World

Biden mishandled paperwork, but no criminal expenses, US special counsel says

2024.02.08 15:07


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport, in New York City, U.S., February 7, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden took labeled details about the U.S. conflict in Afghanistan and different nationwide safety issues when he left the vice presidency in 2017, but he won’t face criminal expenses, a U.S. special counsel report launched Thursday mentioned.

The paperwork included a handwritten memo to then-President Barack Obama in 2009 opposing a deliberate troop surge in Afghanistan and handwritten notes associated to intelligence briefings and nationwide safety conferences, the report by Special Counsel Robert Hur discovered.

Biden instructed a author engaged on his memoir throughout a February 2017 dialog at a house he was renting in Virginia that he had “just found all the classified stuff downstairs,” based on the report. Hur’s report mentioned the dialog created “the best case” for expenses towards Biden.

But Hur recognized a number of explanation why he didn’t cost Biden, together with that the paperwork might have been taken to his dwelling whereas he was vp, when he had the authority to maintain such paperwork.

Hur mentioned Biden wouldn’t have confronted expenses even with out a longstanding Justice Department coverage towards indicting a sitting president.

Members of Biden’s authorized crew discovered the labeled papers on the workplace of Biden’s Washington assume tank and his private residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden’s lead rival within the November election, former President Donald Trump, faces a 40-count federal indictment for retaining extremely delicate nationwide safety paperwork at his Florida resort after leaving workplace in 2021 and obstructing U.S. authorities efforts to retrieve them.

While the 2 instances have similarities, there are additionally some notable variations.

The White House mentioned Biden’s attorneys discovered a small variety of labeled paperwork and turned them over after discovery.

Trump resisted doing so till a 2022 FBI search turned up about 100 labeled paperwork, resulting in obstruction of justice expenses towards Trump and two staff at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Hur, who served in senior roles on the Justice Department through the Trump administration, was appointed in January 2023 to supervise the investigation.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, who was nominated by Biden, put Hur in command of the investigation to provide the probe a level of independence from the management of the Justice Department.

Hur’s investigators interviewed Biden in October as a part of his probe. The White House has mentioned Biden and his crew have cooperated with the investigation.

Biden can not face federal criminal expenses as a sitting president below a longstanding Justice Department coverage.

The findings may pose political complications for Biden who has sought to attract a distinction with Trump on points of non-public ethics and nationwide safety.

Hur’s report, and his determination to not deliver criminal expenses, are more likely to gasoline accusations of a double customary from Trump and his Republican allies.

Trump was charged after prosecutors mentioned he refused for months to show over containers containing presidential information he had taken to his Mar-a-Lago resort and took steps to hide the paperwork after the U.S. authorities demanded their return. An FBI search in August 2022 turned up greater than 100 labeled paperwork on the property, prosecutors alleged.

Trump has pleaded not responsible and accused prosecutors of political motivations. A trial is scheduled for May but is more likely to be delayed.

Biden’s attorneys have mentioned they notified the National Archives after discovering a “small number” of labeled paperwork in his workplace on the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in November 2022, prompting a federal investigation. Additional paperwork had been later present in a storage and library at Biden’s Delaware dwelling and turned over to the Justice Department.

Biden confronted criticism on the time for delays in notifying the general public in regards to the discoveries.

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