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Biden insists “my memory is fine” in response to classified documents report

President Joe Biden defended himself during a press conference at the White House. Associated Press/Photo by Evan Vucci

Biden insists “my memory is fine” in response to classified documents report

President Joe Biden on Thursday night defended himself during a last-minute press conference at the White House after an investigation found that he mishandled top secret files. “My memory is fine,” he said. He reacted angrily to comments about his memory of his late son Beau’s death from cancer. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Hur wrote in an investigative report released Thursday that Biden had “willfully retained and disclosed” classified documents from his time as vice president. The 345-page report also said that Biden’s memory “was significantly limited” during interviews with a ghostwriter in 2017 and with investigators in 2023.

What else did Biden say in response to the report? The president denied that he improperly shared classified information and said that his focus on the war in Gaza excused any memory lapses he had during interviews. Investigators interviewed him for five hours on Oct. 8 and 9, starting the day after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel. Biden also highlighted the differences between his case and an ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents.

What action did Hur recommend taking? He concluded that Biden’s cooperation with the investigation and his alleged poor memory would likely convince a jury that he made an “innocent mistake” by keeping the documents. He decided not to bring criminal charges against Biden due to a lack of evidence. 

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Lynn Vincent’s report about how the Justice Department’s raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate could be a crossing of the Rubicon in U.S. politics.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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