Hur Report Open Thread: 388 Pages about a Single 8-Word Utterance

Robert Hur has released his report, declining charges against Biden but finding he did willfully retain information. He wrote a 388-page report about — by his own description — “a single 8-word utterance.”

I’ll do a running thread here.

132 replies
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  2. Upisdown says:

    Given the near total exoneration by Hur, the Biden bashers have to go to Plan B. The right’s narrative is going to be that the report proves Biden’s memory is shot due to his old age. The response from WH counsel and Biden’s lawyer shows the report was not offering an accurate portrayal of Biden’s memory during the total interview process. I suggest reading that part of the report.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Only if you ignore Hur’s slew of adjectives and adverbs, which give Trumpies plenty to moan about.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Three hundred eighty-eight pages, including two introductory pages, five pages of criticism from Biden’s WHC and personal lawyer, and one appendix.

    Hur’s framework boils down to this: a well-intentioned, forgetful old man took the wrong stuff home from work. He “willfully retained” it, but we’re gonna let him go. Not because he’s president, but because we’re nice guys. Sotto voce: and because we probably couldn’t prove criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt. So, nothing to see here. Move along. Hur’s speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    • Joeff53 says:

      There’s also the problem that Hur’s controllers are everywhere arguing for presidential immunity/impunity and that anyway a POTUS can’t be tried while in office. So even were Hur to want to prosecute, he’d hit a brick wall.

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the SAME USERNAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS each time you comment so that community members get to know you. Your comment was stuck in auto-moderation because you published it as “Joeff” and had a typo in your email address, both of which I have fixed this once. Future mismatches of username and/or email may not clear for publication. /~Rayne]

    • John Thomas says:

      “He ‘willfully retained’ it,”

      I my mind the absence of the word “knowingly” is paramount.

      I’ve vacated a number of offices in my time with state government, moving from one leased space to another, and while I “willfully retained” the contents of my desk and file cabinets, I never “knowingly” possessed or transported any classified (or otherwise sensitive) documents from office to office, or from office to home.

    • CoffaeBreak says:

      And… this was the intent from the beginning, to build a platform for a very biased comparison. I am interested to know if there was some collusion here to gain the information about the documents in the first place. I know President Biden is under a microscope, but this seems a very long way from normal observation.

    • Padfoot says:

      Trump will never be found guilty because he will not be tried, at least until Judge Cannon is removed.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Not predicting she will. I haven’t seen enough from her that would justify it, nor am I sanguine about whether the 11th would do it.

            • Rugger_9 says:

              Cannon needs to make a ruling that can be appealed first. So far, she has been messing around with scheduling stuff like CIPA hearings which aren’t actions that can be appealed. However, SC Smith has been painting her into a corner with his motions. We’ll see. I’d be more interested in what SCOTUS does with the DCC ruling on immunity, and my guess is that the RW majority grants cert but puts it on a routine briefing schedule which would push announcement of any rulings until June 2025-ish.

        • CaptainCondorcet says:

          And in keeping with the spirit of this reply chain, it has now become politically uglier for the SC to request the judge be removed. So far “politically viable” fortunately does not appear to have been a driving influence of Smith, and if Cannon ever crosses the line (and I’ll wait for bmaz to say when that is) she should go. But replacing her will NOT play well, especially since there is always a chance the replacement could make the optics worse. It’s not like the 11th will say “we’re replacing you, but only with a Bush II appointee”

          EDIT: didn’t even see bmaz comment as I finished my own. One political minefield that will fortunately be irrelevant then.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Changing judges won’t necessarily speed things up, or allow a trial to take place before November. It might take a new judge a month or more just to get up to speed.

            • Rugger_9 says:

              It also depends upon who’s next up on the selection wheel. I’m wondering if Cannon’s clerks might have a hand in these delay tactics. Judge Cannon strikes me as someone who is not confident in the law and would therefore ask the clerk ‘what can I do here?’ before making her rulings.

      • CovariantTensor says:

        A pity because of all the pending cases against him–I won’t say “slam dunk”–but it’s the one that relies the lease on novel legal theories and apparently carries the least reasonable doubt about multiple crimes. Not only did he really “willfully” take documents he was not authorized to have after his presidency, he really did defy a subpoena to return them (and cause a false affidavit to be issued to the effect that he had), he really did obstruct an investigation to have them returned (the shell game with the secret room is apparently new evidence to the public to that effect), and he really did try to get his IT guy to destroy evidence.

        The Manhattan case, on the other hand, relies on the novel legal theory pointed out many times here (probably mostly by bmaz) that the misdemeanor of falsifying business reports becomes a felony when there’s an underlying crime. And in the J6 case, Trump’s defense will declare Trump personally did nothing illegal, just exercised his first amendment rights, that his hands are clean of the fake elector scheme, that it can’t be proven he incited the riot. I think it’s a more difficult case to make than the documents case would be.

    • CovariantTensor says:

      It’s arguable that DT is at least as memory impaired, considering the rant he gave the other day on the campaign trail about Nikki Haley being responsible for security in the House on 1/6 and declining his offer of 10,000 troops. He is elderly, being a mere 3 years Biden’s junior. But it’s hard to read anything “well meaning” into his behavior.

      Actually, the 10,000 troops and that the house speaker was responsible for security were pure gaslighting. But confusing Nikki Haley and Nancy Pelosi should raise serious questions.

      Also, he spends an inordinate amount of time talking about how he aced the cognitive test. That in itself suggests cognitive impairment.

        • missinggeorgecarlin says:

          Sometimes I get so bitter about the state of the world/USA, that I think we collectively deserved having this moronic Don the Con asshole as our “Leader”.

          We’ve been a bully around the world for decades and a thing called KARMA comes along every once in a while and kicks you in the teeth. Who better to represent us then a stupid, narcissistic, hateful bigot who was born into wealth and still chose to be a criminal?

          Then I think about the ‘dumbing down’ of our nation where the average reading level is “6th grade or less” and it all makes sense. I hate feeling this bitter but sometimes I just can’t help it.

          I’m taking actions to try to help change this but god almighty what a mess….

      • jecojeco says:

        Agreed, but he can’t play the forgetful old man card until after the November election and well meaning is off the table forever especially with his obstruction activity – which probably continues. And the scores of “I don’t recalls” in his legal testimonies dwarfs whatever Biden didn’t recall if we want to play “whaddabouts”.

        Hur quizzing Biden on the date of Beau’s death and playing amateur shrink is so far afield, it can only be taken as political hackery.

        Dems are so naiive picking GOPers to investigate President and Hunter Biden and then being surprised by politically loaded results. Ditto with GOPers always heading FBI loaded with GOP loyalists.

  4. scroogemcduck says:

    “No charges warranted”.

    Not sure anything else needed to be in the report, to be quite honest.

  5. punaise says:

    Shorter (Ben) Hur:

    “I’ll give you my report so you don’t have to pry it from Joe’s old, red hands”

  6. Molly Pitcher says:

    If this stupidity had to be released, I am glad it is today. It will get less attention because of all the brouhaha about SCOTUS.

    • Harry Eagar says:

      I flipped into both Newsmax and Fox and Fox was at the border. I think they got to it eventually but it wasn’t hot news to them.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If Trump regains the White House, he will force his DoJ to reverse its decision not to prosecute. Trump’s ego, and his lack of any success or legislative agenda, would demand no less. And when the DoJ inevitably loses or fails to get a plea, Trump will fire the prosecutors and roll them under the bus.

    • David F. Snyder says:

      How can his DOJ fail in his court system? Though, it may be more of a job for the Neo-gestapo (if they were willing to hang Pence, why not Biden?).

      • jecojeco says:

        I often think that Garland, after extreme delay, inserted Jack Smith as a circuit breaker from personal retribution if Donald I ever got back in WH to avoid being waterboarded at Gitmo.

    • GSSH-FullyReduced says:

      Joe says, “I cooperated completely, threw up no roadblocks, and sought no delays.”
      DT says, “That ole geezer don’t know how to play jacks”.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      That Raskin statement would be a good preamble for any statement Hunter might make about the idiocy of him sitting for a House deposition behind closed doors.

      I’m not clued in properly: has he now agreed to do that? I’ve only seen that so far coming from Comer’s office.

      • NerdyCanuck says:

        Yes he did finally agree to it, after the committee reissued the subpoena – one reason Hunter was refusing was that he argued the original subpoena was not enforceable because there had not been a proper vote to formally launch the impeachment inquiry. So once they did that and reissued the subpoena, he agreed to a closed door deposition to take place on Feb 28.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Biden, in the midst of all this, is managing his presidency, which, with all due respect for Robert Hur, is more important. I can’t imagine Trump juggling half that number of balls. He can barely manage a bag of McDonald’s. But he is four years younger.

        • wetzel-rhymes-with says:

          The interviewers, of course, are aware it is Day 2 of the biggest security crisis since the Ukraine invasion. Hur knows this, but he doesn’t share this context with the reader. Hur gives his “impression” of Biden during the interview.When he presents this performance as “bad memory” in what he imagines the jury will see as a “well-meaning elderly gentleman” but neglects to give the reader in the text the context this was Day 2 of a national security crisis, I think that is akin to with-holding Brady material, because he is asking the reader to make an attribution when, for any other person, it would be more natural to assume mental exhaustion.

  8. WilliamOckham says:

    In an alternate version of reality in which we (the people) focused on solving problems instead of producing ammunition for use against our political enemies, the discussion we would be having right now would be about eliminating the classification system.

    • CaptainCondorcet says:

      And, at the risk of some controversy, could we also sweep into that problem-solving an analysis of how we could make the informal gerontocracy a little less vast? Because the combined age of the two most likely primary winners at this point is almost 160. There are multiparty elections in Europe with a nearly equivalent number.

      • HikaakiH says:

        That age factor is a result of two things: (1) Incumbency bias which comes from the system of political fund-raising which won’t change until Citizens United is undone; and (2) The two-party system which is a product of first-past-the-post voting being the predominant electoral system in the US.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          No party welcomes its vibrant Young Turks, who want power but haven’t earned their stripes. But the Dems do seem to have a bias in favor of long-time establishment figures – the California delegation is a good example – who seem unwilling to rear and support the next generation. Progressives such as Warren-Porter, seem to do it more, but are outliers.

          • Stephen Calhoun says:

            Perhaps a post about the Democratic Party bench, defined as persons 40-60 years of age might be edifying about the future of the party.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        No, if that question was directed at me. I would ask you to take your disgusting display of prejudice somewhere else. It has absolutely nothing to do with the issue I raised. If you want to celebrate the ageist bias inherent in Hur’s report, please do it without pretending that it has any connection to what I was talking about. It’s easy enough to post a comment about this post without making it a reply to what I said.

        • CaptainCondorcet says:

          Mea culpa; I did not mean to offend you or any older mentor past or present who has helped you along your way. Your very appropriate call to look at the underlying systemic issues around this particular case prompted why my comment was attached as a reply to you. I have family with ages starting in 8’s and 9’s. One of them I’m convinced COULD run this country and possibly a bit better than either of the major choices. But we as a society foster this weaponization of “decline of faculties” (bull**** claim in Biden’s case) when we allow the Feinstein’s and Thurmond’s of the world to literally decide major policy on some occasions when they didn’t even know they were doing it, to cite the extreme examples. I admire diversity across all dimensions, including age. By the same token, I fear for the health of a system when it is not present.

    • Joberly1954 says:

      On the subject of classification: I read Hur’s report and learned that former Senator Biden willfully kept classified documents from 1979 trips to the USSR and to Yugoslavia at his Delaware home. We wouldn’t want the Soviets or Yugoslavs to know what was in those papers…oh, wait, there has not been a USSR or a Yugoslavia for the past 33 years.

  9. giantpysch says:

    “ When Mr. Biden told his ghostwriter he “just found all the classified stuff downstairs,” ” … … “jurors may hesitate to place too much evidentiary weight on a single eight-word utterance.”
    DOES HUR COUNT “downstairs” AS 2 WORDS?

    • wetzel-rhymes-with says:

      So Hur alleges Biden “willfully retained” classified documents in one part of the report, but then he contradicts this later when discussing whether Biden willfully retained classified documents, ie, “there is, in fact, a shortage of evidence on these points ” (pg 215) That seems like a pretty big screw-up in the document QC department. Jeez.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Hur writes only that he found “some evidence” that Biden “willfully retained” sensitive or classified documents. He does not make that assertion outright or describe how weak or strong the evidence was, other than to conclude it was not sufficient to prosecute.

        “Some evidence” is doing a lot of work. Naturally, it’s ignored by the press in favor of “willfully retained.”

        That’s characteristic of the whole report, which is chock full of unnecessary information and detail. In other words, he padded the shit out of it.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          I think the evidence was that he told his memoir-ghost writer, in a recording, that he found “the classified stuff” in his basement, but didn’t then get it returned to the Archives. Hur did a quick comparison between this case and Trump’s on page 11 which made clear the diff between forgetfulness or common ex-official practice and criminality.

    • Jeffrey Kavanaugh says:

      I suspect the seven words
      Hur quoted were preceded by either “I” or “we,” making an eight-word sentence.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That thread is an essential supplement to this post, especially for anyone not slogging through Hur’s 388-page hit job. Her fundamental position seems to be that Hur wrote a closing argument, rather than a prosecutor’s report, explaining his decision not to indict.

      The former is an emotionally-weighted rendering of the facts, viewed most favorably to the prosecution. The latter is a statement of facts, and an explanation of why they did not merit prosecution. As one TV lawyer described it, Hur larded his writing with adverbs and adjectives, when all that was appropriate to his legally mandated task were the facts.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The White House press corps did themselves no favors in screeching questions after Biden’s short unexpected press conference. Peter Doocy demanded to know, in effect, how Biden could run for re-election with such a poor memory – an unsupported allegation Hur made much of in his report.

    Biden responded that his memory was so bad, he forgot not to let Doocy ask a question. Touche. But the other questions weren’t much better. Biden, on the other hand, refuted several of the outlandish, non-essential points Hur chose to make in his report.

    • Harry Eagar says:

      The screeching was worse than normal, but normal is terrible. As a former print guy, I was always disdainful of the teevee reporters, but it just gets worse and worse.

      Gresham’s Law, I suppose.

  11. boloboffin says:

    Between the SCOTUS getting ready to effectively declare the 14th Amendment unconstitutional and this report, NewsHour led with this report.

    And the two right wing rags I let send me emails are screaming that Biden forgot Beau’s death.

    So, great job, Hur! Mission accomplished.

  12. Mutaman111 says:

    “Peter Doocy demanded to know, in effect, how Biden could run for re-election with such a poor memory – ”

    That’s not what Doocy said- he asked if Biden could “continue as president”.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Thanks for the correction. Doocy’s comment was even more in your face than I remembered. But he’s an entitled FN legacy who seems never to have earned what he has. Even to ask it, he has to ignore Trump’s mental state now and throughout his administration.

      • Mutaman111 says:

        Murdoch has quickly adopted the position that Joe should be removed now pursuant to the 25th amendment, and other Know Nothings are following suit.

      • Matt Foley says:

        Plenty of examples of Trump’s 3D Chess Master memory. Of course, Faux News will never mention them. E.g., in his 2022 E. Jean Carroll depo he couldn’t remember when he was married to Marla. And of course there’s his “That’s Marla. That’s my wife.” response to the photo of EJC.

  13. dogshelpgod says:

    ““When I used to read fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!” Alice in Wonderland.

  14. Zinsky123 says:

    Breitbart is already screaming this morning that the GOP should use the 25th Amendment to remove Biden from office for mental unfitness:

    I’m sure they don’t understand that the 25th requires Biden’s Cabinet members to initiate the removal of the president under physical or mental incapacity. I would hope Biden’s Cabinet would not do so. Expect more idiotic assertions like this through November. It is going to be an ugly year……..Ugh.

  15. Spank Flaps says:

    I don’t suppose casual readers are allowed to know what the 8 words were?
    This reminds me of my ex regularly going in a huff and saying “you know what you did”, leaving me to decipher my mystery sin.

    • OnKilter says:

      The eight words are:

      “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” , this in Hur’s description of President Biden.

      I wonder where Merrick Garland was in all this, I mean Bill Barr eviscerated the Mueller Report for Trump.

    • harold hecuba says:

      Wut? LOL

      ETA: i just saw your second post on Garland. Okay. My bad. Not serious commentary. I’ll refrain from engaging.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That horse left the building, don’t you think. And how political would it appear, when Garland had the right and obligation to review the report before it was released. He chose not to, in order not to appear to have put his hand on the scale.

      • Just Some Guy says:

        That horse certainly left the building, along with the other 2499 used in the filming of “Ben Hur!” LOL.

  16. Bay State Librul says:

    My opinion of Merrick Garland has not changed much. He is a nice guy, honest, with an “All Quiet on the Western Front” attitude.
    In today’s world, a more aggressive AG is required.
    My favorite was Bobby Kennedy.
    Selecting Jack Smith was his best move.
    Also, his legal experience is top notch.
    That said, If Biden wins in 2024, his first move is to replace Merrick Garland
    We need a new bat in the lineup.

    • Elvishaslefthebuilding says:

      Yes. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, but Garland has proven that he is not equipped to be adequate to this time, where the nation really is in crisis and where a strong advocate for democracy and also the President’s agenda is called for. He would have been a good Supreme Court justice, and it was probably a mistake giving him the position of Attorney General as kind of a make up for that (that’s hyperbole of course).

      These are political times and so I think Biden and the country needs an attorney general who has some political sense. Garland goes out of the way to prove he is not political by appointing partisans to do jobs where simple impartiality is called for, and where appointing a competent person to do honest investigations is fine In such a case, there might be bitching from the other party, but they are always going to bitch. As he’ was a judge for so long, perhaps Garland just hates the thought that his enemies might say something nasty about him.

  17. Sherrie H says:

    The “elderly” bit strikes me as nasty, gratuitous, shockingly unprofessional, and it smacks of election tampering.

    • Elvishaslefthebuilding says:

      The good new about all of this, is that it goes away pretty quickly. The report, even its gratuitous statements, will change no one’s mind, especially as the President came out so vigorously against it.

  18. Benoit Roux says:

    The statement describing Biden as a forgetful old man could have been uttered by a host on Fox News, or be part of a rant by Trump or his MAGA allies. This is pure pure derogatory campaign material. This had no place in an official legal document by DOJ. Hur should be disciplined and sanctioned for this.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s an editorial observation, not a statement in fact. How does one quantify “forgetful”? How does one quantify “elderly”?

      For comparison’s sake I point to the testimony by an “elderly” (north of 65 years age) GOP party official who was a fake elector for Michigan, who responded north of 50 times to questions by investigators with some variant of “I plead the Fifth.” Which is worse, pleading the Fifth repeatedly about events which happened inside less than 12 weeks time, or forgetting the circumstances behind specific pieces of paper years after they were stuck in storage? How is this difference quantified?

      Can’t the report reader make up their own mind by being told Person_A, age XX, said they forgot YY times instead of applying loaded labels and phrases?

      • Shadowalker says:

        I’m just wondering if Hur is medically qualified to give anyone a memory cognitive test. Which it appears he tried to do.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Every prosecutor questions whether an interviewee’s memory is accurate or conveniently spotty. They often assume the worst; sometimes they’re correct. It’s an occupational hazard. Hur abused that tendency when he devoted nearly 400-pages to make Joe Biden’s conduct appear as comparable to Trump’s as he could.

  19. Error Prone says:

    I only read the cover letter and executive summary. It seems Hur dwelt upon Biden’s memory where a different factor was at play. Biden was active between VP and President, and today’s major concern can place something such as past Afghanistan policy Obama decided against Biden’s advice as “yesterday’s news and consideration.”

    There is only so much time in a day, and Biden doubtlessly prioritized. As a bet, most emptywheel commentators have a box or two of old paperwork schlepped around somewhere in remote storage when it should have been recycled or otherwise dealt with earlier. Classified material is different paperwork than otherwise, but few would argue that underclassification is a bigger problem than overclassification. We do not know Trump’s motives for his conduct re classified stuff he took and kept, and kept, and kept, (some in a safe and some in reach at his desk), but his history of withholding stuff at several turns speaks for itself. Trump saying it was all his property to keep, Biden saying I noticed I have it, come get it.

    It seems an “if you do – if you don’t” situation. If you forget about it because other things demand time, somebody shouts old, bad memory, unfit; while if you simply say yeah, other things came up more important in the moment, then you are open to attack over being indifferent to being a security risk because of ego, or some similar slur.

    It’s over. The report is in. We’ll have an election where both sides criticize the capabilities of the other. And one real winner and one real loser, despite what may be contended (again) after votes are counted.

    The report seems heavier by far than the facts in question merited. As if paid for by the word. Or with a doth protest too much slant. It seems a small step in the election ramp up. The expectation is that press attention will quickly move on.

    [Moderator’s note: work on your concision. At 324 words this op-ed takes up a bit too much acreage without introducing any new material. /~Rayne]

  20. Upisdown says:

    The media is incorrectly portraying Hur’s statement.

    This is what Hur wrote:

    “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.”

    Hur is clearly describing a probable defense strategy, not an informed evaluation of Biden’s mental capacity. Hur is saying that, if indicted, Biden would “present himself” to a jury in the same manner that led Hur not to file charges. No clear intent (“well meaning”), no admission of guilt (“poor memory”), and of an age when memory is sometimes an issue (“elderly”). Hur concludes that Biden would wisely “present” himself in that manner, because it proved to be an effective presentation in the interviews that Biden sat for.

    Shame on the press for falsely presenting Hur’s report in such a manner.

    • Rayne says:

      As if Hur didn’t realize this is exactly what news media would pick up on after the media has been reporting for months now that candidates’ age is a factor in the election.

      • CaptainCondorcet says:

        Of course he did. But by the same token Biden of course was briefed by at least personal counsel and possibly White House Counsel (and refreshingly listened!) to present himself in the interview in that very intentional manner. We thus have only two possibilities. One, Biden adopted an intentional shift in posture to change the tone of the interviews and the inferences that could be drawn from them. Or two, he is exactly how he presented himself in the recap of that interview. I strongly believe the former of a sharp leader who is actually known to listen to his advisors, and I strongly believe Hur got annoyed that unlike some other SC he was dealing with actually competent politicians and expressed that frustration with this obnoxiously worded report. But when Biden’s opponent is as easy to read as an infant’s board book with all the subtlety of a rusted sledgehammer, the media will gladly run with false equivalencies if it sells clicks.

        And within HOURS I had social media contacts who would never vote Republican even if there life was on the line calling him unfit. Or even worse, as some online trolls have chosen to include his Egypt-Mexico president mix-up at the news conference as proof his mental faculty means he’s slipping back into the racist attitudes he had when he was younger. Unreal…

        • Harry Eagar says:

          The reason us oldsters get nouns mixed up sometimes (it is always nouns, you’ll notice) is that by this time our brains are really full.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Joe Biden is a lawyer and a successful politician, with over five decades’ experience. Being gaffe-prone doesn’t seem to have hurt him before, but it’s not new or evidence of senility.

          Unlike Trump, he would have listened to his lawyers. Unlike Trump, he takes great pride in being straight and forthright. Unlike Trump, he cooperated fully and without hesitation.

      • Jeffrey Tarrant says:

        Hur should have expected it, and likely did, but the media is mostly to blame for dishonestly making that one comment the focus of nearly 400 pages. Hur and Comey couldn’t do any damage without the media’s help. While their comments carry some negative implications, the main point was there was nothing illegal they could charge. Similar to Mueller, although that report suggested there was ample evidence of obstruction but no charges can be brought against a sitting POTUS. Hur said the opposite of Mueller.

        The media had a field day with Comey’s comments about Clinton and all but ignored Comey saying his decision “wasn’t a cliffhanger”. Now they are skimming over Hur’s opening line “no criminal charges are warranted in this matter”, and Hur’s devastating revelations about the differences between the Biden and Trump cases. The MSM is feeding the RW media’s on-going narrative on Biden’s mental ability by injecting more than what Hur actually stated in his report and making that the focus.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          That’s a credulous interpretation of Hur’s role and the uses to which he intended his report be put. Do you suppose Hur had never heard what the media did with Comey’s report?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      All in the eye of the beholder, and what he intends to do with the characterization, which seems unrelated to declining to prosecute.

    • N.E. Brigand says:

      Thanks for making this point. I only today had any time to read the report, and so far I’m only 50 pages in, but just from reading the executive summary, I was shocked to find that the press had really misrepresented this point.

  21. chocolateislove says:

    I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that Hur is going to push the narrative that Biden has memory issues in this report to give the MAGA idiots something to work with. Since the report is coming on the heels of Trump mixing up Haley and Pelosi and Trump saying he ran against Obama.

    Some of these maneuvers are just so pathetic and desperate.

  22. bmaz says:

    Couple of points:

    1) There seems to be a huge clamor to punish Hur. That is not going to happen. Prosecutors have near absolute immunity, criminally and civilly. The most that could happen is he loses his job, but that won’t happen because it would look retaliatory.

    2) I have seen people both here, Twitter and elsewhere interwebs, shouting that this report exonerates Biden. It does nothing of the sort. The key finding was that Biden “willfully” and improperly retained NDI and/or classified information. That is akin to intentional, deliberately reckless, both of which are classic mental states. It is more than recklessly or negligently, both terms, especially negligently, would have been far more appropriate for Hur to have used. The key portion is this formal finding though, and it is not an “exoneration”.

    3) Almost all of this bloated report is superficial and mean spirited at best, spurious and scandalous at face value. It is a craven political hit job. But Garland put the likelihood of this in motion and stuck with it, he did not have to.

    4) At best this report is a declination announcement. Biden could not be charged anyway as he is a sitting POTUS. Not to mention there are a boatload of statute of limitation issues were Hur to try. Not to mention that it seems very unlikely a conviction could be obtained, and that is well below federal prosecutorial charging standards. But federal standards also include that scurrilous editorializing is not to be done. Comey was wrong, Hur even more so, in this regard. But this will not be a brief matter, it will last well into the general election, and it is not a good look at all for Biden.

    • CaptainCondorcet says:

      You have said here and elsewhere that Garland initiated actions like this that have likely consequences, detrimental ones in most examples. To you do these look like gaps in his experience to not recognize probable outcomes, or does this seem like intentional administration self harm “for the greater good”? (Possibly some narrative like restoring DOJ reputation or “confidence in rule of law”)

        • CaptainCondorcet says:

          That makes sense. Then it takes real conviction to know people are going to abuse the crap out of your institution and still try to keep it stable for the future. I hope his gamble is right, since a second Trump term could readily cause grave harm to those institutions Garland hopes to protect. I would prefer not to live out the Paradox of Tolerance thought experiment.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      You are right BMAZ
      The damage is done.
      Biden’s value takes a hit in his Kelly Blue Book listing.
      In accounting, it’s called depreciation.
      Yet, there are ways to “recapture depreciation.”
      His assets are intact.

  23. myra-bo-byra says:

    What a Comey hatchet job. And what are Hur’s qualifications to assess Biden’s mental health? He may be a lawyer, but did he get a dual degree in medicine or psych? Why isn’t the press corps asking about the appropriateness of these statements, versus the obvious political motivations. The silver lining may be that the SOTU is next week, giving Biden a national stage. And also all the Trump hits are just gonna keep on coming, in and out of court. Once Trump is the presumptive nominee, we can only hope the press will start putting his feet to the fire on substantive, complex policy issues…..and we have all seen how poorly he does with those answers (I can settle the war in Ukraine in 24 hours, etc.)

  24. Bay State Librul says:

    Speaking of judges/prosecutors, what would be cool — is an open discussion on how Aileen Cannonball, down there in the humid town of Fort Pierce Florida (only 1,158 miles from NYC in heavy traffic), is cuddling up with Citizen Don.

  25. El Señor Onazol says:

    Five special counsels appointed in the past 8 years, and 3 out of 5 so far (Durham, Hur, and (still ongoing) Weiss) have behaved themselves as political cravens working to hurt Democrats.

    Isn’t the entire point of a special counsel to safeguard DOJ against the appearance of political impropriety when cases involved “extraordinary circumstances”? Yet the position of special counsel is being routinely abused precisely that way.

    I don’t know what the remedy could be. Perhaps the position should just be abolished.

  26. Sussex Trafalgar says:

    Garland has done an admirable job of trying to remove the stench of rottenness of the seeds and resulting fruit planted by Trump, Barr and the rest of the Trump gang in the DOJ whilst, at the same time, trying to prosecute J-6 cases.

    And Comey was put into the unenviable position of trying to explain the terrible optics of his boss at the time, Loretta Lynch, chatting with Bill Clinton in Clinton’s airplane on the tarmac. Loretta Lynch should have avoided talking to Bill.

    And Robert Hur, he seems to have gone to great lengths to write a thorough analysis of Biden—at least in Hur’s mind—including Biden’s mental state.

    If and when Biden and Trump ever debate, Biden will have the opportunities to showcase Trump’s mental state. Trump is rotten to the core and ripe for immediate pruning and dropping to the ground.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There are standards for this sort of thing. What you call Hur’s thorough analysis abused them. Trump abuses all his people, but some of Comey’s unenviable positions were of his own making. Ask Hillary.

      • Sussex Trafalgar says:

        First, I said Hur’s thorough analysis in his own mind. Of course Hur’s report is a political hit job; Hur, however, will always claim he reported the facts as he knows them, including his evaluations of Biden’s mental capacity.

        And second, asking Hillary for her thoughts and opinions is irrelevant. She was once a competent attorney, but like many attorneys who later became politicians, she surrounded herself with sycophants who only told her what she wanted to hear. And that’s how Obama beat her in the 2008 nomination process.

  27. Matt Foley says:

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’m glad Biden can’t remember committing 91 felonies and at least 1 rape.

  28. John A Gurley says:

    Why hasn’t Garland released the equivalent report on Mike Pence’s documents?

    Were Pence’s document violations also excused due to a faulty memory?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Hur should not have released the amount and detail of information he did. Let’s not ask others to commit his errors.

      • John A Gurley says:

        Then, it would be nice if Hur doesn’t go scot free for his “errors”.

        Garland’s DOJ certainly did not treat VP Biden’s privacy with anywhere near the concern they showed VP Pence’s.

    • ButteredToast says:

      No special counsel was appointed to investigate Pence.
      Edit: and yes, what earlofhuntingdon said. This shouldn’t be the regular practice.

  29. Alan Charbonneau says:

    While the Republicans will want to hammer this or Hunter Biden or whatever, it ain’t like Donald is doing their side any favors. Biden can act in a presidential manner and push this from people’s minds, or at least have it not be at the front of their thoughts. What can Trump do to inspire confidence, whine about more unfair treatment by the boogie man of the day?

    Trump can’t get out of his legal issues and his throttling of the border deal MAY hurt him. What WILL hurt him is taking credit for overturning Roe v. Wade. The entire party has to run with this around their necks and the fanatical attention to Taylor Swift/Travis Kelcey will not help with younger Republicans.

    This was not good for Biden, but it’s not a death sentence either. A lot of criticism of Biden will be going on in Republican echo chambers all year, but the rest of the world will have moved on.

  30. e.a. foster says:

    That report does seem a bit over the top. The writer might have been better off, if he wanted to do a hatchet job on Biden, to have been a little less obvious about it. You’d think Biden had lost most of his marbles. Last time I heard Trump, speak on the news, he was the one who sounded like there might be something wrong with his mental facilties.

    As to the use of “willfuly”, yes, well most of us do things willfully. doesn’t mean its wrong, illegal, etc. If he means Biden did it with intent, ya, when you’re packing up, you usually do things willfully, like you’re packing up. If he is trying to infer Biden did something without regard for the law, etc. don’t buy that one. If he was prone to illegal activities, after what must be foreever in politics, he would have been caught long agao. Obama most likely would not have selected him as V.P. either.
    Can’t recall reading Hur’s name previously, don’t know who he is but he truly isn’t the brightest light in the chandelier. If you want to do a “hit” job on some one and do it well, you can’t be as obvious as he is. Really……

  31. MsJennyMD says:

    Special Counsel Hur concludes no criminal charges against Biden. Dr. Hur, “Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited.”

    August 2016, Charlotte, NC Trump said: “I’m going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law.”

    July 22, 2020, Cognitive test repeating 5 words in order, “Person, woman, man, camera, TV. ” Trump

    January 2021, Trump steals, stores and shows off classified documents in ballroom, bedroom, bathroom, shower, storeroom and office at Mar-a- Lago.

  32. gadfly1974 says:

    I didn’t think it was possible to be more long-winded than the old movie Ben-Hur.

    Congratulations Bob-Hur!

  33. says:

    As for the other document retainer, the one whose the thrice-alleged justice-obstructor — interesting news in his Mar-a-Lago case (sorry if already mentioned elsewhere among the comments)…but Judge Cannon has order the government to make public the names of witnesses against Trump in his document case. Smith filed a motion to reconsider and stay her ruling, which she has done. Grounds were clear error for Cannon applying the wrong legal standard. Violates her own protective order, it appears. Big boo-boo.

    Law and Crime briefly summarizes for those not able to open on document cloud.

    Can’t wait til Marcy gets a chance to peak at the sealed docket-document numbers and how they are described, and see what she can infer from them (pgs. 17-21)!

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