AG Garland pressed on Hur report, says Biden ‘has no impairment’

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Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed Wednesday that President Biden has “no impairment” after being pressed by a Republican lawmaker about the findings of special counsel Robert Hur’s report on Biden’s improper handling of classified documents. 

Garland, speaking to Rep. Ben Cline of Virginia during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Justice Department’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget request, said “I have seen the president effectively guide the members of the Department of his Cabinet and his military.” 

Garland declined to comment when asked by Cline if he agreed with Hur’s characterization that Biden is a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” saying “I’ve said before, and I’ll say again with respect to the report that it’s improper for the attorney general to editorialize.” 

“The president has no impairment. I don’t know how many ways I can say this. I have complete confidence in the president and I reject your characterization,” Garland also said. 

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Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 16 in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

Hur said in his report that he would bring no criminal charges against the president after a monthslong investigation into his improper retention of classified documents related to national security. 

During another part of his testimony, Garland said “I am glad to be able to report that last year we saw a significant decrease in overall violent crime across the country compared to the previous year, including an over 13% decline in homicides.  

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Joe Biden Robert Hur split image

Special counsel Robert Hur’s report calling out President Biden’s “poor memory” sparked widespread coverage of the leader’s mental capacity in office. (Reuters / Getty)

“That is the largest one-year decline in homicides in over 30 years,” he continued. “And data indicates that this decline is continuing.” 

Garland said the Justice Department is “seeking a total of $21 billion to support the efforts of the FBI, ATF, DEA, the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Attorney’s offices, as well as the criminal Division and the National Security Division.”

Garland testifies in DC

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland  says homicides have fallen in the U.S. (Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

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He said the funding would be used to fight gun violence and “strengthen our work to counter both foreign and domestic terrorism.” 

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

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