Kamala Harris asserts that the report on President Biden's memory is "politically motivated"

AP

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris criticized on Friday the report from a special prosecutor at the Department of Justice on Joe Biden's mishandling of classified documents, which raised questions about the president's memory.

Harris said the report was "politically motivated" and arbitrary, while the White House indicated that the president would take steps to safeguard classified materials during presidential transitions.


The report from Robert Hur, a former federal prosecutor from Maryland selected by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Biden, found evidence that Biden intentionally withheld and shared top-secret information with a ghostwriter. Still, it explained why he did not believe the evidence met the standard for criminal charges, including a strong likelihood that the Department of Justice could not prove Biden's intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

The White House has stated that Biden made a mistake by having the documents at his home. Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House legal counsel's office, said Biden would soon appoint a task force "to ensure better processes" for protecting classified materials during administration changes.

The report described the 81-year-old Democrat's memory as "fuzzy," "faulty," "poor," and with "significant limitations." It pointed out that Biden did not remember important moments in his own life, such as when his son Beau died or when he was vice president.

When asked if the White House would release a copy of Biden's interview transcript with Hur that could challenge Hur's claims, Sams said parts of it were classified, but if parts could be declassified, "we'll take a look at that and make a decision."


Responding to a journalist's question after concluding an event at the White House on preventing gun violence, Harris said, as a former prosecutor, she considered Hur's comments "arbitrary, inaccurate, and inappropriate."

She noted that Biden's two-day meeting with Hur occurred shortly after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, where over 1,200 people died, and about 250 were taken hostage, including many Americans.

"It was an intense moment for the Commander in Chief of the United States," said Harris, adding that she spent countless hours with Biden and other officials in the days following, and he was "aware of everything."

Harris concluded by saying that a special prosecutor should have a "higher level of integrity than what we saw."