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'An old man with a bad memory': Special prosecutor defends comments about Joe Biden

'An old man with a bad memory': Special prosecutor defends comments about Joe Biden

The US special prosecutor responsible for investigating Joe Biden's withholding of secret documents, on Tuesday, defended before the House of Representatives his controversial statements about the president's sometimes weak memory to justify his decision to abandon his prosecution.

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In his report published in February, special prosecutor Robert Hoare recommended dismissing the case, arguing in particular that the jury would be reluctant to convict “an elderly man with a poor memory.” The 81-year-old Democratic president's camp then denounced the “inexcusable” and “inappropriate” comments.

“We have collected evidence that the President knowingly kept secret documents after the end of his vice term (2009-2017, editor's note), while he was a private citizen,” Mr. Hur summed up Tuesday before two House committees. , dominated by Republicans.

He added: “But we did not collect evidence beyond reasonable doubt.”

“My job was to verify whether the President had ‘knowingly’ kept or disclosed classified information,” the special prosecutor recalled.

“I cannot conclude on this point without examining the President's state of mind. For this reason, I had to take into account the President's memory and general state of mind, and how it would be viewed by a jury in a criminal court,” he explained.

He stressed that “my assessment in the report about the importance of memory was necessary, accurate and fair.”

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“I did not correct my interpretation, nor did I unfairly denigrate the president,” Robert Hoare insisted.

The appointment of Mr. Hoare as Special Prosecutor in January 2023 followed the discovery in December 2022 and January 2023 of classified documents dating back to the time Joe Biden was Vice President, particularly relating to US military involvement in Afghanistan, at his home in Wilmington. In the state of Delaware (east), as well as in a previous office.