The only thing ex-special counsel Robert Hur's testimony showed is everyone hates his report

Robert Hur on Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.AP Photo/Nathan Howard
  • Robert Hur appeared before Congress to discuss his report on Biden's handling of classified documents.

  • Hur was peppered with questions about the report, which frustrated both Republicans and Democrats.

  • The explosive report has put a spotlight on Biden's age as he seeks a second term.

As the former special counsel Robert Hur spoke Tuesday at a congressional hearing about his investigation into President Joe Biden's mishandling of classified documents, one thing was clear: Neither Republican nor Democratic lawmakers were satisfied with his findings.

The hearing displayed the expected partisanship for such an event, with Democrats criticizing former President Donald Trump's handling of classified documents and Republicans claiming that the former president had been treated differently than Biden in his unrelated case.

But the hearing also revealed bipartisan frustration over the report.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a former chair of the House Intelligence Committee and a California US Senate candidate, pushed back against Hur, telling the ex-special counsel that he couldn't have been "so naive" to think that his remarks regarding Biden's acuity wouldn't become a politically explosive issue.

"You made a choice. It was a political choice. It was the wrong choice," Schiff told Hur.

Republicans peppered Hur with questions about why he declined to recommend charges against Biden.

Rep. Jim Jordan, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said during the hearing that Biden had "8 million reasons" to retain classified documents, alluding to the president's lucrative book deal following his two terms as vice president.

"Joe Biden had 8 million reasons to break the rules," the Ohio Republican said. "He took classified information and shared it with the guy who was writing the book. He knew the rules, but he broke them for $8 million in a book advance."

Hur's testimony came over a month after the Justice Department released his report on Biden's mishandling of confidential documents, in which he said the president shouldn't be charged with a crime. He said he didn't recommend charges in part because he believed Biden would present himself to a jury as a "sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."

Following the release of the report, prominent Republicans increased their attacks on Biden, saying he's too old and lacked the cognition to serve another four years.

But the full transcript of the interviews released Tuesday morning showed that Hur's report appeared to overstate the president's memory issues. For example, while Hur said that Biden "did not remember when he was vice president," the transcript showed him correcting his mistakes quickly while asking for clarification.

Several recent national polls have found that Biden's physical and mental fitness is a major source of concern among voters. In a Monmouth University survey from February, for example, less than one in three registered voters said they felt confident in Biden's mental and physical strength.

Though some Democratic voters have called for Biden to end his 2024 campaign, Jaime Harrison, the Democratic National Committee's chair, mocked the idea in a late-night social-media post last month, calling it "certifiably crazy."

Biden and Trump easily dominated their competition on Super Tuesday, and both are set this month to clinch the requisite number of delegates to secure their party nominations.

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