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White House declares ‘case closed’ on Hur report: ‘Time to move on’

The White House on Tuesday declared it was “time to move on” from Robert Hur’s controversial report on President Biden’s handling of classified documents after the special counsel testified for hours before the House Judiciary Committee and took fire from all sides.

“I think the main thing to take away from today is two words for the American people: case closed,” spokesman for investigations Ian Sams told reporters at the White House. “It’s time to move on. House Republicans tried to make it a big deal. They want to attack the president politically. They’re making it very obvious that they’re trying to help the former president, and it’s a failure.”

Biden was updated on the hearing and was following the news, Sams said. He added that Biden “feels strongly that this case is over, and it’s time to move on for the business of the American people.”

Hur was hammered by Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday about his report, which did not recommend charges against Biden for his handling of classified documents after leaving the vice presidency but did paint the president as an elderly man with memory problems.

The White House began an online rapid response campaign soon after Hur began testifying Tuesday morning, culminating the day with a rare in-person Sams appearance before reporters at the White House.

“The case is closed. The evidence does not support bringing charges and it’s over, time to move on,” Sams told reporters. “There is no case here, the president is innocent. And that was the conclusion of this case.”

Hur clarified in his testimony earlier Tuesday that his report did not “exonerate” Biden as some Democrats claimed, though he ultimately did not find charges were warranted. When questioned if the White House disagreed with Hur’ and that the report exonerates Biden’s assessment on that, Sams avoided using the term exonerates.

“I think the report cleared President Biden,” Sams said. “The prosecutor had to decide, do I charge him or do I not charge him after this long investigation, and the decision was made not to charge and the case is closed. The president’s been fully cleared.”

Sams also defended Biden after transcripts released Tuesday showed Biden brought up his son Beau Biden first during the interview with Hur last October. He said that if people familiar with Biden’s story know he tends to talk about his son Beau, but he “knows exactly when his son died.”

Biden angrily lashed out at Hur during a press conference the evening Hur’s report was released for bringing up the death of his son. The transcript, which was obtained Tuesday by The Hill, showed Biden brought up his son when Hur asked him where he kept papers related to the Penn Biden Center, the Cancer Moonshot, his memoir and other projects.

“The transcript clearly shows that the president was being asked by the special counsel about the book that you wrote about his son’s unfortunate, untimely passing and the grief and the pain that he felt and how he went through that to try to find new purpose,” Sams said.

“He was asked about the work of the Cancer Moonshot that the president spoken very openly about for years, being motivated by the illness and the tragic death of his son Beau by brain cancer,” he added.

Hur testified about his hours of interviews with Biden and his team over the course of two days last Oct. 8 and Oct. 9. The report’s conclusion was largely overshadowed by Hur’s assessment that prosecutors considered, in part, that a jury would find Biden to be a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

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