Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Transcript of Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur shows memory lapses — but also detailed exchanges

By 37ci3 Mar12,2024



WASHINGTON – The special counsel Robert Hur’s bombshell report It concluded that President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents made him appear to be an “old man with a failing memory” who could not remember key dates, including his time as vice president and the year his son died.

Biden, for his part, has Hur condemned For bringing up the subject of the death of Beau Biden and his lawyers criticized the report.

But a transcript of Biden’s interview reviewed by NBC News paints a more nuanced picture on both sides.

Although the president said Hur was the first to bring up his son’s death, the transcript shows it was Biden himself. This was reported by NBC News.

Biden, who often thinks out loud in response to specific questions, at other times recalls in detail specific events during his time as vice president.

Biden spoke with Hur for 3½ hours on October 8 and for 90 minutes the next day. When Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, the time was very difficult as a major international crisis erupted.

Biden has faced questions from Hur and another federal prosecutor about documents he saw as vice president, where and how he kept them, and why some sensitive material remained in his hands more than five years after he left office.

At one point, Hur admitted that some of the questions he would be asking “will have to do with things that happened years ago.” In response, Biden joked: “I’m young, so it’s not a problem.”

According to a review of the transcript, Biden sometimes strayed from the narrow subject areas of certain questions. At one point, he described in vivid detail his trip to Mongolia in 2011, where he demonstrated his unexpected archery skills at a cultural performance in his honor.

Biden said he often couldn’t remember a specific event or, for example, that certain items were packaged in a certain way. And at times he or his attorneys challenged the appropriateness or propriety of questions they asked prosecutors, with Biden at one point challenging the logic of one of Hur’s lines of questioning.

He submitted the full transcript to Congress on Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., subpoenaed it and other materials related to the investigation.

Biden’s allies believe a full reading of the transcript will bolster their argument that Hur’s characterization of Biden during the interview was not based on reality. They argue that Hur’s occasionally confused questioning may have contributed to the confusion.

Hur’s assessment of Biden’s mental fitness is likely to be front and center as Hur makes his first public appearance since the report’s release last month, testifying before Republican-led committees on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

In his opening statement, Hur planned to defend his investigation, the final report and his handling of Biden’s age.

“I knew that in order for my decision to be valid, I couldn’t just declare that I had no criminal charges and walk away from it. I should have explained why,” Hur planned to say, according to an advance copy of his notes.

When discussing the president’s age, Hur would say that his characterization was “necessary, accurate and fair.”

“What I wrote is what I believe the evidence shows and what I expect jurors to accept and believe,” he said. “I did not clarify my explanation. I did not unjustly insult the president.”

The year Beau Biden died

While the White House welcomed Hur’s decision not to press criminal charges, officials strongly objected to the report he submitted to the Justice Department. The president’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer, accused Hur of “investigative overreach” and said his report “violated Department rules and regulations.”

In a letter to Hur before the report was released, Bauer and Special Counsel to the President Richard Sauber said Hur had no comment on Biden’s memo.accurate or appropriate” and they “used very prejudicial language to describe a common phenomenon among eyewitnesses: the failure to remember events that happened years ago”.

Speaking to reporters on the night of the report, Biden was outraged at the suggestion that Hur could not remember “even when his son Beau died in a couple of years.”

“How dare he bring that up?” Biden said. “I don’t need anyone, I don’t need him to remind me when he dies.”

Hur’s year-long investigation took him deep into the weeds of perhaps the most tumultuous period of Biden’s half-century in public life. Biden left office in 2017, nearly two years after burying his son. Beau Biden’s battle with cancer and Biden’s decision not to run for president in 2016 set in motion an unexpected series of events that would return him to the White House in 2021.

It was while trying to share part of this timeline that Biden made a mistake in an interview with Hur that Hur seized on the damning outcome of his report.

But while Biden said Hur brought up the subject of his son’s death, that was it This was reported by NBC News, first raised by Biden himself. About halfway through the first day of the interview, Hur asked Biden where he could keep documents related to his work since leaving the vice presidency in 2017.

“Remember, during this time, my son is either deployed or dead,” Biden said.

As he continued to return to the cycle, he came together in the 2016 election, in the months following Beau Biden’s death in 2015, with initial considerations of a 2020 bid after he left office.

“Even though I was at Penn, I didn’t walk away from the idea that I could run again,” he said, referring to the Penn Biden Center, which was established after he left office.

Biden then asked what month his son died and quickly noted the date: May 30. The transcript shows that others intervened to identify the year: 2015.

“And Trump was elected in November 2017,” he said on the transcript, before another participant corrected him to say 2016.

“Yes, okay. But then Trump swears in,” he said, before moving on to describe the book “Promise Me, Dad,” which he will spend the next year documenting the years leading up to and after his son’s death.

“It’s personal,” he said.

There were other moments during two days of questioning, when it appeared that Biden had matched specific events to the correct years. In 2019, he discussed moving items from his rented home in Virginia to Delaware, saying he needed furniture to set up a home studio to make media appearances during the coronavirus pandemic that began a year later.

Removal

These points are likely to provide fodder for Republicans who want to continue political attacks on Biden’s ability to continue in office. Tuesday’s hearing comes a few days later Biden’s State of the Union speech appeal received by fellow Democrats with applause.

A full reading of the more than 250 pages of transcripts reveals the often mundane and lengthy discussions between Biden and prosecutors about how classified documents were reviewed as vice president and how his belongings were moved between the White House and his business associates. Delaware House and other places.

There were minimal interruptions in the two-day questioning, with Biden often rejecting offers to stop the proceedings.

“I prefer to move on. If we can do it, I’ll be going all night,” he said.

Biden’s attorneys intervened at times when they disputed prosecutors’ line of questioning, with Bauer at one point telling Hur “not to make him speculate or speculate or try to do detective work.”

“I think we’re going down a confusing path here,” Bauer said at another point. “They’re obviously trying to build something,” Biden said.

Biden’s career in foreign policy was clear from start to finish. The sessions began after Huron acknowledged the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

“I know there are a lot of other things going on in the world that need your attention,” Hur said. “Somebody can cut us off,” Biden said, adding that he had just spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At another point, Biden described his role as President Barack Obama’s No. 2.

“I was basically going to be the guy taking the heat, which I was willing to do because I knew as much as they did,” Biden said, referring to early discussions in the Obama administration about the future of the war in Afghanistan. .

He also noted that some of the issues he dealt with as the vice president continue today. A heavily redacted portion of the transcript comes in a context reminiscent of Biden’s meetings with lawmakers as vice president on the Iran nuclear deal. And discussing the issues Justice Department officials found regarding Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to the United States, Biden noted that he had been in contact with Francis.

“He’s my ticket,” Biden said before making it clear he was joking.

Lighter moments

Even during heated debates, Biden often found ways to lighten the mood. At several points, he teased investigators about their various searches of his property.

“I hope you didn’t find any risque photos of my wife in a bathing suit, you probably did. She’s beautiful,” Biden said at one point.

After a lengthy discussion of the boxes found in Biden’s garage, Hur asked his colleagues if they had any other questions.

“Yes. When will I clean the rest?” Biden said.

Biden was particularly keen to discuss his love of cars when questioned about the boxes found near the Corvette. At one point, the transcript includes “Car Makes Sound” to capture Biden’s comments.



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By 37ci3

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