DOJ Misses Subpoena Deadline to Share Biden’s Special Counsel Interview Transcript: House Panel

This development comes ahead of special counsel Robert Hur’s March 12 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

The Department of Justice failed to meet a March 7 deadline to hand over materials to the House Judiciary Committee related to special counsel Robert Hur’s interview with President Joe Biden over his mishandling of classified documents, a spokesperson for the committee told The Epoch Times.

“We received a small production from DOJ but not the transcripts or audio that we need and requested,” said the spokesperson, Russell Dye.

“Our staff has all necessary clearances to review the contents of the President’s interview, which dealt with materials found in unsecured areas like garages, closets and commercial office space,” he continued. “We are evaluating next steps.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to the Department of Justice for comment.

This development comes ahead of Mr. Hur’s March 12 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

The hearing will be about Mr. Hur’s recently released report on the probe in which the special counsel declined to bring charges against the president but found that he had “willfully” retained classified documents.

‘Well-Meaning, Elderly Man’

The report also detailed findings on President Biden’s “poor memory,” which led to intense scrutiny of the president’s mental acuity, while sparking backlash from the administration. Biden officials have described the characterizations as politically motivated.

“Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen,” Mr. Hur wrote in a 388-page report to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The materials, the report stated, included “marked classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, and notebooks containing Mr. Biden’s handwritten entries about issues of national security and foreign policy implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods.”

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The FBI collected these items last year, during a search of President Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware. The FBI also searched the president’s home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where they found classified materials.

Nonetheless, Mr. Hur said that “the evidence does not establish Mr. Biden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” and that “prosecution of Mr. Biden is also unwarranted based on … consideration of the aggravating and mitigating factors set forth in the Department of Justice’s Principles of Federal Prosecution.”

The decision not to charge President Biden for mishandling classified materials contrasts with the treatment of former President Donald Trump for allegedly doing so after leaving the White House in January 2021; the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate was raided in 2022, and he was charged by special counsel Jack Smith in 2023. President Trump has pleaded not guilty, and the trial is set to begin on May 20.

The classified documents in the Biden case are from President Biden’s more than four-decade-long career in politics, which has included time in the Senate, as vice president, and now as president.

Mr. Hur interviewed President Biden over the span of two days last year.

In deciding not to charge the president, Mr. Hur said a jury would be likely to be sympathetic, in part because of the president’s cognitive issues.

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Mr. Hur wrote.

“Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. 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.”

Biden Attorneys Critical of Report

President Biden’s forgetfulness could be a rationale for unintentionally keeping the classified information, according to Mr. Hur.

Additionally, the FBI found notebooks from President Biden’s time as vice president that he knew “contained classified information,” Mr. Hur said.

Nonetheless, the evidence wouldn’t “meet the government’s burden at trial—particularly the requirement to prove that Mr. Biden intended to do something the law forbids,” Mr. Hur said.

“We expect Mr. Biden’s defense at trial would be that he thought his notebooks were his personal property and he was allowed to take them home, even if they contained classified information.”

Ahead of the report’s release, in a letter to Mr. Hur and deputy special counsel Marc Krickbaum, President Biden’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, and the president’s special counsel, Richard Sauber, stated that although they are pleased their client didn’t get charged, they took issue with some of the main points in the report.

Mr. Bauer and Mr. Sauber objected to the finding that President Biden’s memory is poor. They contended that the president “did well” in answering “questions about years-old events over the course of five hours.”

President Biden’s lawyers also said that their client’s “inability to recall dates or details of events that happened years ago is neither surprising nor unusual, especially given that many questions asked him to recall the particulars of staff work to pack, ship, and store materials and furniture in the course of moves between residences.”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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