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Hur says classified documents report ‘not an exoneration’ of Biden

Special counsel Robert Hur clarified Tuesday that his report did not “exonerate” President Biden in his handling of classified materials as some Democrats claimed, though he ultimately did not find charges were warranted.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, used his opening remarks to say Hur’s report “represents the complete and total exoneration of President Biden.”

But when asked specifically about those remarks later in the hearing, Hur told Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-Calif.) that was not the case.

“That is not what the report says,” Hur said. “The report is not an exoneration. That word does not appear in my report.”

Hur similarly pushed back during an exchange with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who argued the special counsel’s investigation “resulted in a complete exoneration of President Joe Biden.”

“I need to go back and make sure that I take note of a word that you used, exoneration. That is not a word that appears in the report. That’s not part of my task as a prosecutor,” Hur said as Jayapal interjected.

“You exonerated him,” Jayapal said.

“We did not exonerate him. That word does not appear in the report,” Hur responded.

Hur testified for several hours Tuesday about his February report, which did not recommend charges against Biden for his handling of classified documents.

The report did make multiple references to Biden’s lapses in memory during a lengthy two-day interview, though a transcript of the interview shows the president repeatedly saying he did not intend to retain classified materials.

Democrats on Tuesday sought to draw clear contrasts between Biden’s handling of classified documents and his cooperation with Hur and former President Trump’s retention of classified information and his refusal to turn them over to authorities. Trump is facing 40 federal counts in Florida over his handling of classified documents.

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