Feb 9, 2024 - Politics & Policy

White House to "look at" releasing Biden transcript in Hur probe

President Biden speaking in the White House on Feb. 8.

President Biden speaking in the White House on Feb. 8. Photo: Samuel Corum/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House did not rule out releasing a redacted transcript of President Biden's interview with special counsel Robert Hur, a spokesperson said on Friday.

Why it matters: The transcript, if released, could help resolve questions raised by Hur's characterization of Biden's memory in a report following his investigation into the president's handling of classified material as a private citizen.

Catch up fast: The report said the investigation revealed evidence that Biden "willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency."

  • Hur declined to recommend prosecution against Biden, concluding evidence was not sufficient enough to convict him of a crime.
  • Nevertheless, the special counsel said Biden's memory "appeared to have significant limitations," citing the president's interview with the special counsel's office and his recorded conversations with his ghostwriter.

What they're saying: Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House Counsel's Office, said during a press conference Friday that the White House would consider releasing the transcript.

  • However, Sams said releasing it would prove difficult because it contains classified information that would have to be redacted.
  • "We'll take a look at that and make a determination," Sams said on the possibility of releasing a redacted version.

The big picture: Hur's characterization of Biden's memory set off fierce reactions from Biden, the White House, members of Congress and former Justice Department officials.

  • Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and White House officials have criticized Hur's characterization as being inaccurate, egregious and unnecessary.
  • Republicans in Congress seized on it to claim that it's evidence Biden doesn't have the cognitive ability to be president.

Separately, former Attorney General Eric Holder said Hur's report "contains way too many gratuitous remarks and is flatly inconsistent with long standing DOJ traditions."

  • Andrew Weissmann, a former general counsel to the FBI, said Hur's comments were "entirely inappropriate."

Go deeper: Biden rejects report's suggestion that he's feeble and forgetful

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