Biden Transcript Calls Into Question Special Counsel’s Bombshell Memory Claims

Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters
Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters
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A transcript from a special counsel’s interviews with President Biden about his handling of classified documents shows that the Democrat repeatedly insisted he never deliberately intended to retain sensitive files, according to reports, while also shedding light on some of the exchanges that led to a bombshell claim about Biden’s memory.

Biden did at times appear uncertain about dates and the order of events during his conversations with special counsel Robert Hur last October. But the transcript of their interviews could lead to questions about Hur’s sensational conclusions about Biden having “significant limitations” on his memory, according to the Associated Press.

‘Not Born Yesterday’: Special Counsel Hur Faces Fiery Grilling on Biden Report

Last month, Hur said in a report that he had chosen not to bring charges against the president over his handling of classified documents partly because he would be able to portray himself as an “elderly man with a poor memory.” Hur said that Biden had been unable to accurately place when his son, Beau, had died, and also had trouble recalling when his tenure as vice president started and ended.

Biden had angrily hit back at Hur in relation to his son’s death. “How in the hell dare he raise that,” Biden said on the day the report was released. “Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself it wasn’t any of their damn business.”

In fact, the transcript shows that Hur never even asked about Beau’s death. It was Biden himself who brought up the subject while he discussed a book in which he addressed his son’s illness and death, according to AP, which has reviewed the transcript.

“What month did Beau die?” Biden asked, before adding: “Oh God, May 30th,” the correct date. After a White House lawyer said the death was in 2015, Biden asked: “Was it 2015 he died?”

The exchange came as part of conversations in which Biden was grilled about the documents he’d seen during his time as vice president, along with where and how he’d stored them, and why some were still in his possession years after leaving office.

Biden reportedly insisted multiple times in the interviews that he didn’t know how classified documents had ended up in his home and former private office in Washington, D.C. “I have no idea,” he said at one point, also claiming that he would have handed over sensitive materials to the government had he been aware they were there.

Elsewhere, the transcript reportedly shows lighter moments in the conversations. Biden joked with prosecutors that the “FBI knows my house better than I do” and said: “I just hope you didn’t find any risqué pictures of my wife in a bathing suit,” according to The Washington Post. “Which you probably did,” he added. “She’s beautiful.”

The commander-in-chief also made noises like a car on more than one occasion in the interviews, the Post reports, including while discussing his Chevrolet Corvette and at another point when he spoke about electric vehicles. He told prosecutors at another stage of the conversation that he could tell that a photograph is old because “I have my arm around Lindsey Graham.”

Hur is testifying before Republican-led congressional committees Tuesday. In prepared remarks, Hur defended his assessment of Biden’s memory and age as “accurate and fair.” “What I wrote is what I believe the evidence shows, and what I expect jurors would perceive and believe,” he wrote. “I did not sanitize my explanation. Nor did I disparage the President unfairly.”

He also claimed that “the evidence and the President himself put his memory squarely at issue.”

Biden ‘Willfully’ Kept Classified Docs But Won’t Be Charged Over It, Special Counsel Says

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