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Jack Smith invokes Hur report in Trump classified documents case

Special counsel Jack Smith invoked Robert Hur’s report on President Biden’s handling of classified material in court documents filed Monday in former President Trump’s federal classified documents case.

Smith’s filing comes in opposition to Trump’s attorneys claiming the former president is being selectively prosecuted. Smith invoked Hur, who was appointed as special counsel to oversee an investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents, to argue that the two cases are practically incomparable in scope.

“Most notably, Trump, unlike Biden, is alleged to have engaged in extensive and repeated efforts to obstruct justice and thwart the return of documents bearing classification markings. And the evidence concerning the two men’s intent—whether they knowingly possessed and willfully retained such documents—is also starkly different, as reflected in the Hur Report’s conclusion.”

Biden was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by Hur, who determined that the president’s keeping of classified information in his home and office was against procedure, but not illegal. The most damning aspects of Hur’s report were descriptions of Biden’s well-being, in which he was described as an elderly man with poor recall. Hur cited those descriptions as a reason why he didn’t believe a jury could convict Biden.

Biden, along with the White House and his 2024 campaign, have strongly pushed back against the characterization.

Smith, who like Hur was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland — chosen to lead the Justice Department by Biden — argued that Trump’s violations were willing and intentional and included sharing classified information with unauthorized people. Trump’s willful retention, federal prosecutors argue, is the reason his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida had to be searched by the FBI, where it discovered boxes of non-secured classified materials in various parts of the complex.

Biden’s team, on the other hand, said they fully cooperated with investigators when the classified materials — dating back to his time as vice president and senator — were found at his home in Delaware and an old office in Washington.

Smith argued in his filing that Trump’s comparison of the two cases failed to identify someone else who faced a similar legal predicament.

“The defendants have not identified anyone who has engaged in a remotely similar suite of willful and deceitful criminal conduct and not been prosecuted. Nor could they,” Smith wrote in the filing. “Indeed, the comparators on which they rely are readily distinguishable.”

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