There are no “criminal charges” for President Biden who “voluntarily retained” confidential documents after being Obama’s vice president. This was reported in the report by special prosecutor Robert Hur. The report’s conclusions were anticipated, but have now become public. The investigation became necessary after folders were found in Biden’s office at Penn University in Washington and in the garage of his home in Delaware. There were documents on the war in Afghanistan and other national security issues, but Hur said there was not enough evidence to indict the then vice president.
The White House released a statement in which Biden said he was satisfied to see «that the conclusion I believed would be reached has been reached. Now there are no charges and the matter is closed.”
The president also recalled the five hours of interrogation he underwent over two days between 8 and 9 October precisely “during an international crisis” but which “he owed it to the American people”.
Now, however, those hours of face-to-face time with the special prosecutor could create more embarrassment and problems for Biden than the now closed affair on the documents.
According to the report – quoted by Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News – special counsel says Biden presented himself to investigators as “an older, well-intentioned man with a poor memory.”
Biden did not remember – we read – when he was vice president and when his mandate ended. And he asked, “Was it in 2013?” (The mandate expired on January 20, 2017). Years later he didn’t even remember the year of his son Beau’s death. He did not remember – the report highlights – the “debate on Afghanistan that had been so important for him”. The report does not specify whether by citing Afghanistan the prosecutor is referring to the US debate during the years of the Obama presidency or to the withdrawal of troops in August 2021.
The document comes just hours after the president’s gaffe that confused Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel. During a campaign event in New York on Wednesday evening, Biden recounted a 2021 conversation he had with “Helmut Kohl.” «When I was elected, I went to the G7. I sat down and said, Well, America is back. The French president asked me: for how long?”.
Then – continued Biden – the German leader Kohl looked at me and said: «What would Mr President say if I opened the London Times tomorrow morning and find out that a thousand people broke into the British Parliament and killed some people.” Kohl died in 2017.
Biden’s spokeswoman, Karine Jean Pierre, said during the briefing on Thursday that “it happens to all of us that we get names wrong.”
Biden’s lawyers wrote to Hur asking him to review the president’s memory descriptions, which is notable given voters’ concerns about his mental capacity.