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There was more devastating news for President Joe Biden then met the eye in Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report of his handling of classified documents.
Since the report, many in the media have been speculating about the president’s memory issues, but the report details that his memory issues actually go back to his time as vice president for former President Obama.
“Mr. Biden will likely present himself to the jury, as he did during his interview with our office, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Hur wrote in explaining his rationale for refusing prosecution. “…It would be difficult to convince a jury they should convict him – by then a former president who will be at least well into his eighties – of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”
“Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen,” the report said, adding that Biden also could not recall the years he served as vice president or the year his son, Beau, died of brain cancer.
Per the Washington Examiner, here is a list of references that Hur made regarding Biden’s declining mental capacity and memory; they touch on Biden’s past positions and the president’s work with a ghostwriter, Mark Zwonitzer, for his 2017 memoir, “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose”:
— “Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017, and in his interview with our office in 2023.”
— “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.”
— “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 willfullness.”
— “Mr. Biden’s memory also appeared to have significant limitations — both at the time he spoke to Zwonitzer in 2017, as evidenced by their recorded conversations, and today, as evidenced by his recorded interview with our office. Mr. Biden’s recorded conversations with Zwonitzer from 2017 are often painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.”
— “In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse. He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘If it was 2013 — when did I stop being vice president?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘In 2009, am I still vice president?’).”
— “He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.”
— “His memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him. Among other things, he mistakenly said he ‘had a real difference’ of opinion with Gen. Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally who Mr. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.”
— “In a case where the government must prove that Mr. Biden knew he had possession of the classified Afghanistan documents, knowing he was violating the law, we expect that at trial, his attorneys would emphasize these limitations in his recall.”
— “Mr. Biden’s apparent lapses and failures in February and April 2017 will likely appear consistent with the diminished faculties and faulty memory he showed in Zwonitzer’s interview recordings and in our interview of him.”
— “A former executive assistant to Mr. Biden confirmed that at times Mr. Biden committed talking points to memory by writing them down, sometimes multiple times.”
— “The special counsel asked Mr. Biden about the Jan. 29, 2015 breakfast with senators and the handwritten notes in the EYES ONLY envelope during Mr. Biden’s interview. Mr. Biden had no recollection of the breakfast or the handwritten notes.”