Biden kept classified information hoping history would prove Obama wrong, according to Robert Hur.
Biden took particular exception to Obama's controversial decision to surge US troops in Afghanistan.
Biden's lawyers took exception to the notion that the now-president cared so much about the documents historical value.
Special Counsel Robert Hur concluded that part of the reason President Joe Biden kept classified information after leaving the vice presidency was to prove that President Barack Obama was wrong about surging US troops in Afghanistan in 2009.
"Despite Mr. Biden's advice, President Obama ordered a surge of additional U.S. troops, and Mr. Biden's views endured sharp criticism from others within and outside of the administration. But he always believed history would prove him right," Hur wrote in his nearly 400-page report.
The White House and Biden's personal lawyer took strong exception to elements of Hur's report. While not specifically mentioned, Hur repeatedly portrays the president as a confused old man with a declining memory.
Richard Stauber, special counsel to the president, and Bob Bauer, Biden's personal lawyer, took exception with how Hur described both the box that the Afghanistan memo was found in and the very notion that Biden was motivated by history.
"[T]he 2009 Afghanistan policy review was one of the most widely covered foreign policy decisions in history. documented in near real-time by public releases of government documents, leaks to newspapers. and publications by writers like Bob Woodward. The idea that the President needed to keep any classified documents related to these events, let alone the particular ones found in his garage, is implausible," the pair wrote to Hur after reviewing his report before its public release.
As Biden's lawyers allude to, Obama faced intense scrutiny over how the then-young president would handle the war in Afghanistan. Ultimately, President Obama sent 30,000 more troops that left the country by 2012. Biden made it a point to end what became America's longest war in August 2021, a chaotic ending that sent his approval ratings spiraling.
According to Hur, Biden kept "a classified handwritten memo he sent President Obama over the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday, and related marked classified documents."
Despite some damning and embarrassing details, Hur concluded that Biden should not be charged even though the president "willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency."
Hur wrote in his report that Afghanistan documents are likely the strongest evidence against Biden. Some of the documents were found in Biden's Delaware garage in a box "that contained other materials of great personal significance to him."
In particular, the special counsel also concluded that an off-hand comment Biden made to his ghostwriter that he "just found all the classified stuff downstairs" was a reference to classified documents FBI agents later recovered in 2022 from Biden's garage.
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