Special counsel Robert Hur has opted not to prosecute President Joe Biden for his handling of classified documents, citing serious risks to national security. Hur’s report, prompted by evidence of Biden’s retention and disclosure of classified materials, found that while Biden’s practices did not establish guilt, they posed significant security concerns. Moreover, the report underscored material distinctions between Biden’s actions and the pending case against Donald Trump, concluding that Trump’s handling of classified documents presented serious aggravating facts.
Hur’s report’s portrayal of Biden’s memory was also highlighted, claiming that the president’s memory limitations would make it more difficult for a jury to find him guilty. In a statement following the report’s release, Biden expressed satisfaction with the conclusion and emphasized his full cooperation with the investigation, further reinforcing the sympathetic representation of him as an elderly man with a poor memory. Notably, the report noted that Biden’s memory was notably worse during his interview, making it difficult to prosecute him based on willfulness.
Hur’s announcement, alongside the release of his report, puts Biden in the clear and maintains Trump as the only president in history to face criminal charges over mishandling classified documents. The intricacies of both cases highlight the unique considerations made in each instance, and the report’s conclusion seems to have brought the matter to a close. The investigation stemmed from Biden’s personal attorney discovering classified documents in 2022, which led to a comprehensive review of the president’s actions with respect to classified materials beyond his vice presidency.