“It would be difficult to convince a jury that he — who was by then a former president in his 80s — should be convicted of a serious felony requiring a mental state of premeditation.”
The investigation began last year after classified documents from Biden's time as vice president were found in an old office he had previously used and also at his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
But while the report found that Biden's conduct presented serious risks, addressing those risks with criminal charges “is not the appropriate remedy here.”
“We conclude that the evidence does not prove Mr. Biden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” the report says.
The letter stated, “He did not remember when he was vice president, and he forgot on the first day of the interview when his term ended… and he forgot on the second day of the interview when his term began.”
“He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. His memory seemed hazy as he described the Afghanistan debate, which was once so important to him.
“Among other things, he incorrectly said that he had a real difference of opinion with General Carl Eikenberry,” he added. [a former US ambassador to Afghanistan] While in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.
In an emotional and at times angry reaction to the report, Biden, 81, told reporters that the assertion that he intentionally kept secret documents was “not only misleading, it is completely false.”
He added: “There is a sign that I do not remember when my son died.” “How the hell dare he raise that?”
Hoare was appointed in connection with a separate investigation into the mishandling of classified documents related to Trump, a former president who has since been indicted by special counsel Jack Smith and is awaiting trial.
But unlike Trump, who sought to hide the documents and keep them at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, Biden's representatives contacted the National Archives to return the documents once lawyers discovered them.
However, the report is likely to temper Democrats' attacks on Trump's handling of classified documents, and also heighten concerns that Biden is too old for another term in the White House.
Alex Pfeiffer, communications director for Make America Great Again Inc, said Biden is “clearly unfit to lead this nation.”
He added: “If you are too senile to stand trial, then you are too senile to be president.”
Trump also criticized the outcome, saying it was another example of America's “dual” justice system.
However, the president's lawyers rejected the special counsel's description of Biden's memory, saying it was not “accurate or appropriate.”
The investigation was based on interviews with more than 100 witnesses. Part of the committee's findings focus on Biden's handling of classified documents related to Afghanistan — specifically, the decision by the Obama administration to send additional troops there.
According to the report, Biden kept these documents at his home in Delaware after he left his position as Vice President. He also preserved materials documenting his opposition to the troop surge, including a secret 2009 handwritten memo from Obama.
Some information was revealed to its ghostwriter, who did not have the authority to view such material.
Photos included in the report showed some secret Afghan documents contained in a worn-out cardboard box stored in his garage with other items.
It would not have been possible for Biden to be tried as a sitting president, but the Hoare report indicates that it would not recommend charges against him regardless.
“We would reach the same conclusion even if Department of Justice policy had not prevented criminal charges against a sitting president,” the report said.
Biden said in a statement that he was pleased that the special counsel “reached the conclusion I thought all along they would: that no charges will be filed in this case and that the matter is now closed.”
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