Feb 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump, Haley seize on Biden special counsel report

President Joe Biden speaks during the annual House Democrats 2024 Issues Conference on February 08, 2024 in Leesburg, Virginia

President Biden speaks during the annual House Democrats 2024 Issues Conference on Feb. 8 in Leesburg, Virginia. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Former President Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed the special counsel report released Thursday that did not recommend charges against President Biden over his handling of classified documents.

Why it matters: Biden officials had feared that the report, which includes details about the president's lapses in memory, could become a political liability as he seeks re-election.

  • Special counsel Robert Hur wrote that Biden's "memory was significantly limited," based on his interviews with investigators.

What they're saying: Trump, who is facing criminal charges over his post-presidency handling of classified documents, said that the report indicates a "two-tiered system of justice and unconstitutional selective" prosecution.

  • "The Biden Documents Case is 100 times different and more severe than mine," he added.
  • The former president and Republican presidential frontrunner was expected to seize on the report and draw equivalencies with his case.

Meanwhile, Haley said "the double standard is glaring."

  • Both "Joe Biden and Donald Trump were reckless with classified documents," she wrote on X.
  • "If Biden's defense is old age and forgetfulness Trump can easily make the same claim."

The big picture: While Trump seized on the report to argue that his charges should be dropped, the super PAC behind his presidential campaign focused on the descriptions of Biden's memory.

  • "If you're too senile to stand trial, then you're too senile to be president. Joe Biden is unfit to lead this nation," Make America Great Again Inc spokesperson Alex Pfeiffer said.

Of note: Biden said during remarks on Thursday that he was "especially pleased" to see the report outline the differences between his and Trump's cases.

Context: "Unlike the evidence involving Mr. Biden, the allegations set forth in the indictment of Mr. Trump, if proven, would present serious aggravating factors," the report said.

  • "Most notably, after being given multiple chances to return classified documents and avoid prosecution, Mr. Trump allegedly did the opposite."

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