Prominent conservatives demanded that President Biden step down from office Thursday after the special counsel probe into his alleged mishandling of classified documents argued his memory is too “poor” to necessitate any charge of wrongdoing.
The reactions came after Special Counsel Robert Hur published his report Thursday on a months-long investigation into the president’s alleged improper retention of classified records since before he was in office.
According to the report, Hur’s team “uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen. However, charges were not recommended against Biden because he’d be seen as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
The report detailed the decision not to recommend charges, adding, “Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone from whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”
Among the documents found were “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.”
Hur noted that FBI agents acquired the classified documents from “the garages, offices, and basement den in Mr. Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home.”
The White House was able to review the report before it was released to the public and did not request any redactions before it was given to Congress on Thursday.
Though Biden was let off the hook for wrongdoing, conservatives on social media pointed out what they saw as the elephant in the room – that someone considered too mentally enfeebled to do the wrongdoing was in charge of the country.
Rep. Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, asked, “Let me get this straight. Biden is too cognitively impaired to be charged with a crime, but he’s not too cognitively impaired to be the Commander-in-Chief?”
Popular conservative account “End Wokeness” remarked, “The Biden DOJ is not charging Joe Biden because he is too mentally unwell to be accountable for his crimes. Yes, that is their defense. This is the man with the nuclear codes.”
Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, posted, “Biden gives away classified information as a private citizen and gets a pass. Trump ‘mishandled’ classified info of his own government and they want him to die in prison. Our criminal justice system is a joke. It’s why we shouldn’t roll over for DOJ nominations in the senate.”
The account for America First Legal responded to the special counsel’s findings, stating, “What everyone needs to understand: @realDonaldTrump had absolute authority over his presidential papers, and the Mar-a-Lago prosecution is unconstitutional. It should be dismissed TODAY for that and many other reasons.”
The post continued, saying that Biden “illegally possessed classified material–from before he was President–but isn’t being prosecuted because, among other reasons, jurors could view him ‘as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.’”
Digital strategist Greg Price compared Biden’s documents case to Trump’s as well, posting, “According to Robert Hur’s report, Biden’s ghost writer deleted audio recordings after the special counsel was appointed. Yet Hur declined to charge him with obstruction. Reminder that two Mar-a-Lago employees were charged along with Trump for moving boxes of documents.”
Conservative commentator Graham Allen called on lawmakers to remove Biden from office because of his mental sluggishness, declaring, “25TH AMENDMENT. NOW!!!”
RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway posted, “A few random thoughts about the special counsel report: On one hand, it’s outrageous they’re not charging Biden for the same crimes they’re charging Trump for. On the other, shivving him by revealing he’s senile might have bigger political impact than bringing charges.”
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, observed, “The Department of Justice reporting to the sitting President of the United States has, in essence, declared Joe Biden not competent to stand trial. Think about that.”
Conservative commentator Rogan O’Handley ripped Biden’s competence after seeing the report, “So the Special Counsel is admitting that Joe Biden broke the law and committed at least 1 Felony, but he’s too old and mentally feeble to be held accountable. And this is the guy currently in charge of the nuclear codes?”
Biden claimed Thursday he struggled to remember certain key dates because he was interviewed the day after the Oct. 7 terrorist attack against Israel and “handling an international crisis.”
“We do not believe that the report’s treatment of President Biden’s memory is accurate or appropriate,” Biden’s personal lawyers Richard Sauber and Bob Bauer wrote in a letter to Hur. “The report uses highly prejudicial language to describe a commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of years-old events.”