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Hur Highlights DOJ’s Totalitarian Double Standards On Handling Classified Documents

Former Special Counsel Robert Hur resigned from the DOJ one day before the hearing but repeatedly defended its hyperpartisan track record.


Former Special Counsel Robert Hur testified to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he did not charge President Joe Biden for “willfully” retaining classified documents because he did not believe a jury would convict Biden due to his mental incapacities.

Hur’s reasoning, however, held no water with the Republicans on the Judiciary and Oversight Committees. They repeatedly noted that Biden not only knowingly illegally harbored and shared information that threatened U.S. national security but the Department of Justice imposed a double standard that favors Democrats in refusing to charge him for it.

Hur resigned from the DOJ one day before the hearing but repeatedly defended its hyperpartisan track record and his work under its authority.

“No matter the role, no matter the administration, I have applied the same standards and the same impartiality,” Hur insisted.

The evidence suggests otherwise. Unlike former President Donald Trump’s documents, which were discovered on a private, Secret Service-protected property, Hur determined that Biden’s 300-plus illegally stored classified documents from his Senate and vice presidential years were kept in “unsecured and unauthorized spaces” such as a busy public building and an easily accessible garage.

“My team and I conducted a thorough, independent investigation. We identified
evidence that the President willfully retained classified materials after the end of his
vice presidency, when he was a private citizen,” Hur admitted in the first line of his opening testimony.

Yet the special counsel declined to charge the Democrat with any wrongdoing. Instead, Hur claimed in his 388-page report released in February that Biden is an “elderly man with a poor memory” who is unfit to stand trial.

“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,” Hur noted in his report.

Hur tried to couch his leniency that the DOJ refused to show Trump by claiming during the hearing that he did not “identify evidence that rose to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” Democrats on both the House Judiciary and Oversight committees kicked off the hearing by latching onto this as proof that Hur’s report “exonerates” Biden. Even Hur, however, disputed that assertion.

“In this case, did you reach a conclusion that this man was outright innocent?” Rep. Darrell Issa asked.

“That conclusion is not reflected in my report,” Hur replied.

“Right, so you did not reach that conclusion or it would have been in your report,” Issa noted.

Later, Hur interrupted Rep. Pramila Jayapal to declare, “I did not exonerate [Biden].”

Transcripts of Biden’s testimony obtained by The Federalist reveal that Biden not only harbored a classified cache of information in vulnerable areas that could easily provide just cause for criminal charges, but also created “serious risks to national security” by reading classified materials to his ghostwriter. The exchange also suggests Biden’s team often interrupted Hur’s questioning to help the president remember why he was being interrogated. Even then, Biden repeatedly lied during the interview.

Several Republicans questioned why Hur decided for the jury that Biden’s actions wouldn’t result in conviction instead of recommending charges and letting the jury decide for themselves. Hur claimed this was his ultimate task but, as multiple representatives noted, Trump faces charges and jail time for similar actions he took as president because someone at the DOJ decided he deserved scrutiny that Biden did not.

Despite Hur’s insistence that “no criminal charges were warranted in this manner” because he believed Biden did not demonstrate willful intent to misuse classified documents, Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan noted that Hur’s report acknowledges Biden “was deeply familiar with the measures taken to safeguard classified information” and had “strong motivations to do so and to ignore the rules for properly handling the classified information in his notebooks.”

“Joe Biden had 8 million reasons to break the rules,” Jordan said, referring to the $8 million revenue Biden made on his book. Hur did not explicitly disagree with Jordan’s assertion.

Democrats, on the other hand, repeatedly claimed the biggest difference between Trump’s and Biden’s classified document cases was that Trump intentionally concealed evidence. Hur revealed during the hearing, however, that Biden’s ghostwriter purposefully destroyed some evidence of the president’s wrongdoing shortly after Hur’s investigation began.

“What does somebody have to do to get charged with obstruction of justice by you? If, like, deleting the evidence of crimes doesn’t count, what would meet the standard?” Rep. Matt Gaetz said.

Hur admitted that no president or former vice president has ever been criminally charged for retaining classified documents except Trump, but refused to say whether the DOJ’s charging doctrine on classified information changed to protect Biden. As Republicans noted, if the DOJ’s doctrine did change to accommodate charges for future offenders, Trump and Biden both should have been charged.

Instead, Hur used Biden’s mental decline, instead of any presidential immunity that Trump could use to defend his own classified and other cases, to justify not prosecuting the Democrat.

Hur’s decision to protect Biden from equal justice under the law should have been received well by Biden’s congressional allies, but it wasn’t. Representatives including Hank Johnson, Adam Schiff, and Eric Swalwell complained about the damning nature of Hur’s report by attacking him for “shaping, sanitizing, and omitting” Biden’s failing memory. Johnson even accused Hur of being a partisan who wanted to get Trump elected.

“My assessment and the report about the relevance of the president’s memory was necessary and accurate and fair,” Hur insisted.

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