The private investigator said Joe Biden will not face criminal charges over handling classified documents, after he portrayed himself as an “old man with a weak memory.”
Robert Hoare said President Biden He “knowingly maintained and disclosed classified materials” after he was vice president and when he was a “private citizen,” and his actions pose “serious national security risks.”
But the prosecutor said he chose not to file criminal charges after a 15-month investigation because Biden cooperated and would likely be difficult to convict.
“We considered that, during the trial, Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-intentioned elderly man with a poor memory,” he wrote in a report.
Hoare said Biden's memory was “quite limited” when he was interviewed by prosecutors.
The report claims that he cannot remember when he was Vice President or when his son Beau Biden died.
previous president Donald Trumpwho faces a 40-count indictment for keeping secret documents, criticized the decision as a sign of a “two-tiered justice system.”
Biden insisted he had “fully cooperated.” Biden, who began office in January 2009 and ended in January 2017, welcomed the outcome and said he agreed to conduct five hours of personal interviews during the two days following the Hamas attack on Israel on July 7. October. last year.
Richard Sauber, a special adviser to the president, said mistakes made when filling out documents while out of office are an “unfortunately common occurrence” and have occurred with every administration over the past 50 years.
But he added that the White House disagreed with “a number of inaccurate and inappropriate comments” in the special counsel's report.
The report may embarrass Biden, who is 81 years old, amid criticism that he is too old to serve another four-year term, after he also tried to compare with Trump regarding personal ethics and national security.
Biden's critics charged with a particularly troubling judgment about the president's memory
He won't face charges but that's not the big news.
The Justice Department's special counsel's report is extremely damning in its assessment of the US President's mental state.
In more than 200 pages, Robert Hoare explains why President Joe Biden will not face charges of possession of classified documents after leaving office as vice president.
Essentially, the report concludes that a conviction is unlikely because the jury would regard him as “a well-intentioned elderly man with a poor memory…a person about whom many jurors would want to make a determination of reasonable doubt.”
He added: “Mr. Biden's memory was severely limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017, and in his interview with our office in 2023… He did not remember when he was Vice President…
“He did not remember, even for several years, when his son Beau died. His memory seemed hazy as he described the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him.”
For any sitting president, this would be a harsh portrayal. But it's especially troubling for President Biden. The 81-year-old is facing increasing questions about his age and mental abilities.
Read Mark Stone's full analysis here
“Secret things in the basement”
The investigation concluded that Biden obtained classified information about the US war in Afghanistan and other national security matters.
Biden told a writer who was working on his memoir in a house he was renting in Virginia in February 2017 that he “just found all the secret stuff in the basement.”
Hoare said the writer deleted audio recordings of his conversations with Biden after learning of the investigation, but kept the transcripts.
Mr. Hoare's report said the conversation created the “best case” for bringing charges against Biden, but also wrote that the documents may have been moved to his home while he was vice president, when he had power.
Members of Biden's legal team found the confidential papers in the office of his research center in Washington His personal residence is in Wilmington, Delaware.
What's the difference between Donald Trump's case?
In a statement, Trump described the report's decision as an “unconstitutional selective prosecution” while he fights his own case about the confiscation of classified files.
While there are similarities between the two cases, there are also some notable differences.
Trump was charged after prosecutors said he refused for months to hand over boxes of presidential records at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, and took steps to hide the documents after the US government demanded their return.
What investigations does Trump face?
Supreme Court questions Trump's Colorado ban
FBI search in August 2022 Prosecutors claimed that more than 100 confidential documents were found about the property.
He has pleaded not guilty and accused prosecutors of being politically motivated ahead of a trial scheduled for May, which will likely be postponed.
Biden's lawyers said they notified the National Archives after a “small number” of classified documents were found in November 2022.
Additional documents were later found in a garage and library at his Delaware home and turned over to the Department of Justice.