Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday slammed the special counsel’s comments about President Joe Biden’s memory and age as “politically motivated” and “unwarranted,” calling the assessment of President Biden’s mental acuity factual. He said the document was procedurally incorrect and was intended solely to determine President Biden’s memory and age. A crime was committed.
The startling statement came from President Donald Trump, who was hired by Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, to investigate the vice president’s possession of classified documents in his home and office after he left office. The move comes amid increasing White House criticism of Special Counsel Robert Hur.
In his 345-page report, Mr. Xu exonerated Mr. Biden of any wrongdoing, but included numerous unflattering references to Mr. Biden personally, calling him a “well-meaning old man” with a poor memory. That included an event that deeply hurt the president: the death of his son Beau in 2015.
Those brutal words ended up making news headlines and incurring the ire of the president himself, who called a hastily called public news conference Thursday night to denounce this characterization and talk with Trump. He did so to remind the American public that, unlike the United States, he has not been charged with any crime related to the classified documents.
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The White House returned to the issue furiously on Friday. Harris spoke at an event on gun violence prevention and spoke about how she and Biden spoke during the first weekend of October, when Hamas attacked Israel, and when Biden met with Har’s team for five hours. He detailed how he worked around the clock.
“The president was at the forefront of everything,” Harris said, barely containing her irritation at Har’s words as she spoke to world leaders and ministers.
Noting that she is a former prosecutor, Harris said: “The characterization of the president’s behavior in that report could not be more contrary to the facts and is clearly politically motivated and unwarranted.” ” he said.
“When it comes to the role and responsibilities of prosecutors in such situations, we should expect a higher level of integrity than what we have seen,” Harris said.
White House Counsel’s Office Press Secretary Ian Sams said the report itself contradicts the facts.
He said on the second page of the report, Xu claimed that Biden had “intentionally” kept the material, but that it was “buried far down page 215.” He pointed out that there was a lack of supporting evidence.
Sams said that despite spending 15 months on the investigation, interviewing 150 witnesses, searching and obtaining 7 million pages of documents, and spending $3.5 million of “taxpayer money,” he “failed to bring the case to trial.” “There’s no room,” Sams said.
Former Justice Department officials and other legal experts agreed, saying it was outrageous for Mr. Xu to even raise questions about Mr. Biden’s memory.
“I would call this a behind-the-scenes exoneration of President Biden,” Norm Eisen, who served as special counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during President Trump’s impeachment and trial, said in a conference call. It’s absolutely clear that we haven’t,” he told reporters.
“He should have stopped there. There was no need to unfairly slander him about his age or memory,” Eisen said.
Former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuaid said it appears that Herr is “going out of his way to smear Joe Biden. Damaging his reputation is something I would expect from a normal prosecutor.” I felt it exceeded that a little bit.”
“I don’t know why, but it seems politically detrimental to Joe Biden,” McQuaid said, adding that Biden’s age could be a crucial factor in a close election. He echoed Democrats’ growing concerns.
The choice of Garland, who worked in the Trump administration’s Justice Department before being appointed by the former president as Maryland’s attorney, is aimed at thwarting accusations that Garland is trying to facilitate Biden’s acquittal. seems to have been intended.
But they didn’t expect Biden’s scathing comments about his memory and age — which Sams speculated was due to pressure from Republicans.
“They’re attacking the rule of law for political purposes,” Sams said of Republicans who have made Biden’s age (81, three years older than Trump) the center of their attacks. . “It’s really creating a lot of pressure, and in that pressured political environment, why is this report subject to unwarranted and inappropriate criticism when the inevitable conclusion is that the facts and evidence do not support any accusations?” You’re going to wonder what you’re spending your time doing.” of the President. ”
– Lauren Camera contributed to this report.