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Harris slams ‘politically motivated’ special counsel report that questioned Biden’s memory

Vice President Harris on Friday slammed a special counsel report on President Biden’s handling of classified materials as “politically motivated.”

“As a former prosecutor, the comments that were made by that prosecutor: gratuitous, inaccurate, and inappropriate,” Harris told reporters when asked about special counsel Robert Hur’s report, which cleared Biden of wrongdoing but offered an unflattering assessment of Biden’s memory and recall abilities.

Harris said she spent hours with Biden in the days around his interview with Hur and described him as “on top of it all.”

“So the way the president’s demeanor in that report was characterized could not be more wrong on the facts, and clearly politically motivated,” she said. “And so I will say, when it comes to the role and responsibility of a prosecutor in a situation like that, we should expect that there would be a higher level of integrity than what we saw.”

Harris previously served as attorney general of California.

Hur released a 388-page report Thursday that concluded Biden retained classified documents from his time as vice president and a senator, but Hur declined to bring any charges. The report also offered a stark assessment of the 81-year-old’s memory and abilities to recall information.

“In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse,” Hur wrote. “He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended … and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began. … He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.”

Biden asserted he was fully transparent with Hur’s investigation. He noted he sat for a five-hour interview with Hur’s team over two days and discussed events that spanned roughly 40 years in the days after terrorist attacks in Israel roiled the Middle East.

The president held a press conference late Thursday in which he fiercely pushed back against the idea that his memory was fading, and he criticized Hur for going beyond the conclusion that there was no wrongdoing.

Harris’s comments echo those from other Biden allies who have argued Hur’s report was inappropriate and beyond the bounds of his role as a special counsel.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur as the special counsel handling the investigation in January 2023, shortly after it was made public that classified documents were discovered at Biden’s Delaware home.

Hur was nominated in 2017 by then-President Trump to serve as U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland and confirmed the following year, making him the chief federal law enforcement officer in the state. He resigned from the post in early 2021.

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