Garland Slams Criticism After Biden Classified Documents Report

Garland Slams Criticism After Biden Classified Documents Report

( – Attorney General Merrick Garland is defending his decision not to alter the content of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on whether President Joe Biden intentionally mishandled classified materials. At a press conference on March 21, Garland dismissed claims that he should have modified wording that painted the president in an unfavorable light, calling them ridiculous.

“The idea that an attorney general would edit or redact or censor the special counsel’s explanation,” he explained, “for why the special counsel reached the decision [they] did — that’s absurd.” Garland also said the content of the unredacted report aligns with precedent and full disclosure mandates for Special Counsel findings.

Hur’s investigation began in 2022, shortly after Biden’s lawyers found classified documents inside a locked closet within the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. All of the materials dated back to his tenure as vice president.

Biden’s legal team immediately reported the discovery to the National Archives. This disclosure ultimately triggered a DoJ investigation into how the documents ended up at the Center and whether it meant he had somehow violated federal law.

The discovery of two more batches of documents at Biden’s home in Delaware in the months afterward added fuel to the fire. Republicans grew increasingly critical of the government’s seemingly lenient treatment of Biden, often comparing it to the aggressive pursuit of former President Donald Trump for the same alleged offense in 2021.

On January 12, 2023, Attorney General Merrick Garland responded to these concerns by officially appointing Robert Hur as special counsel on the Biden documents case. Hur spent nearly a year looking into the circumstances surrounding the classified materials and at one point, even personally interviewed President Joe Biden.

In his final report, Hur concluded that Biden did, in fact, inappropriately and willfully retain documents after leaving office. However, he did not recommend prosecution, chalking the president’s actions up to inadvertent “lapses in attention and vigilance.” He also described Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

A firestorm of debate erupted over the wording. White House lawyers sent Garland a scathing letter accusing the special counsel of flagrantly violating DoJ policies by targeting Biden’s memory. Hur fired back at that accusation on March 12, calling his characterizations “necessary and accurate and fair.”

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