MATTHEWS: Hur report is the worst possible news for Joe Biden 

President Joe Biden pauses as he arrives to speak in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Last week, special counsel Robert Hur released a report detailing the findings of his investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents during his time as a private citizen.  

Hur, who was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in November 2022 — three months after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home for classified documents — didn’t recommend indictment for Biden even though Hur found Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice-presidency when he was a private citizen.”  

Though that, along with noting he found the evidence “does not establish Mr. Biden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” would sound like good news for Biden, it is the other reason Hur declined to recommend an indictment that has created a firestorm for the Biden administration. 

Hur felt Biden would present a sympathetic portrait to a jury because of his age and memory issues. 

There were numerous mentions of Biden’s poor memory in the report. 

“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 wrote. 

“In addition, Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017,” when Biden was 74 years old, “and in his interview with our office in 2023,” Hur documented in another part of the report.  

This was especially evident, Hur said, in Biden’s answers in October 2023 when the president was questioned by Hur. 

“In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse,” Hur pointed out. “He did not remember when he was vice president… did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.” 

The Biden White House’s response to Hur’s findings on Biden’s memory has been to attack him as “politically motivated” since he was an attorney general for the Maryland district during the Trump administration.  

“So the way the president’s demeanor in that report was characterized could not be more wrong on the facts, and clearly politically motivated,” Vice President Kamala Harris declared. 

“And so I will say, when it comes to the role and responsibility of a prosecutor in a situation like that, we should expect that there would be a higher level of integrity than what we saw.” 

Putting aside the fact that the last person who should be lecturing anyone about lacking integrity is Kamala Harris, it was a pathetic yet telling response considering the American people have seen for themselves over the last three years the issues Biden has remembering things. 

In other words, even without the Hur report, voters were well aware of the problems Biden has had with his memory, with clear majorities expressing their concerns in poll after poll. 

As CNN conservative commentator Scott Jennings observed, politically speaking it might have been better if Biden had been indicted rather than let off the hook for the reasons Hur gave. 

“The number one anvil on the head of this campaign is the American people do not believe he has the mental acuity to serve as president today or for four more years,” Jennings said. 

“This was politically devastating and [an] indictment would have been far better,” Jennings went on to say. 

Jennings was right: Biden would have been better off getting indicted in this case rather than having to try and counter the elephant in the room about his age and mental acuity in the court of public opinion. 

The findings from the special counsel, who again was appointed by Biden’s handpicked Attorney General Merrick Garland, would seem to emphatically underscore that the concerns voters already had about Biden’s age and fitness to lead are entirely justified. 

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.