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Biden counsel defends decision to comment on president’s memory

Washington, Mar 12 (Prensa Latina) Special counsel Robert Hur on Tuesday is expected to defend his decision to comment on President Biden’s memory, saying he aimed neither to sanitize nor disparage the president in justifying his decision not to bring charges.

“The need to show my work was especially strong here. The Attorney General had appointed me to investigate the actions of the Attorney General’s boss, the sitting President of the United States. I knew that for my decision to be credible, I could not simply announce that I recommended no criminal charges and leave it at that. I needed to explain why,” Hur wrote in opening remarks.

The comments are Hur’s first public remarks since releasing a report that said there was insufficient evidence to conclude Biden intentionally kept over 50 classified records that were found at his home and an old office.

But that report included notable commentary about Biden’s mental acuity, including that he would likely be perceived by a jury as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Hur said both the “evidence and the president himself put his memory squarely at issue” by relaying he had no recollection of how documents ended up in his home and garage, a tranche that included documents about Afghanistan.

“My assessment in the report about the relevance of the President’s memory was necessary and accurate and fair. Most importantly, what I wrote is what I believe the evidence shows, and what I expect jurors would perceive and believe. I did not sanitize my explanation. Nor did I disparage the president unfairly. I explained to the Attorney General my decision and the reasons for it. That’s what I was required to do,” Hur wrote.

Hur was tasked with evaluating whether Biden violated the Espionage Act, which prohibits the willful retention of national defense information.

The need to evaluate Biden’s intent could not be made “without assessing the President’s state of mind,” Hur said.

“We did not, however, identify evidence that rose to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Because the evidence fell short of that standard, I declined to recommend criminal charges against Mr. Biden,” Hur added.

Hur will be testifying Tuesday as a private citizen; his work for the Justice Department ended last week.

The special counsel also defended his comments about the pending classified documents case against former President Trump, dedicating a portion of his report to what he called “several material distinctions” between the two cases, including Trump repeatedly rebuffing requests to return the documents.

“I took the same approach when I compared the evidence regarding President Biden to the Department’s allegations against former President Trump. There too, I called it like I saw it. As a prosecutor, I had to consider relevant precedents and to explain why different facts justified different outcomes,” Hur said.

“We did not, however, identify evidence that rose to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Because the evidence fell short of that standard, I declined to recommend criminal charges against Mr. Biden,” Hur added.

Hur will be testifying Tuesday as a private citizen; his work for the Justice Department ended last week.

The special counsel also defended his comments about the pending classified documents case against former President Trump, dedicating a portion of his report to what he called “several material distinctions” between the two cases, including Trump repeatedly rebuffing requests to return the documents.

“I took the same approach when I compared the evidence regarding President Biden to the Department’s allegations against former President Trump. There too, I called it like I saw it. As a prosecutor, I had to consider relevant precedents and to explain why different facts justified different outcomes,” Hur said.

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