Washington — The Justice Department and House leaders are negotiating a time for special counsel Robert Hur to testify publicly before Congress about the federal investigation into President Biden’s affair.according to three people familiar with the discussions.
Officials are currently targeting late February or early March for Hur’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, the sources said, but the timeline remains in flux as negotiations continue. If he testifies, it would be Hur’s first public comment on the investigation.
There is recent precedent for a special counsel to appear before lawmakers after completing an investigation. Robert Mueller, who oversaw a two-year investigation into potential ties between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia,before two commissions after publishing its report in 2019.
Hur Report on Biden Documents Investigation
Last week, Hur released his final report on his year-long investigation into the discovery of documents with classified markings found in Mr. Biden’s personal office and residence. Hur’s team concluded that neither Mr. Biden nor any of his aides would face criminal charges because of those documents, which dated from when Mr. Biden was vice president.
Hur’s report says the evidence does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Biden intentionally and illegally retained sensitive government documents. The Justice Department has a policy of not bringing criminal charges against sitting presidents, but Hur and his team said they would have reached the same conclusion if that policy had not existed.
The report said the president’s handling of the documents could have posed “serious risks to national security” and described instances in which classified information was left in unsecured locations.
The special counsel’s report — the product of hundreds of interviews since Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur last year — criticized Mr. Biden’s conduct and pointed out holes in the president’s memory. Prosecutors said those memory problems would have made it difficult to prove Mr. Biden’s guilt at trial.
The White House and the president’s allies, including the vice president, pushed back on Hur’s characterizations of Mr. Biden’s memory. The president himself disputed references to his memory in the report and highlighted the ultimate decision not to pursue charges.
Hur, a former U.S. attorney and senior Justice Department official under former President Donald Trump, noted that Mr. Biden’s conduct during the investigation was a factor in the decision not to bring charges .
“Mr. Biden turned over classified documents to the National Archives and the Department of Justice, consented to searches of multiple locations, including his home, voluntarily sat down for an interview, and cooperated with the investigation of other ways,” Hur wrote.
In a letter Monday, House Republicansto turn over transcripts and recordings of two days of interviews Hur’s team conducted with Mr. Biden last October. The Justice Department confirmed receipt of the letter but declined to comment further.
Mr. Biden’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer,Sunday that a “process is underway” for the potential release of the transcript.
The transcript will likely need to be examined for classified information and any claims of executive privilege will need to be resolved before it can be released.
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