Biden Denies Special Counsel Robert Hur Requesting Interview With Classified Documents

WASHINGTON – President Biden on Friday denied a report that special counsel Robert Hur is seeking to interview him as part of an investigation into Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.

“There is no such request and no such interest,” Biden told reporters after leaving a Pilates class in South Lake Tahoe, California, near where he is vacationing at the lakefront home of billionaire Tom Steyer.

NBC News reported earlier this month that Hur’s office and the president’s lawyers had been negotiating for about a month over the terms of a potential interview.

A Hur spokesman declined to comment. Biden’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer, and a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

An interview could expose the 80-year-old president, who is prone to embellished or outright inaccurate stories in public, to significant legal and political danger.

Lying to federal agents is itself a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, and could even be used to justify articles of impeachment, as happened after then-President Bill Clinton falsely said in a 1998 legal statement that he never had “sexual relations”. ”with Monica Lewinsky, White House intern.

NBC News reported earlier this month that Hur’s office and the president’s lawyers had been negotiating for about a month over the terms of a possible interview.

Such an interview would come at a particularly sensitive time, as House Republicans, led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), are moving closer to launching an impeachment inquiry into the president’s alleged involvement in the foreign businesses of his son Hunter Biden and his brother James Biden. .

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur to investigate Biden’s handling of records dating back to his vice-presidential and Senate years on Jan. 12, but skeptics have noted the lack of obvious investigative steps since then.

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Hur was the United States Attorney for Maryland from 2018 to 2021, after working as an assistant to then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

A former Justice Department official told The Post after Hur’s appointment as special counsel that Hur was widely seen as “a crony” of Rosenstein, a frequent target of former President Donald Trump’s wrath.

Hur’s interest in an interview follows the June indictment of Trump, who is seeking a rematch against Biden in next year’s election, for allegedly mishandling national security records brought to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. in early 2021.

Merrick GarlandAttorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur to investigate Biden’s handling of records dating back to his vice-presidential and Senate years on January 12, but skeptics have noted the lack of obvious investigative steps since then. REUTERS

Special counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents case against Trump could sentence the 77-year-old former president to a maximum sentence of 450 years in prison.

Trump also faces three other unrelated criminal cases and has denied any wrongdoing across the board.

Biden rebuked Trump as “irresponsible” last September for withholding classified documents at his Palm Beach compound, which is guarded by the Secret Service, before classified documents were also found at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and in the post-vice-presidential office in DC.

Biden’s lawyers say they initially found classified documents on November 2 while cleaning out his former office in the Penn Biden Center near the Capitol.

Some of them were reportedly marked “top secret” and belonged to Iran and Ukraine.

donald trumpHur’s interest in an interview follows the June indictment of Trump, who is seeking a rematch against Biden in next year’s election, for allegedly mishandling national security records brought to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. in 2021.AP

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The discovery six days before the midterm elections was kept under wraps, even though Trump’s alleged mishandling of records was a major problem in the midterm elections following the FBI raid of the August 8, 2022 at Mar-a-Lago.

More classified documents were found in Biden’s Wilmington garage on December 20, followed by a series of additional discoveries at the home, including by the FBI, which also searched the president’s vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and he left with written notes.

Some of the records found by the FBI reportedly date back to Biden’s 36 years as a senator from Delaware, before rising to the vice presidency in 2009.

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Biden has tried to downplay the controversy, saying in a PBS interview on February 8: “As far as I know, the kind of things that they picked up are things that… from 1974, misplaced documents.”

“There is nothing there,” Biden told reporters on January 19 during a trip to California.

Biden first publicly acknowledged the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center during a Jan. 10 press conference in Mexico City, only after CBS News broke the story the day before.

In his opening comments, Biden did not say that a second cache of classified documents had been found in his Wilmington garage and gave the impression that only one set of records had been found.

Biden went on to admit on Jan. 12 that some classified records were found next to his classic Corvette in his garage, which lacked Secret Service protection for a period before he launched his 2020 presidential campaign, but he denied being reckless with the records. secrets of the nation

“My Corvette is in a locked garage, okay? So it’s not like they’re sitting on the street,” Biden said.

The White House said at the time that records searches were complete, but Biden’s lawyers found additional documents. An FBI search found six more items with classification marks.

The first son, Hunter Biden, who is under federal investigation for possible tax fraud, money laundering and illegal foreign lobbying, frequently visited the Wilmington home, according to his old laptop records, listing the home as his own residence. on a 2018 background check form. .

Another investigation by the special counsel focuses on Hunter Biden’s foreign dealings, which often overlapped with his father’s role as vice president.

Delaware US attorney David Weiss was promoted by Garland to special counsel on August 11 so that he can bring charges against Hunter Biden outside of his district, though that move was criticized by Republicans who noted that IRS whistleblowers said that Weiss’s office prohibited them from investigating. Joe Biden’s alleged role in foreign dealings before the US attorney approved an unusual parole deal only to be rejected by a federal judge.

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Source: vtt.edu.vn

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