White House Asks For Revision Of Reports Of Biden’s Cognitive Decline
The White House counsel’s office is asking special counsel Robert Hur to switch up the language used in the newly released report on the investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents from his time as vice-president.
Special counsel Robert Hur said in his report on Mr. Biden's handling of classified documents that a jury might see the president as a "well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 8, 2024
The report, released on Thursday, had asserted that the president’s memory has “significant limitations” and expressed concerns that he might come off to a jury as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
While Hur determined that no criminal charges would be filed against the president for his handling of classified documents, the report’s citations and characterization of the president’s cognitive abilities as weak and declining did not go down well with his team as they believe it would be politically damaging ahead of the 2024 election.
Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president in the White House counsel’s office, and Bob Bauer, personal counsel to Mr. Biden, criticized the assertions about Biden’s memory in a letter.
“It is one thing to observe President Biden’s memory as being ‘significantly limited’ on certain subjects. It is quite another to use the more sweeping and highly prejudicial language employed later in the report. This language is not supported by the facts, nor is it appropriately used by a federal prosecutor in this context,” they wrote.
“We request that you revisit your descriptions of President Biden’s memory and revise them so that they are stated in a manner that is within the bounds of your expertise and remit,” the letter read further.
Hur’s report, which was followed by calls for Biden to resign, stated that investigators noted that Biden found it difficult to remember events in 2017. His memory even grew “worse” when he was recently interviewed, as Hur wrote, “He 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,” the report read further. “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. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.”
Biden himself lashed out at Hur for his assertions about his memory and cognitive decline during a news conference, in which he highlighted the claim that he could not remember when his son Beau died.
“How in the hell dare he raise that. Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself it wasn’t any of their damn business…I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away,” Biden said, pointing out that he has worn a rosary every day since the incident happened.