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Special counsel report on Biden’s handling of classified documents released

President Joe Biden, left, and Former President Donald Trump.
President Joe Biden, left, and Former President Donald Trump. Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Thursday touted his cooperation in special counsel Robert Hur’s probe, drawing a sharp contrast with how his predecessor has treated a similar probe.

In a statement Thursday, Biden said that he was “pleased” that the special counsel’s report into his handling of classified documents did not include any charges. The president also added that this was “an exhaustive investigation” that went back more than 40 years. 

And in a comment that will draw comparison to Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to withhold classified documents after he left office, Biden said his participation in Hur’s investigation was what Americans deserved.

“I just believed that’s what I owed the American people so they could know no charges would be brought and the matter closed,” Biden said.

Hur noted in his report there were distinctions between Trump and Biden’s classified documents cases. Among them is the fact that the National Archives repeatedly tried and failed to get back documents in Trump’s possession. At one point, the FBI secured a search warrant to search his Florida estate.

This still from aerial video shows President Joe Biden's home in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 12, 2023.
This still from aerial video shows President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 12, 2023. WPVI

Biden’s attorneys, on the other hand, notified the National Archives of the materials found in his possession. Those documents were discovered on November 2, just six days before the midterm elections, but the president’s attorneys only publicly acknowledged the discovery of the documents on November 7 — when news reports about the discovery broke. 

Biden’s statement added, “I was pleased to see they reached the conclusion I believed all along they would reach – that there would be no charges brought in this case and the matter is now closed. This was an exhaustive investigation going back more than 40 years, even into the 1970s when I was a young Senator.”

The president also sought to explain the circumstances surrounding his interviews with the special counsel’s team, saying they were five hours long over the course of two days right after Israel had been attacked on October 7. 

“I was so determined to give the Special Counsel what they needed that I went forward with five hours of in-person interviews over two days on October 8th and 9th of last year, even though Israel had just been attacked on October 7th and I was in the middle of handling an international crisis,” Biden said. 

Biden concluded the statement by saying, “I take these issues seriously and no one has ever questioned that.”

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