President Biden’s personal counsel on Sunday sidestepped questions on whether he supports releasing transcripts of the president’s interviews with the special counsel who investigated Biden’s handling of classified documents.
Bob Bauer, who represented Biden in the investigation, told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” that the matter will ultimately be decided at the government’s discretion.
“Well, it’s really a decision that has to take place within the government. It’s a classified document,” Bauer said when asked if he would favor releasing the interview transcripts.
Bauer gave the rare public interview in the wake of special counsel Robert Hur’s release of a 388-page report last Thursday that concluded Biden “willfully” retained classified documents but declined to bring charges. The report also featured stark details about Biden’s memory and recall, describing the president as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
Earlier in the interview, Bauer offered his own recollection of the special counsel’s interview with Biden and told Brennan he remembers a “president who engaged with the questions very directly and gave his best recollection.”
Bauer argued Hur decided to “cherry-pick” certain details from the interview, such as Biden reportedly struggling to remember the year in which his son Beau died.
“Some of the references that you’re discussing here is an example of what I call a really shabby work product and completely out of bounds for a prosecutor,” Bauer said.
Brennan later asked again if Bauer would recommend things be made public “if they indeed [to] back up [his] personal record.”
“Yeah, there’s a process underway. I’m not a specialist in the process and so I really have to defer to those who have to work through those issues,” Bauer responded.
He maintained Biden does not have memory problems and shared an anecdote from the interview room.
“There were a couple of occasions when the special counsel — who had flagged at the beginning that sometimes he asks imprecise questions, asked questions that the president picked apart as a matter of logic,” Bauer said. “He showed that the questions didn’t have a logical underpinning. Now, everybody in the room recognized that was the case that showed the president was listening carefully and understood precisely what was wrong with those questions.”
Asked if there is evidence to back up that assertion, Bauer responded, “What I was concerned about in the course of this special investigation is that when you had a special counsel who had one eye on the foregone legal conclusions and one eye on the inevitable storm from members of his own party, would he … conclude the president had not broken the law?”
“So you have to wonder with those pressures impinging on the investigation from the outside, knowing the attacks Republicans have levied on the law enforcement process. Did he decide we would have to ask that he would reach the only legal conclusion possible and then toss the rest of it to placate a certain political constituency?”
He later contended no one is saying “the system is rigged,” but rather the the special counsel’s particular performance “just goes off the rails.”
“He arrived at the right legal conclusion and then 400 page[s] later, misstatements of facts and totally inappropriate and pejorative comments that are unfounded and not supported by the record,” Bauer added.