The long-awaited investigation into Joe Biden's mishandling of classified information has finally concluded.
The investigation closed without charges being filed against Joe Biden, but some comments made by the Special Counsel have everyone stirred up.
- Special Counsel report
- Reactions to report
The report hardly exonerated Joe Biden, openly stating that he "willfully retained and disclosed classified materials." However, no charges are being presented because the Special Counsel did not believe they could get a conviction against Biden because of how he presented himself.
The Special Counsel described Biden in the report as a "a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory." He concluded:
"We conclude that no criminal charges are warranted in this matter. We would reach the same conclusion even if the Department of Justice policy did not foreclose criminal charges against a sitting president.
"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. Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone from whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him—by then a former president well into his eighties—of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness."
The Biden White House was not happy with the impression given of Biden as an elderly man with a bad memory, to say the least. They were outraged at the characterization, and while Biden argued with the media over the characterization, his formal statement did not even address the issue:
"This was an exhaustive investigation going back more than 40 years, even into the 1970s when I was a young Senator. I cooperated completely, threw up no roadblocks, and sought no delays. In fact, I was so determined to give the Special Counsel what they needed that I went forward with five hours of in-person interviews over two days on October 8th and 9th of last year, even though Israel had just been attacked on October 7th and I was in the middle of handling an international crisis. I just believed that's what I owed the American people so they could know no charges would be brought and the matter closed."
Bob Bauer, Biden's personal counsel, took a bit of a different approach, stating:
"The Department of Justice Inspector General observed only a few years ago that high-profile investigations, such as those of a president, may be 'subject to scrutiny not typical of the average criminal case, but that does not provide a basis for violating well-established Department norms, and, essentially, 'trashing' the subject of an investigation' with extraneous, unfounded and irrelevant critical commentary.
"[T]he 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."
On the right, there were immediate calls to activate the 25th Amendment to have Biden removed from office. Former U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy led the charge, stating:
"Well, my first impression was that this is supposed to be about whether there's enough evidence to indict, and as you read the report, I can't help but say it sure looks like there's enough here, to invoke the 25th Amendment. And I know that's not what he's looking at, what his purpose is, but his fitness for office is a major issue here."
We all knew no charges would be filed, but the comments related to Joe Biden's memory were more than expected. To that point, is this the out that Democrats were looking for to have Joe Biden removed from office? This is the perfect setup if they want him out because the right will do all the dirty work. The only problem for Democrats is that it will take Biden's Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment.
If I were in Republican leadership, I would not be pushing the 25th Amendment so hard but instead presenting the argument to the American people if they want "a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory" in office or someone else. It did not help Biden's cause that while arguing with Fox News' Peter Doocy over his memory, he seemed to forget where his son Beau's rosary came from. All conservatives want Biden removed, but the best bet to do that is through the election because he, by far, is the softest candidate Democrats will put on the ballot.