Special Counsel’s Investigation Concludes: No Charges Against President Biden

The special counsel in charge of investigating President Joe Biden for possessing highly classified materials after his vice presidency said he “willfully” retained and disclosed those documents, but he opted against charging Biden, in part, because he’d come across in front of a jury as a “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.”

Those were the words of special counsel Robert Hur, who released his report Thursday after a yearlong probe into documents found at Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home.

Attorney General Merrick Garland named Hur, a former U.S. attorney for Maryland, to handle the Justice Department inquiry in January 2023.

“Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen,” Hur wrote.

Further, Biden shared the classified documents with a ghostwriter for his memoir, who deleted audio recordings he had done with Biden when the investigation into the documents was opened. The ghostwriter isn’t getting charged, either.

Hur’s investigation rendered several findings:

— The documents found “included (1) marked classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, and (2) notebooks containing Mr. Biden’s handwritten entries about issues of national security and foreign policy implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods.” These were scattered in offices, a garage and basement den at Biden’s Delaware home.

— “Biden shared information, including some classified information, from those notebooks with his ghostwriter. FBI agents recovered the notebooks from the office and basement den in Mr. Biden’s Delaware home in January 2023.”

— Biden had “marked classified documents about Afghanistan. These documents from fall 2009 have classification markings up to the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level.” These were found in a box in Biden’s garage.

— “In a recorded conversation with his ghostwriter in February 2017, about a month after he left office, Mr. Biden said, while referencing” a memo, “that he had ‘just found all the classified stuff downstairs.'” Those documents were in Virginia with Biden at the time, which he would later move to Delaware.

“When Mr. Biden told his ghostwriter about finding ‘all the classified stuff downstairs,’ his tone was matter-of-fact,” Hur wrote in his report. “For a person who had viewed classified documents nearly every day for eight years as vice president, including regularly in his home, finding classified documents at home less than a month after leaving office could have been an unremarkable and forgettable event.”

Hur’s defense of Biden went on.

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Hur wrote.

“Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him-by then a former president well into his eighties-of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”

In addition, Hur’s investigation rendered these findings:

— The FBI also found notebooks containing classified information in Delaware. “Evidence shows that he knew the notebooks contained classified information. Mr. Biden wrote down obviously sensitive information discussed during intelligence briefings with President Obama and meetings in the White House Situation Room about matters of national security and military and foreign policy.”

— “And while reading his notebook entries aloud during meetings with his ghostwriter … at least three times Mr. Biden read from classified entries aloud to his ghostwriter nearly verbatim.”

— “Some evidence also suggests Mr. Biden knew he could not keep classified handwritten notes at home after leaving office.”

“Asked about reports that former President Trump had kept classified documents at his own home, Mr. Biden wondered how ‘anyone could be that irresponsible’ and voiced concern about ‘[w]hat data was in there that may compromise sources and methods,'” Hur wrote.

— Biden “told his ghostwriter during a recorded interview, the same staff who arranged to secure his classified notecards, ‘didn’t even know’ he had retained possession of his classified notebooks.

“During our interview of him, Mr. Biden was emphatic, declaring that his notebooks are ‘my property’ and that ‘every president before me has done the exact same thing,’ that is, kept handwritten classified materials after leaving office,” Hur wrote.

— “After learning of the special counsel’s appointment in this matter, Mr. Biden’s ghostwriter deleted audio recordings he had created of his discussions with Mr. Biden during the writing of Mr. Biden’s 2017 memoir. The recordings had significant evidentiary value.”

— “The FBI recovered all deleted audio files relating to the memoir, though portions of a few of the files appear to be missing.”

“While the ghostwriter admitted that he deleted the recordings after he learned of the special counsel’s investigation, the evidence falls short of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to impede an investigation, which is the intent required by law,” Hur wrote.

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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