In a report on President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents from earlier in his career, a special counsel said Biden was a “sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory” who “willfully retained” classified documents.
Robert Hur, the special counsel, declined to recommend criminal charges against Biden, 81, who is running for a second term this year. The investigation centered on classified documents from Biden’s time in the Senate and from when he served as vice president under President Barack Obama.
Biden responded with a televised news conference Thursday evening where he blasted prosecutors for daring to ask him when his son, Beau, died.
“How in the hell dare he raise that? I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away,” Biden said in his speech.
But despite Biden’s assertions that his memory is fine when answering a question from a reporter, he confused Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with the president of Mexico. Recently, Biden confused German leaders Angela Merkel and Helmut Kohl and French President Emmanuel Macron with former French President Francois Mitterrand.
And he denied the counsel report that he had “willfully” held onto classified documents despite the counsel report explicitly using the word to describe his behavior.
U.S. Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh/Carbon) told NBC News that Biden is fine after seeing his speech Thursday evening.
“He did so well in this discussion with members. He’s very sharp, no memory issues, and his only stumbling is when he trips over words consistent with his lifelong speech impediment.”
Mike Marinella, a spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said, “Another day, another reason Susan Wild’s staunch allegiance to Joe Biden poses a major problem. What will it take for Wild to speak out against Joe Biden’s re-election?”
On Friday, DVJournal asked area members of Congress this question: “Three out of four Americans say President Biden’s fitness for office is a major concern. After reading the DOJ report and watching his response, do you still believe President Biden is mentally and physically capable of doing the job?”
Democratic U.S. Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery/Berks), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia/Montgomery), and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks) declined not to respond, as did Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks).
Pennsylvania’s Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. declined to respond as well, but Sen. John Fetterman participated in a press call Friday defending Biden and attacking the special counsel.
“You have to remember that you have a Trump appointee,” Fetterman said of Hur. “That’s 350 pages to just say that Joe Biden isn’t going to be indicted here. It was just a smear and cheap shot, and just taking things out of context.”
“I’ve been on Air Force One with the President, and on Marine One with the President and I’ve been around him and he is absolutely lucid and most, just is a regular guy,” Fetterman said in a later interview.
But Republican Dave McCormick, who is running against Casey, shared this social media post: “The special prosecutor says Biden is too old and forgetful to be prosecuted. If he’s too old and forgetful to be prosecuted, he’s too old and forgetful to be president!”
Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips, who is mounting a long-shot presidential campaign against Biden, called the report a “sad day for America and particularly for President Biden and his family.”
“The report simply affirms what most Americans already know, that the president cannot continue to serve as our Commander-in-Chief beyond his term ending Jan. 20, 2025,” Dean said on Fox News Digital. “Already facing the lowest approval numbers in modern history and losing in each of the key battleground states, this report has all but handed the 2024 election to Donald Trump if Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee — and I invite fellow Democrats to face the truth.”