Executive Branch Intelligence

Special Counsel Hur Declines to Seek Criminal Charges Against Biden

Tyler McBrien
Thursday, February 8, 2024, 3:32 PM
Despite uncovering evidence that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials,” Hur did not conclude it “established Biden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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On Feb. 8, Special Counsel Robert Hur publicly released his “Report on the Investigation Into Unauthorized Removal, Retention, and Disclosure of Classified Documents Discovered at Locations Including the Penn Eiden Center and the Delaware Private Residence of President Joseph R. Eiden, Jr.” Hur and his team concluded that “no criminal charges are warranted in this matter” against President Biden, though he did uncover evidence that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.”

Garland announced on Jan. 12, 2023, that he issued an order to appoint Hur to oversee an investigation into classified documents allegedly found at President Biden's office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement as well as at the president's home in Wilmington, Delaware.

During Hur’s investigation, FBI agents recovered “marked classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan” and “notebooks containing Mr. Biden's handwritten entries about issues of national security and foreign policy implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods” from Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home. However, Hur did not conclude that the evidence established Biden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and cited Biden’s cooperation with investigators and “consideration of the aggravating and mitigating factors set forth in the Department of Justice's Principles of Federal Prosecution” as additional reasons for declining to bring charges against the president. 

Read the report here, or below:

Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.

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