during an FBI raid in August 2022—is accessible to tens of thousands of people, President Biden’s home was not accessible to that many people and therefore the chances of exposure to those without permission to classified information at the latter location was significantly lower than at the former.

Unlike at Mar-a-Lago, President Biden did not host movie premiers where classified documents were stored there, said Mr. Hur.

Mr. Hur did not see that President Biden ordered staff to move boxes of classified materials whereas President Trump allegedly ordered his personal aide, Walt Nauta, to do so.

Moreover, noted Ms. Escober through another line of her rhetorical questioning, President Biden immediately notified the Department of Justice upon finding classified documents at his residence whereas President Trump did not at Mar-a-Lago.

President Biden was cooperative with the U.S. government whereas President Trump was not, said Ms. Escobar.

Rep. Hageman Questions Differences in Classified Document Standards Between Trump, Biden, and Hillary Clinton

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Hageman (R-Wyo.) questioned the alleged prosecutorial inconsistency between former President Donald Trump and other politicians.

The lawmaker questioned Mr. Hur, saying, “Can you please explain why those people without the last name of Clinton or Biden are typically treated quite differently and seem to be the only ones who are never held accountable for violating the law?”

Mr. Hur responded, saying, “Congresswoman, one of the things that I explained in my report is the fact that there are historical precedents with respect to former occupants of the White House and their retention of classified materials after they leave.”

Ms. Hageman pressed further, saying, “I’m asking specifically about Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.”

Mr. Hur responded, “I don’t have any opinion to articulate with respect to the investigation relating to Mrs. Clinton.”

Rep. Moore Takes a Swipe At Jack Smith in Hur Questioning

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

After Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.) confirmed his belief that Mr. Hur had a reputation that was “beyond reproach,” the lawmaker asserted that another special counsel, Jack Smith, was less reliable.

“You have a special counsel colleague by the name of Jack Smith, who cannot lay claim to such a reputation. Isn’t that right?” Mr. Moore said.

Mr. Hur responded, saying, “I have no opinion.”

The Alabama Republican went on to assert that Mr. Smith has a reputation as an “overzealous” prosecutor who relies ethically or on ethically dubious tactics. He also asserted that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts once reproached Mr. Smith’s “prosecutorial theory as a boundless interpretation of federal bribery statutes that do not comport with the text of the statute or the president of this court.”

Following his assertions about Mr. Smith, Mr. Moore asked, “Is Justice truly blind?”

Mr. Hur responded, saying, “Sir, I’m not here to express any opinions with respect to a pending case against another defendant … I’m here to talk about the work that I did with respect to the investigation relating to President Biden.”

Hur: Report Not a Total and Complete Exoneration of Biden

By Jackson Richman

Mr. Hur, contrary to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), said the report is not a total and complete exoneration of President Biden.

In his report, Mr. Hur said President Biden mishandled classified information, but that there was not enough to successfully prosecute a criminal case.

The word “exoneration” is not in the report, Mr. Hur noted.

Democrat Congressman Draws Difference Between Barr, Garland Over Release of Special Counsel Reports

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) noted there was a difference between the 2019 release of the Mueller report—which said President Trump’s 2016 campaign did not collude and that a conclusion could not be reached on whether there was obstruction—and the Hur report that stated President Biden mishandled classified information but that there was no legal case that could be pursued against him.

With the Mueller report, Attorney General William Barr chimed in and gave what Mr. Neguse said was incorrect, while Attorney General Merrick Garland did not give his two cents on Mr. Hur’s report.

Hur Confirmed Garland Did Not Interfere With His Report

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Under questioning from Rep. Joe Neguse (R-Co.), Mr. Hur confirmed that Attorney General Merrick Garland did not interfere with his report in any way.

“During your 15-month investigation, did the Attorney General attempt to interfere with your investigation?” Mr. Neguse queried.

Mr. Hur responded, “No.”

Mr. Neguse went on, asking, “Did he impede your investigation anyway?”

Again, Mr. Hur responded, “No.”

Following a few more questions on the same topic, Mr. Hur expanded on the attorney general’s interaction with him, saying, the “Attorney General did not interfere with my efforts, and I was able to conduct a fair, thorough, and independent investigation.”

Democrat Congresswoman Defends Biden’s Poor Memory by Citing Trump’s

By Jackson Richman

Rep. Marry Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) came to President Biden’s defense over him, according to Mr. Hur’s report, frequently forgetting. In doing so, she played a video of former President Donald Trump being deposed during a lawsuit over the now-defunct Trump University.

For example, President Trump was asked when he was married to his second wife, Marla Maples. He said he would need to get the dates.

President Trump throughout the deposition said 35 times he could not remember things, while President Biden said so 27 times during his interviews with Mr. Hur.

Hur Says He Did Not Call Biden Senile

By Samantha Flom

The conversation over President Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities continued when Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.) asked special counsel Robert Hur if he concluded in his report that the president is “senile.”

“I did not—that conclusion does not appear in my report,” Mr. Hur replied.

When pressed on whether he believed President Biden was fit to stand trial, the special counsel said his report only addressed the president’s memory gaps in the context of how a jury would perceive them.

Hur Pushes Back on Claims He ‘Exonerated’ Biden

By Samantha Flom

Special counsel Robert Hur took issue with Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-Wash.) characterization of his report as a “complete exoneration” of President Joe Biden for his handling of classified materials.

“I need to go back and make sure that I take note of a word that you used, ‘exoneration.’ That is not a word that we used in the report and that’s not part of my task as a prosecutor,” Mr. Hur said, as Ms. Jayapal talked over him.

“The judgment that I received, that I ultimately reached, was whether sufficient evidence existed such that the likely outcome would be a conviction. I did not exonerate him.”

Rep. Spartz Says DOJ Resembles a ‘Tyrannical Government’

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) asserted in her questioning that President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama have moved to support communism.

The lawmaker took exception to earlier comments that actions by Republicans seem to indicate a lack of awareness of communist dictators, and that President Trump has embraced tyrants from around the world.

“I grew up under communism, and I have a very good recollection of what it is,” Ms. Spartz, who grew up in the former USSR that is now Ukraine, said, going on to accuse both President Biden and President Obama of facilitating the rise in communist-like attitudes within government.

“Unfortunately, our government in the Department of Justice really now resembles, you know, a tyrannical government. It’s sad for me to see that.”

Swalwell Plays Video of Trump’s Verbal Missteps

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) attempted to draw attention to President Trump’s mental acuity, playing a reel of the former president’s verbal missteps.

The lawmaker played a number of clips of the former president, following confirmation from Mr. Hur that at one point in his report, the Special Counsel said to President Biden that the president had a “photographic memory.”

All of the clips attempted to support Mr. Swalwell’s assertion that President Trump “is absolutely not photographic” in his memory.

Hur Refutes Schiff’s Accusations of Bias

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) accused Mr. Hur of intentionally formulating language that would create a “political firestorm,” contradicting Mr. Hur’s previous comments that he had no intention to “disparage the president” in his report.

The California Democrat made a number of claims along the same vein, asserting that the special counsel “understood” when he included language about the president being an “elderly man with a poor memory” that it would be used by the Republican party as a political tool.

“You understood how they would be manipulated by my colleagues here on the GOP side of the aisle, by President Trump, you understood that, did you not?” Mr. Schiff asserted.

Mr. Hurr responded, saying, “I understood, based on comments that the attorney general had made, that he had committed to make as much of my report public as consistent with legal policy and legal requirements.”

Mr. Schiff continued his questioning on the subject, with Mr. Hur rebuffing the accusations on each occasion.

Near the end of his comments, Mr. Schiff asserted, “You understood exactly what you were doing. It was a choice. You certainly didn’t have to include that language … You made a choice. That was a political choice. It was the wrong choice.”

When offered a chance to respond, Mr. Hur categorically objected to Mr. Schiff’s accusation, saying, “What you are suggesting is that I shape, sanitize [and] omit portions of my reasoning and explanation to the attorney general for political reasons,” before being cut off.

White House Responding in Real-Time to Hearing

By Jackson Richman

The White House has been responding to the hearing, seeking to refute the GOP talking points.

Ian Sams, the White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, has been posting on X, formerly Twitter, in defense of President Biden.

In his first post, he tried to make the case that Mr. Hur, like President Biden, was forgetful. However, the transcript, which Mr. Sams shared a screenshot of, shows Mr. Hur saying “I may be misremembering”—as opposed to saying so definitively whereas the president, throughout the interviews, constantly expressed him not remembering things.

Mr. Sams’ second post accuses the GOP of “continu[ing] to lie & mislead the American people” and cited examples from Mr. Hur’s 388-page report

In his third post, Mr. Sams stated, “Jim Jordan totally lying and misleading Americans” and cited that “the Hur report found there were ‘innocent’ explanations for the documents being mistakenly taken. It found Biden ‘did not let others access’ his notebooks. It says the ‘evidence does not show’ Biden knew passages were classified.”

Mr. Sams, in his fourth post, went after Mr. Hur saying, “I did not sanitize my explanation. Nor did I disparage the president unfairly.” He cited former Department of Justice individuals who opined otherwise.

In his remaining posts, Mr. Sams goes after Mr. Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for parroting disinformation.

Finally, Mr. Sams appeared to mock Mr. Hur, who throughout his report noted President Biden’s poor memory, for incorrectly stating that Dana Remus was White House Counsel under President Barack Obama when she actually was under President Biden.

“It turns out, people just mess up sometimes. Even when they aren’t elderly or well-meaning,” said Mr. Sams.

Ms. Remus served under President Obama as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel for Ethics.

Biggs Says Evidence Supports Prosecuting Biden

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) questioned special counsel Robert Hur’s conclusion that the evidence did not support prosecuting President Joe Biden, suggesting that the report indicates he had “guilty knowledge.”

In the audio recordings between President Biden and his ghostwriter, Mr. Biggs noted that there was one exchange in which the president handed the author a page and warned him to “be careful” because some of its contents “may be classified.”

“That warning to be careful because it may be classified—that indicates guilty knowledge. That indicates he might know something more than he otherwise would have,” Mr. Biggs said.

The congressman added that the information in question was later confirmed to be confidential. But rather than skip over that section until he was sure, the president handed it to someone without proper security clearance anyway.

“So, when you look at this, it’s hard for me to say, well, he was ignorant, he was incompetent, it was accidental. He had guilty knowledge.”

Van Drew: ‘It’s a Sad Day for America’

By Samantha Flom

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.) decried special counsel Robert Hur’s decision not to prosecute President Joe Biden as another manifestation of what he perceived to be the Justice Department’s two-tiered system of justice.

Citing Mr. Hur’s report, the congressman noted that President Biden’s conversations with his ghostwriter indicated that he was aware that he had classified materials in his possession shortly after his vice presidency.

“Sometimes he may be sleepy. Sometimes he may be forgetful. Sometimes he may be cognitively impaired, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr. Van Drew said.

“But man, when it came to his personal legacy, the way he wanted to be remembered, to make sure that he was a big deal, in plain English, in the future, he was willingly, unknowingly breaking the law. And it’s unfortunate that we have a Department of Justice that will treat one person one way and somebody else a different way. It’s a sad day for America.”

Hur Fends Off Accusations He Was Motivated by ‘Partisan Politics’ in His Report

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Mr. Hur said firmly that “partisan politics played no part of my work” in response to accusations by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) that the work in the Special Counsel’s report was a ploy to curry favor with President Trump.

Mr. Hur’s comments came just after he contradicted the assertion that he was a member of the Federalist Society, but confirmed that he was a “registered Republican.”

Mr. Johnson pressed further, accusing Hur of “doing everything you can do to get President Trump reelected so that you can get appointed as a federal judge, perhaps to another position in the Department of Justice.”

Mr. Hur responded, saying, “I have no such aspirations” and went on to assert that political motivations “had no place in the investigative steps that I took no place in the decision that I made, and it had no place in a single word of my report.”

Rep. Cohen Defends Biden Against ‘Senile’ Descriptor

By Samantha Flom

Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) use of the term “senile” to refer to President Joe Biden did not sit well with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.).

“That’s disrespectful of senior people with any kind of memory disability,” Mr. Cohen charged angrily in closing out his line of questioning.

“Lots of seniors have memory disability, but they’re not senile. And to [use that term] was shameful. Joe Biden is a competent, good president who knows American values.”

His frustration comes amid rising concerns over President Biden’s mental fitness for office—concerns exacerbated by special counsel Robert Hur’s report.

Rep Gaetz Raises ‘Senile Cooperator Theory’

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) questioned Mr. Hur about applying a “senile cooperator theory” to the current president during his investigation “because Joe Biden cooperated and the elevator didn’t go to the top floor.”

The lawmaker questioned Mr. Hur about the differences between his report and President Biden’s public statements about not sharing classified information with his ghostwriter.

Mr. Hur confirmed that Mr. Biden’s statements were “inconsistent” with the findings in his report.

Mr. Gaetz responded, saying, “It’s a lie, is just what regular people would say.” After pressing the subject further, with a similar response, the lawmaker moved on to the Special Counsel’s recommendation not to bring charges against the former president.

“What does somebody have to do to get charged with obstruction of justice by you if like deleting the evidence of crimes doesn’t count?” Gaetz questioned.

Mr. Hur responded, clarifying that President Biden’s writer “did not delete” the “transcripts of the recordings that he had created.”

Transcript Shows Biden Had Trouble Recalling Dates During Special Counsel Interview

By Emel Akan, Jackson Richman

Special Counsel Robert Hur, who oversaw investigating President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents, is speaking before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The Epoch Times reviewed redacted copies of the transcript of his 5-hour interview with the president over two days on Oct. 8 and 9.

The Epoch Times team confirmed some of the findings of the special counsel’s report, issued on Feb. 8. The transcript, which is more than 250 pages long, showed that the president indeed had problems remembering key dates.

When asked about a notebook dated “4-20-09,” President Biden said, “Was I still vice president? I was, wasn’t I?”

The transcript showed that Mr. Hur didn’t directly inquire about the date of his son Beau Biden’s death.

Instead, Mr. Hur was trying to understand where President Biden kept papers related to the work he did after leaving the vice presidency in Jan. 2017.

At that point, President Biden started to stutter and mix up what he was saying.

He said “when I got out of the Senate” when he intended to say when he left the vice presidency, and he seemingly conflated events of 2017 and 2018.

Read full article here

Raskin Attacks Trump’s Friendship With Orban

By Samantha Flom

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), like Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) before him, used his time to turn the conversation back to former President Donald Trump, tearing into the 45th president for his relationship with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

“This, my friends, this is a memory test. But it’s not a memory test for President Biden. It’s a memory test for all of America,” Mr. Raskin said. “Do we remember fascism? Do we remember Nazism?”

Noting that President Trump hosted Mr. Orban at his Mar-a-Lago residence last week, the congressman described the Hungarian leader as an “authoritarian hustler” and “tyrant.”

“Who wins with this ludicrous, embarrassing spectacle? Orban wins, [Vladimir] Putin wins, Xi [Jinping] wins, the tyrants of the world win. They have one more reason to celebrate Donald Trump and his cult followers who have completely lost their way,” Mr. Raskin said.

“They’re looking for high crimes and misdemeanors. Now they appoint themselves amateur memory specialists. And that’s what they pounce on the president of the United States about.”

Hur Confirms $8 Million Payout to Biden for Book Based Partially on Classified Documents

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Mr. Jordan questioned Mr. Hur about the possible reasoning behind keeping classified documents at various locations, asking him what President Biden was paid for his book, which was allegedly based partially on those documents.

When pressed for an answer, Mr. Hur said President Biden was paid $8 million for his book. Following Mr. Hur’s seemingly unwilling admonition, Mr. Jordan asserted that “pride and money is why he knowingly violated the rules.”

Mr. Jordan went on to question Mr. Hur about what the ghostwriter of the book did with the information from those documents after Mr. Hur was named Special Counsel.

“Chairman, if you’re referring to the audio recordings … if I remember correctly, he slid those files into his recycle bin on his computer,” Mr. Hur said.

Mr. Jordan clarified, saying, “He tried to try to destroy the evidence, didn’t he?”

Mr. Hur responded, “Correct.”

Special Counsel Declines to Say It Is Illegal to Take Home Classified Documents

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

In the face of questions by Rep. McClintock (R-Calif.) about whether it is considered legally permissible to take home “secret documents” and “store them in my garage and read portions of them to friends or associates,” Mr. Hur refused to say that it was illegal, only that he “wouldn’t recommend it.”

Several similar questions were met with the same answer. When pressed further, the Special Counsel went on to say that, “I wouldn’t recommend it. But I don’t want to entertain any hypotheticals.”

This prompted Mr. McClintock to point to the prosecution of former President Donald Trump as a sharp juxtaposition to Mr. Hur’s recommendation that President Joe Biden not be charged.

Near the end of his comments, Mr. McClintock said, “The foundation of our justice system is equal justice under law. That’s what gave the law in this respect, its legitimacy. And without it, the law is simply force devoid of any moral authority.”

Nadler Compares Biden and Trump Cases

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Rep. Jerry Nadler’s (D-N.Y.) line of questioning sought to draw a contrast between the Justice Department’s separate investigations of whether President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump mishandled classified documents.

He started by noting that President Biden’s legal team voluntarily disclosed their discovery of classified documents in his possession.

“Let’s contrast this with President Trump. Are you aware that the FBI only learned that Trump was in possession of classified material after the National Archives discovered them?” he asked Mr. Hur.

The special counsel replied that he was not “intimately familiar with the facts” relating to President Trump’s case, though he confirmed that President Biden’s decision to willingly hand over the materials factored into his decision-making.

“By way of contrast, to the best of your knowledge, why did the Department of Justice seek a warrant to search Mar-a-Lago?” Mr. Nadler asked.

Mr. Hur again said he was not involved in those decisions.

“I’ll tell you it was because they were concerned that Trump had lied about possession of those documents, and might conceal or destroy them,” the congressman said, answering his own question.

But when Mr. Nadler sought confirmation that the special counsel had “no reason to believe” President Biden lied to him, Mr. Hur corrected him.

“I do address in my report one response the president gave to a question that we had posed to him that we deemed to be not credible.”

Mr. Nadler skated over that contradiction and moved on.

‘Thorough, Independent Investigation’: Hur Gives Opening Statement

By Samantha Flom

Special Counsel Robert Hur gives his opening statement to the House Judiciary Panel.

He defends commenting on the president’s memory in the report.

“The evidence and the President himself put his memory squarely at issue” as he repeatedly said he could not recall relevant facts, events, and information.

“My assessment in the report about the relevance of the President’s memory was necessary and accurate and fair. Most importantly, what I wrote is what I believe the evidence shows, and what I expect jurors would perceive and believe. I did not sanitize my explanation. Nor did I disparage the president unfairly. I explained to the Attorney General my decision and the reasons for it. That’s what I was required to do.”

Raskin Compares Biden and Trump Document Investigations

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Offering opening statements, House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) outlined what he considered the key points from Mr. Hur’s report, emphasizing that the special counsel’s report concluded that no criminal charges were warranted against President Biden.

He also highlighted that the president cooperated with the investigation, including allowing the FBI to search his homes and participating in a voluntary interview.

Secondly, Mr. Raskin asserted that President Biden’s actions were consistent with the rule of law in what he considers a contrast to the actions of former President Donald Trump, who allegedly obstructed justice by refusing to return classified documents and attempting to destroy evidence.

Finally, Mr. Raskin claimed that the report’s findings underscore the difference in conduct between the current and former president’s. He argued that the evidence presented demonstrates President Biden’s commitment to upholding the rule of law, while President Trump showed contempt for it.

Dueling Clips of Biden, Trump Kick Off Hur Hearing

By Samantha Flom

Members of the House Judiciary Committee launched their hearing of Justice Department special counsel Robert Hur’s testimony on Tuesday with contrasting displays of the memory lapses of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) started things off by showing footage from President Biden’s impromptu press conference following the release of Mr. Hur’s Feb. 8 report.

From the president’s heated exchanges with reporters to his mix-up of the presidents of Mexico and Egypt, the presser was widely panned as a disaster for the president that only served to heighten concerns about his mental fitness for office.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the committee’s top Democrat, used his opening statement to share a video montage of various moments where President Trump confused names or appeared to forget certain details.

Republicans have criticized Mr. Hur’s decision not to prosecute President Biden over his handling of classified materials as evidence of a two-tiered justice system given that President Trump is currently defending himself in court in a very similar case.

In his report, the special counsel identified President Biden’s “poor memory” as a key factor in his decision not to pursue charges.

He is expected to defend that decision in his testimony before the Judiciary Committee.

What to Know About Special Counsel Robert Hur’s Testimony of His Probe of Biden

By Jackson Richman

Special Counsel Robert Hur investigated the president for allegedly mishandling classified information from when he left the vice presidency in 2017. He is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. ET.

In his report, Mr. Hur said that while the president did so, he did not do so knowingly. Classified materials were found at the Penn Biden Center and his homes in Delaware. Some were tied to the war in Afghanistan and others were for his two memoirs that were ghostwritten by Mark Zwonitzer.

In his opening testimony, obtained by The Epoch Times, Mr. Hur is expected to say that he conducted a “thorough investigation.”

“We did not, however, identify evidence that rose to the level of proof beyond a

reasonable doubt,” he wrote in his opening remarks. “Because the evidence fell short of that standard, I declined to recommend criminal charges against Mr. Biden.”

Mr. Hur cited President Biden’s cognitive issues as being a reason for why a jury would not convict President Biden.

Republicans on the Committee are expected to portray what they say is a double standard in the justice system given President Trump being indicted for mishandling classified materials, a source familiar with the hearing told The Epoch Times.

Hur Defends Comments on Biden’s Memory, Decision Not to Prosecute

By Jackson Richman, Samantha Flom

Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Robert Hur will defend his decisions surrounding his probe of whether President Joe Biden mishandled classified information before the House Judiciary Committee on March 12—including his comments on the president’s memory.

The special counsel took flak from all sides over his Feb. 8 report detailing the findings of his investigation. While Republicans criticized his decision not to prosecute, the White House decried his depiction of President Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”
During the hearing, Mr. Hur is expected to defend both of those moves.

“The need to show my work was especially strong here. The Attorney General had appointed me to investigate the actions of the Attorney General’s boss, the sitting President of the United States. I knew that for my decision to be credible, I could not simply announce that I recommended no criminal charges and leave it at that. I needed to explain why,” Mr. Hur wrote in his opening statement for the hearing.

During questioning, he noted, “the evidence and the President himself put his memory squarely at issue” as he repeatedly said he could not recall relevant facts, events, and information.

“My assessment in the report about the relevance of the President’s memory was necessary and accurate and fair. Most importantly, what I wrote is what I believe the evidence shows, and what I expect jurors would perceive and believe. I did not sanitize my explanation. Nor did I disparage the president unfairly. I explained to the Attorney General my decision and the reasons for it. That’s what I was required to do.”

According to Mr. Hur, his team found evidence that the president willfully retained classified materials after his vice presidency. But that evidence, he said, did not rise to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Because the evidence fell short of that standard, I declined to recommend criminal charges against Mr. Biden,” he wrote.

Republicans on the committee are not expected to hold back as they thoroughly question Mr. Hur over his probe of President Biden allegedly mishandling classified information, a source familiar with the upcoming hearing told The Epoch Times.

Read full article here

From The Epoch Times

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