The Emperor Has No Memory
Everyone knows that Joe Biden is incapable of continuing to serve as president. He and the special counsel just proved it.
After yesterday’s special counsel report and last night’s press conference with Joe Biden, the only question is whether Super Bowl LVIII will feature an interview with President Kamala Harris.
We kid, but also maybe we don’t. Yesterday began with the Supreme Court considering the lame 14th Amendment challenge to Donald Trump in Colorado. It ended with a lot of talk about the 25th Amendment justification for removing Joe Biden, who’s clearly, as Section 4 of that amendment states, “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
There were two main themes Thursday for Biden: First, the two-tiered justice and the astounding revelations of Robert Hur’s report. Second, the president’s cognitive incapacitation and the astounding revelations of Robert Hur’s report.
Hur is the special counsel tapped by Attorney General Merrick Garland to let Biden off the hook for mishandling classified documents he illegally took while vice president and senator. Mark Alexander thoroughly dissected the docudrama last year.
Political analyst Ed Morrissey notes, “Thanks to long-standing Department of Justice doctrine from the (unrelated) Office of Special Counsel, sitting presidents cannot be indicted by the DoJ or its special counsels. That doctrine goes back to Watergate and was formalized in 2000.”
Even so, everyone knew exoneration was coming because the only reason for this probe was the veneer of equal justice while Jack Smith probes Trump for the same thing. The end result was always going to be two-tiered justice. Hur even went out of his way to argue that while Biden cooperated, Trump didn’t, and that’s what distinguishes the two cases. Biden has and will continue to seize on that.
So will Trump. “Deranged Jack Smith should drop the case immediately against us,” he said in what will and should become a repeated refrain.
But Hur’s reasoning for not charging Biden was even more devastating to the president than then-FBI Director James Comey’s absolution of Hillary Clinton in 2016.
According to Hur’s 345-page report, his probe “uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.” Without the authority to do so, Biden kept more than 300 classified documents about all sorts of things. That included Afghanistan, over which Hur says Biden contemplated resigning as vice president because he disagreed with Barack Obama’s policies. Of course, Biden later totally bungled the exit from Afghanistan. There was also plenty of other information about “sensitive intelligence sources and methods.”
Documents were stuffed in boxes in his basement, offices, and garage. He even shared some of those documents with the ghostwriter of his memoir. When he didn’t intentionally share, a recorded February 2017 conversation revealed that Biden said the ghostwriter “just found all the classified stuff downstairs.”
However, there was a “shortage of evidence” that Biden himself stashed the documents in various places or even knew about them, given that Biden’s memory problems dated back at least to 2017.
Indeed, “no criminal charges are warranted,” Hur wrote, primarily because a (rigged DC) jury would never convict “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
Boy, there’s a campaign slogan for ya. “Biden 2024: A sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
Just to drive that point home, the report adds, “It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”
Where Hur’s report is especially damaging is the specific records of Biden’s failing memory. “In his interview with our office,” Hur wrote, “Mr. Biden’s memory was worse. He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’). He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him.”
Biden’s reelection slogan is “Finish the Job.” Does anyone think he’s capable of that?
As if to prove his critics right, Biden called a last-minute press conference at 8 p.m. last night, well past his usual bedtime, primarily to address concerns about his declining cognitive abilities but also to do a little fist-pounding about how different his case is from Trump’s.
It did not go well.
After reading a short prepared statement, Biden took questions. Virtually all of them dealt with his mental fitness for office and the growing concern of the American people regarding their president’s cognitive capacity.
When asked about those concerns, Biden grew irritated and aggressive. “That is your judgment! That is your judgment! That is not the judgment of the press,” he snapped at one reporter. “My memory is fine,” he angrily insisted. Why should he run for reelection? Because, he barked, “I’m the most qualified person in the United States to be president.”
Biden shouted back at Peter Doocy, “I’m well-meaning, I’m an elderly man, and I know what the hell I’m doing.”
He grew obviously emotional when he brought up Beau Biden, and that’s understandable. We’ve said before that we have compassion for a man who lost an adult son, especially after having lost his first wife and a young daughter. But Biden was outraged that Hur had even asked about his son, much less criticized Biden’s memory of it. “How in the hell dare he raise that,” Biden fumed. “Frankly, when I was asked a question, I thought to myself, [that] wasn’t any of their damn business.”
That’s an odd thing to say for a guy who brings up his son’s death all the time, usually to lie about it while making the grief of Gold Star families all about himself.
In any case, Biden’s counterargument was essentially that he remembered that Beau had died, not when or how. He even seemed to forget the name of the church where his son got the rosary the president pointed out he still wears every day.
The president lied, too. “I did not share classified information!” he yelled, when Hur’s report clearly says that, yes, he did.
Biden also threw his staff under the bus. Whereas Harry Truman made famous the statement, “The buck stops here,” this is what Biden said: “I take responsibility for not having seen exactly what my staff was doing. Things that appeared in my garage, things that came out of my home, things that were moved, were moved not by me, but my staff, but my staff.”
It must be tough to be an innocent bystander, even an elderly and well-meaning one.
But he saved the “best” for last. After shuffling away from the podium, Biden heard a question that intrigued him enough to totter back to the microphone. Bad idea. Asked about aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, Biden said, “The president of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in,” but “I talked to him, I convinced him to open the gate.”
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is the president of Egypt. The “gate” with Mexico has been wide open for three years, but that’s another story.
The confusion comes on the heels of other embarrassing Biden mix-ups in recent days. He forgot the name of Hamas; confused Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi; and spoke of a recent conversation about the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot with both former French President Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996, and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who died in 2017.
After an excruciating 12 minutes, the press conference was over, and the panicked dialogue about the 25th Amendment began. After all, the special counsel just declared the president unfit to stand trial by means of cognitive disability. How can he possibly “discharge the powers and duties of his office” now, much less for another four years?
Wasting no time, New York Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney sent a letter to Biden’s cabinet, requesting that they “explore proceedings to remove the President pursuant to the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution.” Tenney added, “President Biden needs to be charged, or he needs to be removed.”
A joint statement released by House GOP leaders sounded a similar note. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), and Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) wrote:
The Special Counsel’s finding that President Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” and engaged in practices that “present serious risks to national security” is deeply disturbing. Not only does it demonstrate the President’s recklessness, but exposes a two-tiered system of justice that is indicting one President with politically motivated charges while carrying water for another amid similar allegations.
Among the most disturbing parts of this report is the Special Counsel’s justification for not recommending charges: namely that the President’s memory had such “significant limitations” that he could not convince a jury that the President held a “mental state of willfulness” that a serious felony requires. A man too incapable of being held accountable for mishandling classified information is certainly unfit for the Oval Office.
Mark Alexander argued back in 2022 that Biden would not be the 2024 Democrat nominee. Though no one wants President Kamala Harris, least of all the entire Democrat Party, there is now a path to his exit.
For the many Americans who care for loved ones with departing memories, conversations turn to whether that loved one should drive or be left unattended. Those are difficult decisions. But one thing is clear: It’s high time for Jill Biden to stop the selfish and reckless elder abuse, uphold her wedding vows, and do what’s best for her husband and the country — convince him to resign.