LEESBURG, Va. ― President Joe Biden said he was happy that a federal prosecutor looking into his handling of classified documents recommended that no charges be filed, even though the final report said his memory appeared to be faulty.
“The special counsel released their findings today about their look into my handling of classified documents. I was pleased to see they reached the conclusion I believed they knew all along they would ― that there would be no charges brought in this case,” Biden said Thursday in an appearance at House Democrats’ annual retreat.
The report had been released publicly only a few hours before. Though it cleared Biden in terms of charges, it also described his memory as having “significant limitations.” The language is certain to be brought up in the presidential race. His likely Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, only about three years Biden’s junior, has often said that Biden is out of touch.
But Biden felt comfortable enough about the topic that he cracked a joke.
“As many of you know, this was an exhaustive investigation, going back literally more than 40 years. Forty years, when I became a United States senator when I was a kid,” he sad to scattered laughter from assembled House Democratic lawmakers and staff.
“I was a kid, 29 years old,” he said.
Biden went on to quote the special counsel, Robert Hur, who contrasted Biden’s cooperation with investigators with Trump’s alleged stonewalling and unwillingness to return classified materials after being asked to do so.
“That’s the distinction, among others,” Biden said of Hur’s characterization.