Vice President Kamela Harris led the counterattack on Friday against the special investigation into Biden’s handling of confidential documents, and in particular the closing comments about his mental state.
Biden was cleared of the suspicion of illegal handling of documents from his time as vice president for Barack Obama.
Among the documents are material on US policy in Afghanistan and other sensitive topics that were found in an office he had rented in Washington and at his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Not legal measures
Special investigator Robert Hur says that Biden kept the documents after his time as vice president was over and that this is against the regulations. But Hur believes in sum that there is no basis for legal measures.
Hur has also stated that in conversations with him, Biden appeared “as a likeable, well-intentioned elderly gentleman with a bad memory”. Among other things, the report states that Biden does not remember which years he was vice president, nor when his son Beau died of a brain tumor.
At midnight local time, on the night of Friday, the president fiercely defended himself by saying that his memory was absolutely excellent, even though during the press conference he included the presidents of Mexico and Egypt. He was also furious that the special investigator commented on his son’s death.
Vice President Harris was very vocal in his criticism of the mention of Biden.
– The remarks about the president’s appearance could not be more wrong. It is obviously politically motivated publicity, said Harris.
Her comment is interpreted as the White House changing its strategy from criticizing the report itself to questioning special investigator Hur’s motivation. Spokesperson Ian Sams on Friday described Hur’s comments as unwarranted and inappropriate criticism and went as far as to claim that he overstepped his authority due to the inflamed, polarized situation in American politics.
Hur was originally nominated by former President Donald Trump to be the attorney general of Maryland in 2017. Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland then appointed him as a special investigator in the specific case of the documents found in Biden’s custody.
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