Special prosecutor Robert Hur has released his findings on the withholding of confidential documents by US President Joe Biden, exonerating him on a legal level. However, Hur’s 388-page report highlights the fragility of the 81-year-old president’s “bad memory,” which seems to have deteriorated in recent years. This weakness has made Biden vulnerable politically, especially as he faces a close race with his main opponent, Donald Trump.
According to the report, Biden knowingly kept and disclosed classified documents after his vice-presidency while he was a private citizen. Despite this, Hur does not recommend an indictment, stating that 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 their existence. While the report may weaken Biden on the political level, it also emphasizes 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 what he perceived as a “two-tiered judicial system.” Republicans seized this opportunity to attack Biden’s competency by making statements about elderly individuals with bad memories not being fit to hold nuclear codes.
The White House responded negatively to the report, stating that comments on Biden’s memory were inaccurate or inappropriate. They argued that interviews took place during an international crisis, which may have contributed to his inaccuracies. Biden himself responded angrily to the report, insisting that he does not have any memory problems.
Overall, while Hur’s findings exonerate Biden legally, they have significantly weakened him politically by giving his opponents ammunition to question his fitness for office based on issues related to age and memory loss.