As you know Special Counsel Robert Hur who was tasked with investigating after President Biden reported classified documents were found by staff clearing out his space at the Penn Center dropped his report today. After hearing legal pundit Andrew Weisman invoke James Comey I decided to do a little “light reading” and damn if Weisman isn’t right. Let’s first establish that Hur says while Biden did wind up having classified documents that should have been turned in he wouldn’t prosecute even if Biden was plain old citizen Joe Biden.
That’s important. It’s also apparently infuriating to Hur that he can’t build even a case where he can get an indictment, much less a conviction. So he decided to editorialize and take cheap shots at the President including some outright snark. If you don’t believe me read the Executive Summary of Hur’s report which you can find here. It’s clear that a frustrated Hur decided if he could “get” Biden with criminal charges, then he’d get him politically.
The bottom line is that Hur, being a “good” little GOPer knew that Trump and the GOP crazies on Capitol Hill wanted his to carve legal chunks out of Biden, or at least leave him bleeding from a couple (or more) arteries. And there was no “there” there. James Comey ran into the same thing when as FBI Director he got personally involved with the investigation of Hillary Clinton.
Comey famously, or perhaps more accurately infamously displayed his butt-hurt by violating DOJ policy. He didn’t simply announce the investigation of Clinton was concluded and that she hadn’t done anything that warranted prosecution. Oh hell not. He made a huge point of editorializing about how awful Clinton’s actions were even though they were legal. And no different than what her predecessors had done.
Comey was by god going to do a number on Clinton and try to hamstring her in an election year. Now, all these years later if feels like Robert Hur is auditioning to play James Comey in the Comey biopic that will never get made because no one wants to see it. Hur I must note is a Republican who served as Chris Wray’s deputy back when Wray was head of the FBI’s criminal division. He then became a Trump appointed U.S. Attorney for the state of Maryland. He resigned once Biden took office and went to work for a big law firm. Unlike Trump who only allowed his AGs to appoint Republicans to investigate Republicans Merrick Garland returned the DOJ to standard practice. To avoid perception of political bias.
It’s not Garland’s first mistake to be sure. Maybe this will finally make him realize that while almost career people at DOJ check their politics while on the job that GOP political appointees don’t. At least not anymore. The old days are GONE. Bad faith and partisanship is what their Party expects and that’s been apparent for years now.
Watching initial reporting was disheartening because even MSNBC treated the report as a devastating blow to Biden. Lamentations about Hur “exposing” Biden as not only old but going soft in the head, no longer up to the job etc. Basically everything you’d expect from “talent” under pressure if not orders from the bosses to turn the Biden vs. Trump rematch we all know is coming into a f**king horse race. For ratings. Apparently, and keeping in mind most of them hadn’t even seen the freaking report much less digest it they assumed Hur played things straight.
Hell, I felt sick inside. At first. then I got to thinking along the lines I expressed above. Just what DID the report say? No mention of details about how many classified documents were found and how many might have high level classification. I was pretty sure instead of being in the many hundreds like Trump at most in Biden’s case, as with Pence it would be more in the dozens and way the hell short of a hundred. I still haven’t seen a count but initial reading indicates many if not the bulk of “classified documents” are notebooks/journals kept by Biden where he’d write down discussions with President Obama. Often containing classified information.
But let’s get to some of that editorializing and snark. Well, early on Hur snarks about Biden seeming to feel he’s a historical figure. Well DUH! Last time I checked President’s qualify. So do recent Vice-Presidents since in my lifetime it’s gone from being a mostly ceremonial role to close advisor. And before that Biden spent decades in the Senate having become one of it’s youngest members when he took office. He served with distinction chairing important committees and passing significant legislation. Yeah, I’d say he’s earned the right to suggest he’s been an important figure.
Then there’s the comment that (despite Hur admitting to the evidence not really being there in the first place) that prosecuting Biden would be tough because the jury would view him as a nice old man with a poor memory. WTF? Hur also suggested Biden couldn’t remember when his son Beau died! If you watched Biden’s statement and presser earlier you saw Dark Brandon show up.
“How dare he?” might have been what people heard and has been written, but “Uncle Joe” has some small-town grit in him and I have no doubt his private comments to staff were considerably more “colorful” as in “who the f**k does this little snot think he is?”
There’s also an issue that got mentioned later on. Hur admits Biden cooperated fully. He was forced to admit this when (for GOPers) justifying what was different about Biden having classified information at his homes and how when the issue was discovered Biden immediately altered the proper people. And instantly gave consent for searches by the FBI. And the contrast with Trump. But Hur knew what his fellow GOPers wanted and he had to do SOMETHING to give them ammunition and it’s clear he decided to use Biden’s age against him. And took advantage of an extraordinary situation to do so.
An interview with Biden was scheduled. No one could know it when it was set but it just so happens the five hours given over two days to Hur just happened to be Oct. 7 &, 2023. Three guesses as to what happened on Oct. 7 but you only need one. With THAT going on rather than postpone (since word would leak and GOPers would attack him for “delaying, or “covering up”) Biden somehow set aside time to answer all of Hur’s questions, not all of which it turned out were appropriate and relevant.
Gee, you think at times with the middle east literally blowing up, Congress dicking around with a potential budget shutdown and Ukraine desperately needing our help Biden might have at times been trying to focus a bit on THAT stuff while Hur regrouped and tried to find some way to trip him up? So Biden didn’t give Hur and his questions complete, undivided attention. Since he hadn’t done anything wrong Biden had the audacity to not only think about several crucial things at once but let it show to Hur that he wasn’t giving Hur his exclusive attention. Sometimes Biden had so “shift gears” and f**king Hur decided to use it against him! What a mean spirited, hateful little eff-was Hur must be.
In any case, given how the news coverage this afternoon took Hur’s (and the GOP Judiciary’s characterization of it) report and it’s critical characterization of Biden as gospel it’s no wonder Biden decided to get on TV tonight. CNBC has a nice write up and as I said, the Biden that Hur portrayed was nowhere to be found. What we saw was a Joe Biden in fighting mode:
President Joe Biden on Thursday evening strongly disputed new claims by Department of Justice special counsel Robert Hur that he “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” as a private citizen, and that he had exhibited poor memory during an interview about that material.
“My memory has not gotten worse,” Biden told reporters in a nationally televised address at the White House hours after Hur released his report.
But Biden was just getting warmed up:
Biden was visibly angry at Hur’s claim that he could not remember the year his son Beau Biden died, which the special counsel cited among other examples of evidence that Biden’s memory “appeared hazy” during interviews with investigators.
The president said that when he was asked a question about that year Beau died “I thought to myself [it] wasn’t any of their damn business.”
“How in the hell dare he raise that,” Biden said of Hur. “I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away.”
I don’t have a link to the actual press conference but I’m going to look for it tomorrow. It’s a keeper for my favorites folder. It will be interesting to see what the talking head brigade has to say tomorrow, and over the weekend. Especially those who spend the afternoon in “Poor Joe Biden. He’s old and Trump will eat him alive during the campaign” mode. Will they eat a little crow? I rather doubt it but I’ll bet they wind up having to show how Biden and the WH responded, calling out the b.s. Hur tried to spread. How they handle GOPer trying to spread it on thicker will be something to keep an eye on.
For now, rest easy tonight. If you were worried chill. Joe and is alter ego Dark Brandon have this covered. He’s not going to sit back and take what’s coming. Unlike Garland he understands “old school” doesn’t cut it most of the time anymore. Trump like to say he punches back. Well, whether we’re talking “Uncle Joe” Biden or Dark Brandon Trump and MAGA are going to be getting a lesson in the form of repeated counterpunches from Biden if they try to exploit what Hur has done.
I have to say I’m going to enjoy watching them bleed. And whine “He’s not being FAIR! He’s hitting BACK! Mommeeeeeee!”