Biden docs » A yearlong Justice Dept. investigation into President Biden’s mishandling of classified information is over.
BIDEN: I was pleased to see that they reached the conclusion I believed and knew all along they would, that no charges should be brought in this case.
But the special counsel’s report was not all good news for the president.
It stated that Biden “willfully” retained and disclosed highly classified materials when he was a private citizen, including documents tied to sensitive national security matters. Something the president refuted last night.
BIDEN: For any extraneous commentary, they don’t know what they’re talking about. It has no place in this report.
The report described the 81-year-old Democrat’s memory as “hazy,” “faulty,” and “poor” and having “significant limitations.” It stated that Biden could not recall defining milestones in his own life such as when his son Beau died or when he served as vice president.
On that too, Biden pushed back:
BIDEN: My memory is fine. Take a look at what I’ve done since I’ve been president. None of you thought I could pass any of the things I got passed. How’d that happen?
Special counsel Robert Hur said he decided not to bring charges against Biden in part because his team believed a jury would see Biden as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.
But Republicans see a clear double standard. Trump reacted, saying “This has now proven to be a two-tiered system of justice.”
SCOTUS Trump ballot arguments » The Supreme Court is considering a case that could turn this year’s presidential election upside down. The justices heard oral arguments Thursday. WORLD’s Legal correspondent Mary Reichard has more:
MARY REICHARD: Donald Trump appealed to the nation’s highest court after the Colorado Supreme Court said Trump could be kicked off the state’s primary ballots. The state court said he engaged in “insurrection,” citing his actions surrounding the Capitol riot.
But Trump lawyer Jonathan Mitchell argued Thursday:
MITCHELL: This was as riot. It was not an insurrection. The events were shameful, criminal, violent, all of those things. But did not qualify as insurrection as that term is used in Section three.
But can a state invoke the insurrection clause of the Constitution without consent from the US Congress?
Lawyer Jason Murray for Colorado argued that Article II gives states broad power to run elections as they see fit.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh pushed back:
KAVANAUGH: What about the idea that we should think about democracy, the right of people to elect the candidate of their choice?
The Colorado attorney seemed at a loss to answer several hypotheticals the justices posed, such as why a single state should get to decide who is President.
And most of the justices seemed skeptical of the state’s constitutional authority to keep Trump off the ballot.
For WORLD, I’m Mary Reichard.
Missing Marines confirmed dead » U.S. military officers have spent the past day or so delivering heartbreaking news to the families of five Marines.
All were aboard a helicopter that crashed Wednesday during stormy weather in the mountains outside of San Diego.
Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder:
RYDER: We mourn their tragic loss. We will forever be grateful for their call to duty and selfless service.
The Marines were returning from a training exercise in Nevada to their home base at Miramar.
Texas border » With a record number of migrants still crossing the southern border into the United States … Texas Gov. Greg Abbott briefed reporters Thursday about his state’s efforts to curb the border crisis. Those efforts include placing border barriers and deploying National Guard troops.
ABBOTT: Working with the National Guard on plans to expand the National Guard effort along the border region — more soldiers, more resources, more capabilities.
President Biden is increasingly laying the blame for the border at the feet of Republicans after GOP lawmakers this week rejected a Senate border bill.
But Gov. Abbott fired back:
ABBOTT: He does not need more laws. He has the tools in his toolbox to do exactly what Texas is doing, and that is to deny illegal entry into the country.
Abbott complained that the Biden administration has relentlessly fought his efforts to secure the border within his state.
Ukraine military leader shakeup » Ukraine’s top general is out.
ZELENSKYY: [Speaking Ukrainian]
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announcing a military shakeup Thursday abruptly firing army chief Valery Zaluzhny.
ZELENSKYY: [Speaking Ukrainian]
The president told reporters that he thanked Zaluzhny for his service, but said a new strategy and new leadership are needed.
The general is something of a national hero. He was widely credited with helping lead Ukraine’s military to many of its early victories against Russia.
He’ll be replaced by Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrsky who has served as the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces.
King Charles update » In London, Queen Camilla said Thursday that King Charles III is doing well, all things considered. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN: Camilla said King Charles has been “very touched by all the letters and the messages the public have been sending” from around the world.
She added that he’s doing extremely well under the circumstances.’'
Buckingham Palace announced this week that the king had been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer and would begin treatment immediately.
He’s canceled all upcoming public appearances but continues to handle other duties.
For WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
I'm Kent Covington.
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