Robert Hur: White House Asked Special Counsel to 'Revise' Descriptions of Biden's Memory Lapses

Biden, 81, criticized Hur's portrayal of his mental acuity on the evening the report was released, labeling him as a "Republican counsel".

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White House attorneys requested former special counsel Robert Hur to "revise" descriptions of President Biden's memory lapses before the release last month of Hur's report defending his decision not to bring charges against the president for retaining national security material.

Hur also said that Biden repeatedly kept telling him that he had "no idea" regarding how government documents ended up at his D.C. office and his Wilmington garage according to an interview transcript released just before the start of a bombshell hearing on Tuesday. "They did request certain edits and changes to the draft report," Hur told the House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) during his testimony on Tuesday.

Bombshell Revelations

Robert Hur
Robert Hur X

The former special counsel was referring to a letter dated February 5 from White House Counsel Richard Sauber and Biden's personal lawyer, Bob Bauer. "We request that you revisit your descriptions of President Biden's memory and revise them so that they are stated in a manner that is within the bounds of your expertise and remit," the attorneys wrote.

Three days later, Attorney General Merrick Garland released Hur's report.

Biden speech
Joe Biden Twitter

House Oversight Committee ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said at the start of the hearing that the president did not "seek to redact a single word of Mr. Hur's report", despite his lawyers' repeated appeals to Justice Department officials.

"The report thus demonstrates President Biden's complete devotion to the rule of law, and his respect for a fair and independent Department of Justice," Raskin said.

"President Biden did not assert executive privilege or claim absolute immunity for presidential crimes. He did not hide boxes of documents under his bed nor in a bathtub. He did not fight investigators, nor did he seek to redact a single word of Mr. Hur's report," he added.

Biden garage
Photographs show a cluttered storage space in Biden's garage, featuring a running machine, a step ladder, and what seemed to be an old bean bag X

"He consented to the search of numerous locations, including his homes, and he did everything to cooperate not obstruct."

Sauber sent another letter to Garland on February 7, the day before the report was released, alleging that Hur had "violate[d] Department of Justice policy and practice by pejoratively characterizing uncharged conduct," according to a copy of the letter published by Politico.

"The Special Counsel can certainly and properly note that the President lacked memory of a specific fact or series of events," Sauber said. "But his report goes further to include allegations that the President has a failing memory in a general sense, an allegation that has no law enforcement purpose."

Trying to Paint a Clean Picture

Jordan highlighted a third letter from Sauber and Bauer, sent to Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer on February 12, which also alleged that Hur had breached department policy.

Biden garage
A view of Biden's garage where he stored classified Afghanistan documents X

"We reiterate our objections to Special Counsel Hur's inclusion of these unnecessary and unwarranted comments in the strongest possible terms," Sauber and Bauer wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Politico.

Hur said that the inclusion of Biden's memory lapses, which pertained to the dates of his tenure as vice president, the year his son Beau died from brain cancer, and his understanding of what a fax machine is, was essential to "demonstrate my process" or "show my work."

Joe Biden
Joe Biden Twitter

"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 said.

Biden, 81, criticized Hur's portrayal of his mental acuity on the evening the report was released, labeling him as a "Republican counsel" despite Hur's unanimous confirmation as the former US attorney for Maryland in 2018.

Former President Donald Trump nominated Hur as Maryland's top federal prosecutor in February of that year, and he was confirmed the next month, with both of the state's Democratic senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, praising the selection.

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