Updated Mar 12, 2024 - Politics & Policy

READ: Hur defends Biden probe, saying he "did not sanitize" final report

Robert K. Hur speaks at a podium

Robert K. Hur speaks during a news conference on April 16, 2019, in Baltimore. Photo: Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Hur will tell Congress on Tuesday that he "did not sanitize" his explanation of why he declined to levy criminal charges against President Biden for his handling of classified materials.

Why it matters: Hur's final report, which described Biden as an "elderly man with a poor memory," ignited a political firestorm upon its release. Democrats chastised Hur and the report for what they said was "highly prejudicial language" about the 81-year-old president.

  • Biden's age and mental faculties have become a focal point of the 2024 presidential race.
  • Republicans seized upon Hur's findings, using them to argue that Biden is unfit for a second term.

Driving the news: "My assessment in the report about the relevance of the President's memory was necessary and accurate and fair," Hur will tell the House Judiciary Committee in prepared opening remarks.

  • "Most importantly, what I wrote is what I believe the evidence shows, and what I expect jurors would perceive and believe," Hur's prepared remarks state. "I did not sanitize my explanation. Nor did I disparage the President unfairly."

State of play: Hur will deliver his testimony as a private citizen, a Department of Justice spokesperson confirmed to Axios.

  • "Hur finished his work last week and is no longer employed by the department," the spokesperson said Tuesday morning.

Catch up quick: Hur's investigation concluded that Biden's handling of classified documents after his time as vice president presented "serious risks to national security."

  • The special counsel's probe "did not, however, identify evidence that rose to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt," Hur says in his prepared remarks.

Zoom in: "My task was to determine whether the President retained or disclosed national defense information 'willfully'—meaning, knowingly and with the intent to do something the law forbids," Hur says.

  • "I could not make that determination without assessing the President's state of mind."
  • "I had to consider the President's memory and overall mental state, and how a jury likely would perceive his memory and mental state in a criminal trial," Hur adds.

What's next: Hur is scheduled to testify before the committee at 10am ET.

Read his full opening statement below:

Go deeper: Robert Hur testimony gives Republicans their Mueller moment

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from the Justice Department.

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