Latest News 29-06-2024 21:02 14 Views

Special Counsel Robert Hur ‘vindicated,’ ‘deserves an apology’ after Biden debate performance: analysts

Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report described President Biden as 'a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory' — and numerous political analysts said that was exactly the impression that the president left on viewers of the debate on Thursday.

In the February report, which noted that Biden's 'memory also appeared to have significant limitations,' Hur said he would bring no criminal charges against the president after a months-long investigation into his improper retention of classified documents related to national security.

'Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone from whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt,' the report stated. 'It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.'

During and after Biden's debate against former President Donald Trump this week, several political analysts took to social media to suggest that Hur, who faced criticism from Democrats and liberal media figures over the report's comments about Biden's memory and judgment, had been 'vindicated' and 'deserves an apology.'

'You know who’s looking really vindicated tonight? Special counsel Robert Hur,' Jim Geraghty, National Review's senior political correspondent and a Washington Post contributing columnist, said amid Biden's performance.

Echoing Geraghty, Charles C.W. Cooke, a British-born American journalist and a senior writer at National Review Online, wrote in a post to X, 'Robert Hur deserves an apology.'

Former Trump-era White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also weighed in on Biden's performance by referencing Hur.

'Biden is worse than anyone knew. Robert Hur must have been truly shocked. Now the country is,' McEnany, the co-host of Fox News' 'Outnumbered,' said in a post to social media.

During the interview with Hur, Biden, according to the report, 'did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended ('if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?'), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began ('in 2009, am I still Vice President?')' 

'He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him. Among other things, he mistakenly said he ‘had a real difference’ of opinion with General Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Eiden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama,' Hur's report said.

Biden and his allies aggressively pushed back on concerns about his mental fitness in the report’s wake. Though a full transcript of the interview has been released, Republican lawmakers are still seeking audio tapes of the discussions.

Earlier this week, ahead of the debate, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said House Republicans will file a lawsuit next week to force the Department of Justice (DOJ) to hand over audio tapes of Hur's interview with Biden.

'We are going to file a suit next week against the — against the Department of Justice to enforce that subpoena. We'll go to district court here in D.C., which is the appropriate venue, and we will fight vigorously to get it,' Johnson told reporters at his regular press conference.

Attorney General Merrick Garland previously refused House GOP investigators' subpoena for the audio tapes, citing Biden's claim of executive privilege.

Garland's refusal spurred House Republicans to hold him in contempt earlier this month, referring Garland to his own department for criminal charges. The DOJ ultimately declined to prosecute.

Following Biden's debate performance, several media figures now support the release of the audio tapes from the president's interview with Hur, including Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle.

'If you hold out hope that Biden’s performance on Thursday was just an aberration, you should call for the administration to release the tapes of his interview with Robert Hur so we can all hear what he sounds like when he doesn’t have a cold,' McArdle wrote in a post on X.

Fox News' Brooke Singman and Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.


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