Updated February 12th, 2024 at 00:23 IST

Jill Biden Comments on Why Biden Forgot Year of Son Beau's Death: ‘A Loss Like That..’

Special counsel Robert Hur’s report called Biden “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Reported by: Digital Desk
President Joe Biden listens as first lady Jill Biden speaks at Nash Community College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. | Image:AP
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First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden on Sunday offered an explanation about why sitting US President Biden, her husband, forgot the year of his son Beau's death in the interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur.

Biden was described in the Special counsel Robert Hur’s report as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” The report concluded that during the trial it was established that no charges should be brought against the US president for retaining the classified documents as there were limitations in his memory. It further stated that the US President was struggling to remember and recall events with the ghostwriter for his memoir, as well as while speaking to investigators such as the dates of his 2009-2017 vice presidency, or that his son Beau died in May 2015.

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“In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse,” Hur wrote. He described Biden’s 2017 conversations with ghostwriter Mark Zwonitzer as “painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.”

"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," the report stated. It questioned the mental acuity of the 81-year-old president, the oldest in American history to hold office.

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'Too senile to stand trial? Then you’re too senile to be president': GOP supporters

The takeaways in the report about Biden’s mental wellbeing was piked by the campaign and supporters of Donald Trump, 77, who is expected to be the GOP nominee. “If you’re too senile to stand trial, then you’re too senile to be president. Joe Biden is unfit to lead this nation,” Alex Pfeiffer, communications director for the pro-Trump super PAC Make America Great Again Inc., said in a statement.

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Jill Biden lashed out at Hur in a campaign email to donors. She argued that the US Justice Department official included such details only to score "political points." She emphasised that Biden could not remember dates of son’s death as the grief of losing a son cannot be measured "in years.” "We should give everyone grace, and I can’t imagine someone would try to use our son’s death to score political points," she wrote in the email. "If you’ve experienced a loss like that, you know that you don’t measure it in years -- you measure it in grief," she added. "Believe me, like anyone who has lost a child, Beau and his death never leave him.”

The Democratic strategist Paul Begala in a televised interview called the report “cheap shot.” The White House lawyers wrote a letter to Hur calling the references to his memory “gratuitous.” “It is one thing to observe President Biden’s memory as being ‘significantly limited’ on certain subjects. It is quite another to use the more sweeping and highly prejudicial language employed later in the report,” White House special counsel Richard Sauber and personal attorney Bob Bauer wrote to Hur, according to content of the letter cited by American broadcasters. 

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“This language is not supported by the facts, nor is it appropriately used by a federal prosecutor in this context,” they added. “We request that you revisit your descriptions of President Biden’s memory and revise them so that they are stated in a manner that is within the bounds of your expertise and remit.”

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Published February 12th, 2024 at 00:23 IST