Live updates: Special counsel report on Biden’s handling of classified documents released

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a campaign event in Manassas, Virginia, on January 23. Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

The White House counsel and President Joe Biden’s personal attorney criticized several of the assertions made in special counsel Robert Hur’s report, including comments about the president’s memory.

White House counsel Richard Sauber and Biden personal attorney Bob Bauer wrote a five-page letter to Hur on Monday, saying that raising issues with Biden’s memory was “entirely superfluous.”

In a follow-up statement, Bauer accused Hur of “investigative excess” and said he flouted Justice Department regulations and norms.

“We do not believe that the report’s treatment of President Biden’s memory is accurate or appropriate,” Sauber and Bauer wrote. “The report uses highly prejudicial language to describe a commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of years-old events.” 

In a statement Thursday, Bauer said that the special counsel “could not refrain from investigative excess, perhaps unsurprising given the intense pressures of the current political environment.”  

“Whatever the impact of those pressures on the final Report, it flouts Department regulations and norms,” Bauer said. “Very little in this opus adds to a clear, succinctly stated understanding of a straightforward conclusion: no misconduct occurred, no charges are warranted. The Report delves into a discussion of the ‘evidence’ of ‘willful’ retention of classified documents, only to acknowledge that there is, in fact, no case of ‘willful’ retention at all.” 

A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office declined to comment on the alleged “inaccurate and inappropriate comments in the Special Counsel’s report.”

Sauber said in a statement that the report acknowledges “mistakes when packing documents at the end of an Administration or when Members of Congress leave office are unfortunately a common occurrence.” 

“We disagree with a number of inaccurate and inappropriate comments in the Special Counsel’s report,” he said. “Nonetheless, the most important decision the Special Counsel made—that no charges are warranted—is firmly based on the facts and evidence.”

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