Joe Biden forgot the year of his eldest son’s death, special counsel Robert Hur testifies

When President Joe Biden’s memory was questioned in a special counsel report last month, the White House knew it had a political problem on its hands, but Biden also took a lot of personal insults.

Robert Hur, who was appointed to investigate whether Biden mishandled classified documents, wrote that the president could not recall the date when his adult son Beau died of cancer in an interview with prosecutors. Had died from. It was a shocking controversy about a significant event in Biden’s life, and it gave rise to questions about whether The 81-year-old president is fit for another term,

“How dare he bring it up?” Biden made the angry announcement during a hastily arranged press conference following the release of the report. “To be honest, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself that it was no big deal for them.”

However, according to a transcript of the interview released Tuesday ahead of the former special counsel’s testimony on Capitol Hill, the reality of the situation is not as clear-cut as Biden or Hur have portrayed.

Hur did not ask the President about his son’s death; Biden himself raised it during a discussion about how he stored documents in a rental home in Virginia after leaving the office of the vice president in 2017.

And Biden missed the specific date Beau died, though he briefly thought about the year during conversations between various events.

“What month did Beau die in?” Biden pondered. “Oh my God, May 30th.”

A White House lawyer interjected, “2015.”

“Did he die in 2015?” Biden asked. When someone responded in the affirmative, the President said, “It was 2015.”

Biden aides defended the president’s mischaracterization of the interview during his press conference last month, calling his response emotional and sentimental. And he said his exchange with Hur shows Biden believes it is important to reflect on how his son’s death has affected his decision-making in his later years.

Hur said in her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee that her report’s discussion of Biden’s memory was “necessary and accurate and fair” because his mental state was an important part of evaluating whether he committed a crime.

“I did not give my explanation correctly, nor did I unfairly criticize the President,” he said.

The transcript released Tuesday sheds new light on one of the most politically and personally sensitive episodes of Biden’s tenure. Although the special counsel’s investigation found no grounds to bring criminal charges against Biden – unlike Donald Trump, who was convicted for refusing to return classified records to the federal government – ​​the context of his memory served as an indication of the president’s influence on voters. This jeopardized his ability to assure that he could keep doing his job until he was 86 years old.

Beau was Attorney General of Delaware and widely seen as his father’s political successor when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The cancer, which Biden links to his son’s National Guard service near toxic burn pits at military bases in Iraq, was devastating for a family that had already suffered tragedy decades earlier. Shortly after Biden was elected to the Senate in 1972, his first wife and daughter died in a car accident, which also fatally injured Beau and his younger brother Hunter.

Beau died while Biden was serving as vice president, and his deep grief helped prevent him from running for president in 2016, when Trump ultimately defeated Hillary Clinton.

Biden mentioned the death during an interview conducted by Hur on October 8. They were discussing where Biden kept documents he was “actively working on” at his Virginia home.

The President went back a few years and talked about how “in this time frame, my son is – either deployed or dying.”

After a brief exchange about the specific date, Biden began talking about writing his book, “Promise Me, Dad,” which was released in 2017.

“It’s personal,” he said, talking about how “Beau was like my right arm and Hunt was like my left arm.”

Hur offered Biden a break at this point, but the president insisted on continuing a long story about his family. Biden recalled how Beau had promised him not to step away from public life after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Biden decided that “I cannot handle another run for the presidency” but that he would “remain involved.” However, in a story Joe Biden has often told at fundraisers, he changed course after the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Trump’s response that “there were very fine people on both sides.”

Biden said he was the “opposite” of everything that “this guy stood for” and “I could have defeated him.”

As he finished the story, Biden wondered aloud whether Hur needed such a long answer.

“Sorry about the detail,” Biden said.

Hur replied, “There is no need for an apology.”

published by:

Sudeep Lavania

Published on:

March 12, 2024

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