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President Joe Biden has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing over the retention and disclosure of highly classified materials, per a report by Special Counsel Robert Hur. Despite the findings that Biden “willfully” retained and disclosed classified information as a private citizen, including documents on Afghanistan and other national security concerns, Hur concluded that no criminal charges are warranted against Biden or anyone else involved.
In a report, Special Counsel Hur said, “Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.”
The investigation, which spanned over a year, scrutinized Biden’s management of classified documents from his tenure as senator and vice president, discovered at his Delaware home and a former office. The report delves into Biden’s retention of classified documents related to Afghanistan, highlighting a 2009 classified memo to then-President Obama as evidence of Biden’s stance on key vice-presidential decisions. Despite the potential for charges based on his possession of these documents as a private citizen, the report suggests Biden’s subsequent forgetfulness about these records might convince jurors of the non-willful nature of their retention.
Furthermore, the report discusses Biden’s “limited memory” and the possibility of him presenting as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” to jurors, factors that influenced the decision-making process. The comparison with previous cases, such as Gen. David Petraeus’s guilty plea for sharing classified information, including his belief that the notebooks containing classified information were his personal property. “Every president before me has done the exact same thing,” Biden was quoted during his interview with prosecutors, asserting his perspective on the matter.