Robert Hur’s Testimony About His Report on Biden

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Robert K. Hur, the special counsel in charge of investigating President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Special Counsel Defends Claims on Biden Lapses” (front page, March 13):

After watching hours of testimony by Robert Hur, the special counsel in the investigation of President Biden’s handling of classified documents, I am impressed by his professionalism and impartiality. Why the Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee thought a televised hearing would undermine Mr. Biden and help Donald Trump eludes me.

Mr. Hur’s decision not to prosecute Mr. Biden involved an analysis of the totality of the circumstances and was the correct outcome. Prosecutors have the duty to bring charges only in situations in which they truly believe that they can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. Mr. Hur determined he could not meet that high standard.

The repeated comparisons with Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents were damning for the former president.

Robert S. Carroll
Staten Island

To the Editor:

Robert Hur testified at a congressional committee hearing that although President Biden’s retention of classified documents since his Senate days decades ago violated the law, he declined to bring charges because, as he wrote in his report, Mr. Biden “would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Yet he testified that a reasonable juror could find the president guilty.

Even if the president were to testify at his trial that he now doesn’t remember keeping classified documents, Mr. Biden’s recorded interviews with his ghostwriter after he left office in 2017 admitting he did have classified documents and other incriminating evidence would contradict that defense.

If a defendant’s memory lapse about his past crimes is a get-out-of-jail-free card, can we expect to see this novel precedent raised by more elderly suspects?

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