On the upcoming Tuesday, all eyes will be focused on special counsel Robert Hur, who conducted an investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents. He is scheduled to testify before the GOP-run House Judiciary Committee, facing a barrage of questions regarding his recently released 388-page report.

After a thorough yearlong investigation, Hur concluded that Biden had mishandled classified material and improperly disclosed classified information when he was a private citizen. Despite finding such misconduct, Hur stated that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Biden, and even if the Justice Department allowed him to indict a sitting president, he wouldn’t have pursued charges.

The bombshell from Hur’s report wasn’t just about Biden’s mishandling of classified information but also about his cognitive abilities. Hur characterized Biden as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” highlighting the potential challenges for prosecutors in convincing a jury that Biden was a criminal.

Here are four key aspects to watch during Tuesday’s high-stakes hearing:

  1. Biden’s Age and Memory: Expect Republicans to press Hur on Biden’s mental acuity, given the damaging portrayal of the president’s memory in the report. The report described Biden’s memory as “significantly limited” and “hazy” at times, pointing to instances where he couldn’t recall specific details, such as the timing of his son Beau’s death.
  2. Comparison with Trump’s Handling of Classified Material: Hur’s testimony will likely delve into the differences between how Biden and Trump handled classified material. Hur emphasized a “material distinction” in his report, noting that Trump allegedly resisted returning classified documents, while Biden cooperated with the investigation by submitting documents and consenting to searches.
  3. Connection to Impeachment Inquiry: House Republicans aim to use Hur’s testimony to fuel their impeachment inquiry into Biden. They have linked Hur’s work to concerns about the president retaining sensitive documents related to his family’s foreign business dealings. The Justice Department provided some documents but not all, raising questions about their relevance to the impeachment inquiry.
  4. Hur’s Handling of the Spotlight: As an individual not widely known to the public, this hearing is a significant moment in Robert Hur’s career. His approach to the congressional grilling will be crucial. Drawing from the contrasting examples of Robert Mueller and John Durham in previous hearings, how Hur navigates the questions will determine the impact on lawmakers seeking political moments.

Hur, known for including commentary on Biden’s mental state in his report, will now have to explain his conclusions just days after Biden’s assertive State of the Union performance, adding an extra layer of complexity to the already high-stakes hearing.


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