Transcript Reveals Biden Unaware of How Aides Handled Sensitive Documents

In a series of engaging and revealing conversations with Special Counsel Robert Hur and his team last October, President Joe Biden shared anecdotes and jokes, drawing from his extensive political journey. The discussions, which spanned over two days, were part of an inquiry that delved into various aspects of Biden’s career, as revealed in a transcript obtained by CNN.

The Justice Department has since forwarded the transcript to Congress, responding to a subpoena for the records. The deposition is peppered with Biden’s signature storytelling, ranging from a humorous mishap with archery in Mongolia to intense debates about his stance on the war in Afghanistan.

During the interviews, Biden exhibited moments of unclear memory, notably in Hur’s final report, which pointed out Biden’s difficulty in recalling the year his son Beau passed away.

Biden openly admitted to uncertainties regarding the management and storage of sensitive documents by his aides, including the process that led to such documents being moved to his private office and residences post-vice presidency.

When questioned about maintaining records of his foreign policy notes, Biden candidly responded, lacking clarity on his organizational methods.

The collective instances prompted the special counsel to characterize Biden in his report as a compassionate, well-intentioned elder with a faltering memory, a portrayal that could potentially resonate positively with a jury.

In the 388-page report released the previous month, Hur concluded that Biden had mishandled and improperly disclosed classified information after his vice-presidential term. However, Hur stated his belief that the evidence was insufficient to warrant criminal charges against Biden.

Despite the decision against charging, Hur’s report sparked significant political discourse, painting the president as bewildered and confused—a depiction that incited outrage from the White House and Biden himself, while Republicans criticized the absence of charges.

Biden’s tendency to veer off-topic during his dialogue with Hur’s team was noteworthy, especially given the critical nature of the investigation. Contrary to typical legal advice advocating for concise responses, Biden employed a strategy reminiscent of his Senate days, providing lengthy answers during the five-hour interview, a duration pre-negotiated by Hur and Biden’s legal representatives.

The interview’s tone was not confrontational, with moments of laughter as Biden injected humor, joking about the FBI’s familiarity with his home, his past interactions with Senator Lindsey Graham, and even making light-hearted comments about the possibility of the FBI discovering personal photos.

Biden stressed that he never intentionally retained classified documents post-office, relying on his aides for the management of sensitive materials.

The transcript also touched on Biden’s efforts to recall specific timelines, notably struggling with the accuracy of the year his son Beau died, amidst broader discussions on document handling and his political future.

Biden’s narrative included a mention of his son Beau, emphasizing his encouragement for Biden to stay politically active, despite the personal and political challenges faced during that period.

Furthermore, Hur’s report highlighted a recorded conversation between Biden and his ghostwriter, where Biden mentioned discovering classified materials in his home, a statement he later clarified during the interview.

Throughout the interview, Biden consistently expressed difficulty in recalling how classified documents ended up in his Delaware and Virginia homes, including the specifics of their packing and transportation post-Obama administration.

Investigators found themselves navigating through Biden’s extensive responses, which ranged from legislative achievements to personal anecdotes, as they sought to clarify the handling of sensitive documents.

In summary, the transcript offers a glimpse into Biden’s interactions with Hur’s team, marked by moments of humor, candid admissions, and extensive storytelling, all against the backdrop of a significant investigation into the handling of classified information.