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AG Garland Pressed on Hur Report, Says Biden ‘Has No Impairment’

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland gave an impassioned defense of his boss, President Joe Biden, during a House hearing on Tuesday, claiming he had not seen any signs of “impairment” despite ample video clips published on social media and in the news that seem to suggest a significant mental decline.

During a hearing in front of a House committee responsible for funding the Justice Department, Garland was questioned about the report from Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into how Biden handled classified materials. Hur criticized the president’s memory in the report and Garland was compelled to answer a series of questions about it.

At one point during questioning, Garland tried to pivot away from commenting on Hur’s analysis by saying, “It is improper for the attorney general to editorialize.”

“I take that separately from the question you’re asking about my own observations about the president,” the AG said in response to questions from Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA). “I have complete confidence in the president.”

“I have seen the president effectively guide members of the department of his Cabinet and his military — the president has no impairment,” Garland said.

In a follow-up to Cline’s line of questioning, Garland appeared to become somewhat testy: “I don’t know how many ways I can say this, I have complete confidence in the president, and I reject your characterization.”

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But Hur’s assessment of Biden, made following hours of questioning, painted a completely different picture and—according to his final report—played a key role in his decision not to charge the president with similar offenses under which Biden’s DOJ has indicted former President Donald Trump.

Just the news noted in February following the release of the report:

Hur’s 388-page report released Thursday may have spared Biden the spectacle of a criminal prosecution similar to that his Justice Department imposed on Donald Trump, but it delivered a devastating blow to the 46th president’s re-election hopes by going out of its way to explain criminal charges weren’t levied in part because jurors might see Biden as a dottering, forgetful old man incapable of criminal intent.

“Mr. Biden will likely present himself to the jury, as he did during his interview with our office, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Hur wrote in explaining his rationale for refusing prosecution. “…It would be difficult to convince a jury they should convict him – by then a former president who will be at least well into his eighties – of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”

The report concluded that “our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.”

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Hur added for good measure he believed Biden suffered from “diminished faculties in advancing age.”

After Hur’s report was released, Fox News host Laura Ingraham discussed his findings with contributor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, noting at one point during the segment that Democrats were already refuting Hur’s characterizations of Biden’s mental capacity.

“I mean, Newt, come on,” Ingraham said, before adding a stunning detail:

I have it on good authority…a friend of mine was in the White House a couple of weeks ago, and she is not a Trump fan, let me just say this… She was up close and personal with the president, and was shocked — her words were ‘shocked’ about his state.

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WATCH:

Medical professionals have also said they believe Biden’s mental status is declining, including Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), a former White House physician under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Trump.

“The whole country is seeing his mental cognitive issues on display for over a year now, and there’s really no question in most people’s minds that there’s something going on with him, that he’s not cognitively the same as he used to be and, in my mind, not fit to be our president right now,” Jackson said in June 2022.

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