Tracking the Biden Presidency: 2024

Tracking the Biden Presidency: 2024

Overview


Biden’s Speech Depicts Trump As a Racist Tyrant

On January 5, 2024, Biden kicked off his presidential re-election campaign with a speech in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, near Valley Forge. Some notable excerpts:

“Whether democracy is still America’s sacred cause is the most urgent question of our time. And it’s what the 2024 election is all about. The choice is clear.

“Donald Trump’s campaign is about him, not America, not you. Donald Trump’s campaign is obsessed with the past, not the future. He’s willing to sacrifice our democracy, put himself in power.

“Our campaign is different. For me and Kamala, our campaign is about America. It’s about you. It’s about every age and background that occupy this country. It’s about the future we’re going to continue to build together. And our campaign is about preserving and strengthening our American democracy.

“Three years ago tomorrow, we saw with our own eyes the violent mob stormed the United States Capitol. It was almost in disbelief as you first turned on the television. For the first time in our history, insurrectionists had come to stop the peaceful transfer, transfer of power in America. First time. Smashing windows, shattering doors, attacking the police. Outside, gallows were erected as the MAGA crowd chanted, ‘Hang Mike Pence.’

“Inside, they hunted for Speaker Pelosi. The House was chanting as they marched through and smashed windows, ‘Where’s Nancy?’

“Over 140 police officers were injured. Jill and I attended the funeral of police officers who died as a result of the events of that day. Because Donald, because of Donald Trump’s lies, they died because these lies brought a mob to Washington. He promised it would be wild. And it was. He told the crowd to ‘fight like hell,’ and all hell was unleashed.

“He promised he would … be side by side with them. Then, as usual, he left the dirty work to others. He retreated to the White House. As America was attacked from within, Donald Trump watched on TV in a private, small dining room off my oval, off the Oval Office.

“The entire nation watched in horror. The whole world watched in disbelief. And Trump did nothing. Members of his staff, members of his family. Republican leaders who were under attack at that very moment pled with him. Act. Call off the mob. Imagine had he gone out and said, ‘Stop.’

“Still, Trump did nothing. It was among the worst derelictions of duty by a president in American history. An attempt to overturn a free and fair election by force and violence. A record 81 million people voted for my candidacy and to end his presidency.

“Trump lost the popular vote by 7 million. Trump’s claims about the 2020 election never could stand up in court. Trump lost 60 court cases. Sixty.

“Trump lost the Republican-controlled states. Trump lost before a Trump-appointed judge, and then judges, and Trump lost before the United States Supreme Court. All of it. He lost. Trump lost recount after recount after recount, and state after state.

“But in desperation and weakness, Trump and his MAGA followers went after election officials who ensured your power as a citizen would be heard.

“These public servants had their lives forever upended by attacks and death threats for simply doing their jobs.

“In Atlanta, Georgia, a brave Black mother and her daughter, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, were doing their jobs as election workers until Donald Trump and his MAGA followers targeted and threatened them, forcing them from their homes, unleashing racist vitriol on them.

“Trump’s personal lawyer. Rudy Giuliani, was just hit with a 148 million-dollar judgment for cruelty and defamation that he inflicted against them.

“Other state and local elected officials across the country faced similar personal attacks. In addition, Fox News agreed to pay a record eight, 787 million dollars for the lies they told about voter fraud.

“Let’s be clear about the 2020 election. Trump exhausted every legal avenue available to him to overturn the election. Every one, but the legal path just took Trump back to the truth, that I’d won the election and he was a loser.

“Well, so knowing how his mind works now, he had one, he had one act left. One desperate act available to him, the violence of January the sixth. Since that day, more than 1,200 people have been charged with assault in the Capitol. Nearly 900 of them have been convicted or pled guilty. Collectively to date, they have been sentenced to more than 840 years in prison.

“What’s Trump done? Instead of calling them criminals, he’s called these insurrectionists patriots. They’re patriots. And he promised to pardon them if he returns to office. Trump said that there was a lot of love on January the sixth.

“The rest of the nation, including law enforcement, saw a lot of hate and violence. One Capitol Police officer called it a medieval battle. That same officer called vile, was called vile, racist names. He said he was more afraid in the Capitol of the United States of America, in the chambers, than when he was fighting as a soldier in the war in Iraq. He said he was more afraid inside the halls of Congress than fighting in war in Iraq.

“In trying to rewrite the facts of January sixth, Trump was trying to steal history, the same way he tried to steal the election.

“But he, we knew the truth, because we saw it with our own eyes. So it wasn’t like something, a story being told. It was on television repeatedly. We saw it with our own eyes.

“Trump’s mob wasn’t a peaceful protest. It was a violent assault. They were insurrectionists, not patriots. They weren’t there to uphold the Constitution. They were there to destroy the Constitution.

“Trump won’t do what an American president must do. He refuses to denounce political violence. So hear me clearly. I’ll say what Donald Trump won’t. Political violence is never, ever acceptable in the United States political system. Never, never, never. It has no place in a democracy. None. You can’t be pro-insurrectionist and pro-American.

“You know, Trump and his MAGA supporters not only embrace political violence, but they laugh about it. At his rally, he jokes about an intruder, whipped by the big Trump lie, taking a hammer to Paul Pelosi’s skull, and echoing the very same words used on January 6th. ‘Where’s Nancy?’ And he thinks that’s funny. He laughed about it. What a sick … My God. I, I think it’s despicable. Seriously. Not just for a president, for any person to say that. But to say it to the whole world listening. When I was overseas, anyway …

“Trump’s assault on democracy isn’t just part of his past. It’s what he’s promising for the future. He’s been straightforward. He’s not hiding the ball. His first rally for the 2024 campaign opened with a choir of January sixth insurrectionists singing from prison on a cellphone while images of the January sixth riot played on the big screen behind him at his rally. Can you believe that? This is like something out of a fairy tale, a bad fairy tale. Trump began his 2024 campaign by glorifying the failed violent insurrectionist, insurrection at our, on our Capitol. The guy who claims law and order, sows lawlessness and disorder.

“Trump’s not concerned about your future. I promise you. Trump is now promising a full-scale campaign of revenge and retribution, his words, for some years to come. They were his words, not mine. He went on to say he’d be a dictator on day one.

“I mean, if I were writing a book of fiction, and I said an American president said that, and not in jest. He called and I quote, the terminate, quote, this is a quote, the termination of all the rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the U.S. Constitution should be terminated if it fits his will.

“It’s really kind of hard to believe. Even found in the Constitution, he could terminate.

“He’s threatened the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with the death penalty. He says he should be put to death because the chairman put his oath to the Constitution ahead of his personal loyalty to Trump. This coming from a president who called, when he visited his cemetery, called dead soldiers ‘suckers and losers.’ Remember that? […]

“How dare he? Who in God’s name does he think he is? With former aides, Trump plans to invoke the Insurrectionist Act, Insurrection Act, which would allow him to deploy, he’s not allowed to do it in ordinary circumstances, allow him to deploy U.S. military forces on the streets of America. He said it.

“He calls those who opposed, oppose him vermin.

“He talks about the blood of America’s is being poisoned, echoing the same exact language used in Nazi Germany.

“He proudly posts on social media the words that best describe his 2024 campaign. Quote, revenge, quote, power, and quote, dictatorship.

“There’s no confusion about who Trump is, what he intends to do. […]

“And now these MAGA voices, who know the truth about Trump on January sixth, have abandoned the truth and abandoned the democracy. They made their choice.

“Now, the rest of us, Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans, we have to make our choice. […]

“Today, I make this sacred pledge to you: The defense, protection and preservation of American democracy will remain, as it has been, the central cause of my presidency.

“America, as we begin this election year, we must be clear: Democracy is on the ballot. Your freedom is on the ballot. […] Democracy means having the freedom to speak your mind, to be who you are, to be who you want to be. Democracy is about being able to bring about peaceful change. […]

“Look at the authoritarian leaders and dictators Trump says he admires. He out loud says he admires. I won’t go through them all. It would take too long. Look, remember how he first, how he refers to what he calls love letter exchanges between he and the dictator of North Korea?

“Those women and men out there in the audience who’s ever fought for an American military. Did you ever believe you’d hear a president say something like that? His admiration for Putin? […]

“Every stride forward in America is met with ferocious backlash, many times, from those who fear progress and those who exploit that fear for their own personal gain. From those who traffic in lies, told for power and profit. For those who are driven by grievance and grift, consumed by conspiracy and victimhood. From those who seek to bury history and ban books. Did you ever think you’d be at a political event and talk about book banning, for a presidential and a presidential election? […]

“All-out war is what Trump wants. That’s why he doesn’t understand the most fundamental truth about this country. Unlike other nations on Earth, America is not built on ethnicity, religion, geography. We’re the only nation in the history of the world built on an idea, not hyperbole, built on an idea. […]

“America saw the threat posed to the country and they voted them out in 2022. Historic midterm election. In state after state, election after election, the election deniers were defeated.

“Now, in 2024, Trump is running as the denier-in-chief, the election denier-in-chief. Once again, he’s saying he won’t honor the results of the election if he loses. Trump says he doesn’t understand, or he still doesn’t understand the basic truth. That is, you can’t love your country only when you win. You can’t love your country only when you win.

“I’ll keep my commitment to be president for all of America. Whether you voted for me or not, I’ve done it for the last three years and I’ll continue to do it. […]”

Blinken Scolds Israel & Urges It Not to “Dehumanize” Palestinians

On February 7, 2024, Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a press conference in Tel Aviv where he addressed the ongoing Israel-Hamas military conflict that had erupted in response to the October 7, 2023 Hamas terror attacks against the Jewish state. In the course of his remarks, Blinken: (a) exhorted Israel to engage in diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians; (b) urged Israel to increase its provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians in Gaza; (c) reminded Israel that it did not have “a license to dehumanize others,” and that “the overwhelming majority of people in Gaza had nothing to do with the attacks of October 7th”; (d) called for the pursuit of “a concrete, time-bound, irreversible path to a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel”; (e) emphasized that President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority should follow through on the implementation of “reforms” that they had “committed to make in a recently announced reform package”; and (f) voiced his “profound concerns about actions and rhetoric” from Israeli “government officials” that he claimed would only “inflame tensions” in the region. Some additional noteworthy excerpts from Blinken’s remarks:

  • “We had an opportunity today to discuss with the Israeli Government the response that Hamas sent last night to the proposal that the United States, Qatar, and Egypt had put together to bring the remaining hostages home, and extend the humanitarian pause. What I can tell you about these discussions is that while there are some clear nonstarters in Hamas’s response, we do think it creates space for agreement to be reached. And we will work at that relentlessly until we get there.”
  • “We also discussed the imperative of maximizing civilian protection and humanitarian aid to address the ongoing suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Nearly 2 million people have been displaced from their homes. Hundreds of thousands are experiencing acute hunger. Most have lost someone that they love. And day after day, more people are killed.”
  • “On all of my previous visits here and pretty much every day in between, we have pressed Israel in concrete ways to strengthen civilian protection, to get more assistance to those who need it. And over the past four months, Israel has taken important steps to do just that.”
  • “As the largest donor of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, the United States has helped provide much of that assistance, including funding 90,000 metric tons of flour delivered from Ashdod Port. That’s enough to provide bread for 1.4 million people for the next five months. A UN team began its mission to the north to assess conditions for the civilians who are still there, as well as what needs to be done to allow displaced Palestinians to return back home to the north.”
  • “[A]s I said to the prime minister and to other Israeli officials today, the daily toll that its military operations continue to take on innocent civilians remains too high. In our discussions today, I highlighted some key steps that Israel should take to ensure that more aid reaches more people in Gaza. Israel should open Erez so that assistance can flow to northern Gaza where, as I said, hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to survive under dire conditions. It should expedite the flow of humanitarian assistance from Jordan. It should strengthen deconfliction and improve coordination with the humanitarian providers. And Israel must ensure that the delivery of life-saving assistance to Gaza is not blocked for any reason, by anyone.”
  • “Israelis were dehumanized in the most horrific way on October 7th. The hostages have been dehumanized every day since. But that cannot be a license to dehumanize others. The overwhelming majority of people in Gaza had nothing to do with the attacks of October 7th, and the families in Gaza whose survival depends on deliveries of aid from Israel are just like our families. They’re mothers and fathers, sons and daughters – want to earn a decent living, send their kids to school, have a normal life. That’s who they are; that’s what they want. And we cannot, we must not lose sight of that. We cannot, we must not lose sight of our common humanity.”
  • “We remain determined as well to pursue a diplomatic path to a just and lasting peace, and security for all in the region, and notably for Israel. And that diplomatic path continues to come into ever sharper focus as I travel throughout the region and talk to all of our friends and partners. An Israel that’s fully integrated into the region, with normal relations with key countries, including Saudi Arabia, with firm guarantees for its security, alongside a concrete, time-bound, irreversible path to a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel, with the necessary security assurances.”
  • “Over the course of this trip, we discussed both the substance and sequence of steps that all would need to take to make this path [to a Palestinian state] real. That includes steps by the Palestinian Authority to reform and revitalize itself. And I reaffirmed the imperative of those steps in my meeting today with President [Mahmoud] Abbas, chief among them improving governance, increasing accountability to the Palestinian people, reforms that the Palestinian Authority is committed to make in a recently announced reform package and that we urge it to implement swiftly.”
  • “[I]n my discussions today with the prime minister and senior officials, I also raised our profound concerns about actions and rhetoric, including from government officials, that inflame tensions, that undercut international support, and place greater strains on Israel’s security.”
  • “Israel has the responsibility, has the obligation to do everything possible to ensure that civilians are protected and that they get the assistance they need in the course of this conflict. Any military campaign, military operation that Israel undertakes needs to put civilians first and foremost in mind.”

Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program Now Poses “Extreme Danger” to the West

On February 5, 2024, Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon reported:

Iran has enough weapons-grade uranium to produce its first nuclear weapon within a week and a total of six bombs within a month, a scenario that is increasingly likely to unfold as conflict in the Middle East reaches critical levels, according to a report from a watchdog group.

“The volatile situation in the region is providing Iran with a unique opportunity and increased internal justification for building nuclear weapons while the United States and Israel’s resources to detect and deter Iran from succeeding are stretched thin,” the Institute for Science and International Security, a watchdog group that monitors Tehran’s atomic program, warned in a report published Monday [February 5]. “Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities are more dangerous than they have ever been, while its relations with the West are at a low point.”

The findings signal “extreme danger” for the international community and marks the “first time” the institute has issued such a determination since it began reporting on the Iranian nuclear program’s threat level in October 2022. In May 2023, when the last report was published, Iran’s total threat score was calculated at 140 out of 180. This year the score reached 151.

Hamas’s war against Israel, which is being supported by Iran, has significantly increased the likelihood that Tehran races to build a functional nuclear weapon, according to the report. The United States is now in its third day of airstrikes against Iranian targets across the Middle East, threatening to ignite a broader conflict with Iran that could consume the region and increase Tehran’s rush to become a nuclear-armed power.

The Islamic Republic continues to make “progress on developing sensitive nuclear capabilities, … increasing its nuclear weaponization efforts beyond breakout.”

Iran has the ability to “break out and produce enough weapon-grade enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in a week, using only a fraction of its 60 percent enriched uranium,” according to the report. “This breakout could be difficult for inspectors to detect promptly, if Iran took steps to delay inspectors’ access.”

Using its stock of 60 percent enriched uranium, which has grown under the Biden administration, and a remaining allotment of around 20 percent enriched uranium, Iran “could have in total enough weapon-grade uranium for six weapons in one month, and after five months of producing weapon-grade uranium, it could have enough for twelve.”

The problem is compounded by Iran’s refusal to give international nuclear inspectors full access to its contested enrichment sites. The level of obfuscation has increased during the past year.

Rafael Grossi, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s director general, warned in January that Tehran is refusing oversight in an “unprecedented way.” “It’s a very frustrating situation. We continue our activities there, but at a minimum,” Grossi said during the World Economic Forum in Davos. “They are restricting cooperation in a very unprecedented way.”

This “lack of transparency” led the institute to increase the threat level regarding Iran’s program by two points compared with May 2023.

Tehran has also greatly increased its ability to enrich uranium from very low levels to those needed as fuel for a nuclear bomb, according to the report.

“Iran has a capability to produce large amounts of enriched uranium and achieve enrichment levels up to 90 percent, or weapon-grade uranium,” the institute concluded, noting that “Iran has ambitious goals to increase its enrichment program, aiming for tens of thousands of advanced centrifuges, producing a range of enrichment levels, and tens of thousands of kilograms of enriched uranium.”

With this increasingly large stockpile, “Iran could rapidly produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a small nuclear arsenal,” the report concluded. “In addition, Iran has multiple ways to deliver nuclear weapons, including on ballistic missiles.”

Meanwhile, Iran announced on Monday that it is beginning construction on a fourth home-built nuclear reactor, signaling the regime’s desire to continue building out its atomic infrastructure.

Major Gaffes by Biden (Misidentifying Key World Leaders)

On February 8, 2024, Politico.com reported:

DOJ Special Counsel Issues Damning Report on Biden’s Mishandling of Classified Documents

Below are numerous excerpts from various Daily Wire articles providing key details about Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report of February 5, 2024:

Daily Wire, 2-9-2024: The day began with a report, prepared by [Special Counsel Robert Hur of] Joe Biden’s own DOJ, that outlines Biden’s mental decline in excruciating detail. The topline conclusion … is that the commander-in-chief is so far gone — so detached from reality — that he can’t even be charged with a crime. He’s not legally responsible for his own conduct at this point…. Again, this is the conclusion of a special counsel working for Joe Biden’s own Justice Department. The special counsel determined, effectively, that the president of the United States is too mentally incompetent to be held responsible for his own actions. This is the first time in American history when a president’s own Department of Justice has declared him, essentially, unfit for office.

Daily Wire, 2-9-2024: [T]he special counsel investigating Biden’s handling of classified documents found: “In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden … did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended … and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began. … He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him. Among other things, he mistakenly said he ‘had a real difference’ of opinion with General Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.”

Daily Wire, 2-9-2024: The memo continues: “We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory. Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. 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.”

Daily Wire, 2-9-2024: [A]ccording to the special counsel, as far back as more than a decade ago, Joe Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified documents with classification markings on them. That includes classified documents from his time in the Senate several decades ago. The documents were in his “garage, offices, and basement den,” in both Virginia and Delaware.

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: The report said that even though Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen,” prosecutors concluded that “no criminal charges are warranted in this matter.”

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: “Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017 [with whom he shared classified materials], and in his interview with our office in 2023,” the special counsel report said in its executive summary.

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: The interview with the ghostwriter … showed that even then, Biden was “struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries,” the special counsel said, adding that even in 2017, he was showing signs of “diminished faculties and faulty memory.”

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: “In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse,” Hur said. “He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 – when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’).”

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: “Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen,” the report continued. “These materials included (1) marked classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, and (2) notebooks containing Mr. Biden’s handwritten entries about issues of national security and foreign policy implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods. FBI agents recovered these materials from the garage, offices, and basement den in Mr. Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home.”

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: The report said that marked classified documents about Afghanistan, which included classification markings up to the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level, were found in Biden’s garage in Delaware. Notebooks containing classified information were discovered in the basement den of Biden’s Delaware home. Some of the classified documents that were found at the Biden Penn Center were intelligence assessments on Iran and were related to the Obama administration’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal. Classified documents were also found at the University of Delaware, where Biden was storing his records from his time in the U.S. Senate, that appear to be related to Europe and his time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: The report argued that prosecutors did not believe the evidence was sufficient to charge to Biden because jurors would find reasonable doubt for potentially several reasons ranging from Biden’s “authority to keep classified documents in his home” to serious memory issues that the special counsel documented.

Special Counsel Report Shows That Biden Committed Serial Felonies by Violating the Espionage Act When He Mishandled Classified Documents

The relevant part of the Espionage Act, which Biden violated, reads as follows:

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information:

“(e) Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.”

Key Excerpts from the DOJ Special Counsel Report:

Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen. These materials included (1) marked classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, and (2) notebooks containing Mr. Biden’s handwritten entries about issues of national security and foreign policy implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods. FBI agents recovered these materials from the garage, offices, and basement den in Mr. Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home.

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Also, during his eight years as vice president, Mr. Biden regularly wrote notes by hand in notebooks. Some of these notes related to classified subjects, including the President’s Daily Brief and National Security Council meetings, and some of the notes are themselves classified. After the vice presidency, Mr. Biden kept these classified notebooks in unsecured and unauthorized spaces at his Virginia and Delaware homes and used some of the notebooks as reference material for his second memoir, Promise Me, Dad, which was published in 2017. To our knowledge, no one has identified any classified information published in Promise Me, Dad, but Mr. Biden shared information, including some classified information, from those notebooks with his ghostwriter. FBI agents recovered the notebooks from the office and basement den in Mr. Biden’s Delaware home in January 2023.

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Marked classified documents about Afghanistan: These documents from fall 2009 have classification markings up to the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level. They were found in a box in Mr. Biden’s Delaware garage that contained other materials of great personal significance to him and that he appears to have personally used and accessed. The marked classified documents were found along with drafts of the handwritten 2009 Thanksgiving memo Mr. Biden sent President Obama in a last-ditch effort to persuade him not to send additional troops to Afghanistan. These materials were proof of the stand Mr. Biden took in what he regarded as among the most important decisions of his vice presidency.

Mr. Biden wrote his 2007 and 2017 memoirs with the help of a ghostwriter. In a recorded conversation with his ghostwriter in February 2017, about a month after he left office, Mr. Biden said, while referencing his 2009 Thanksgiving memo, that he had “just found all the classified stuff downstairs.” At the time, he was renting a home in Virginia, where he met his ghostwriter to work on his second memoir. Downstairs from where they met was Mr. Biden’s office, where he stored his papers. He moved out of the Virginia home in 2019, consolidating his belongings in Delaware-where FBI agents later found marked classified documents about the Afghanistan troop surge in his garage.

Evidence supports the inference that when Mr. Eiden said in 2017 that he had “just found all the classified stuff downstairs” in Virginia, he was referring to the same marked classified documents about Afghanistan that FBI agents found in 2022 in his Delaware garage.

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Notebooks containing classified information: FBI agents recovered from unlocked drawers in the office and basement den of Mr. Biden’s Delaware home a set of notebooks he used as vice president. Evidence shows that he knew the notebooks contained classified information. Mr. Biden wrote down obviously sensitive information discussed during intelligence briefings with President Obama and meetings in the White House Situation Room about matters of national security and military and foreign policy. And while reading his notebook entries aloud during meetings with his ghostwriter, Mr. Biden sometimes skipped over presumptively classified material and warned his ghostwriter the entries might be classified, but at least three times Mr. Biden read from classified entries aloud to his ghostwriter nearly verbatim.

Some evidence also suggests Mr. Biden knew he could not keep classified handwritten notes at home after leaving office. Mr. Biden, who had decades of experience with classified information, was deeply familiar with the measures taken to safeguard classified information and the need for those measures to prevent harm to national security. Asked about reports that former President Trump had kept classified documents at his own home, Mr. Biden wondered how “anyone could be that irresponsible” and voiced concern about “[w]hat data was in there that may compromise sources and methods.” While vice president, he kept his notebooks in a White House safe for a time, in contrast with his decision after leaving office to keep them at home in unlocked drawers.

When Mr. Biden left office, he also knew his staff decided to store notecards containing his classified notes in a Secure Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) at the National Archives, and he knew his notebooks contained the same type of classified information. As he told his ghostwriter during a recorded interview, the same staff who arranged to secure his classified notecards “didn’t even know” he had retained possession of his classified notebooks. Twice in 2017, Mr. Biden visited the National Archives SCIF to review his classified notecards while writing his book. Yet he kept his notebooks, which also contained classified information, in unlocked drawers at home. He had strong motivations to do so and to ignore the rules for properly handling the classified information in his notebooks. He consulted the notebooks liberally during hours of discussions with his ghostwriter and viewed them as highly private and valued possessions with which he was unwilling to part.

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We also considered whether Mr. Biden willfully disclosed national defense information to his ghostwriter by reading aloud certain classified notebook passages to the ghostwriter nearly verbatim on at least three occasions. Mr. Biden should have known that by reading his unfiltered notes about classified meetings in the Situation Room, he risked sharing classified information with his ghostwriter. But the evidence does not show that when Mr. Biden shared the specific passages with his ghostwriter, Mr. Biden knew the passages were classified and intended to share classified information. Mr. Biden’s lapses in attention and vigilance demonstrate why former officials should not keep classified materials unsecured at home and read them aloud to others, but jurors could well conclude that Mr. Biden’s actions were unintentional. We therefore decline to charge Mr. Biden for disclosure of these passages to his ghostwriter.

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In reaching our decision, we did not consider every circumstance m which criminal charges against a former president or vice president for mishandling classified information may be warranted. But on the facts of this case, “the fundamental interests of society” do not “require” criminal charges against Mr. Biden.~ For this additional reason, applying the Principles of Federal Prosecution set forth in the Justice Manual, we decline prosecution.

The practices of retaining classified material in unsecured locations and reading classified material to one’s ghostwriter present serious risks to national security, given the vulnerability of extraordinarily sensitive information to loss or compromise to America’s adversaries. The Department routinely highlights such risks when pursuing classified mishandling prosecutions. But addressing those risks through criminal charges, the only means available to this office, is not the proper remedy here.

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Other classified materials: For other recovered classified documents, after a thorough investigation the decision to decline criminal charges was straightforward. The FBI recovered additional marked classified documents at the Penn Eiden Center, elsewhere in Mr. Biden’s Delaware home, and in collections of his Senate papers at the University of Delaware, but the evidence suggests that Mr. Biden did not willfully retain these documents and that they could plausibly have been brought to these locations by mistake. We also investigated whether persons other than Mr. Biden knowingly mishandled these classified documents, and our investigation showed that they did not. In reaching these conclusions, we note the numerous previous instances in which marked classified documents have been discovered intermixed with the personal papers of former Executive Branch officials and members of Congress.

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Mr. Biden’s ghostwriter and destruction of evidence: After learning of the special counsel’s appointment in this matter, Mr. Biden’s ghostwriter deleted audio recordings he had created of his discussions with Mr. Biden during the writing of Mr. Biden’s 2017 memoir. The recordings had significant evidentiary value. After telling the Special Counsel’s Office what he had done, the ghostwriter turned over his computer and external hard drive and consented to their search.

Based on the FBI’s analysis. it appears the FBI recovered all deleted audio files relating to the memoir, though portions of a few of the files appear to be missing, which is possible when forensic tools are used to recover deleted files. The ghostwriter kept, and did not delete or attempt to delete, his near-verbatim transcripts of the recordings and produced those transcripts to us, including for each of the incomplete recovered files.

We considered whether to charge the ghostwriter with obstruction of justice, but we believe the evidence would be insufficient to obtain a conviction and therefore declined to prosecute him. While the ghostwriter admitted that he deleted the recordings after he learned of the special counsel’s investigation, the evidence falls short of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to impede an investigation, which is the intent required by law. In his interviews, the ghostwriter offered plausible, innocent reasons for why he deleted the recordings. He also preserved his transcripts that contain some of the most incriminating information against Mr. Eiden-including his statement about finding “all the classified stuff downstairs” in 2017-which is inconsistent with an intent to impede an investigation by destroying evidence. And the ghostwriter voluntarily produced to investigators his notes and the devices from which the recordings were recovered. For these reasons, we believe that the admissible evidence would not suffice to obtain a conviction of the ghostwriter for obstruction of justice. On balance, relevant aggravating and mitigating factors also not support his prosecution.

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In 2010, the Executive Secretary team raised concerns about the number of classified briefing books that Mr. Biden had not returned, and the fact that, even when they were returned, some of the content was missing. These concerns were raised with [Cynthia] Hogan [who had served as served as counsel to Vice President Biden from 2009 to 2013] as well as Mr. Biden’s personal aide and military aides. E-mails indicate that the Executive Secretary team alerted Hogan to the issue at least in June 2010, when nearly thirty of the classified briefing books from the first six months of 2010 were outstanding, and in August 2010, when Mr. Biden failed to return Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information (also referred to as “codeword”) contents of a classified briefing book that he had received during a trip to the Hamptons, in New York. We were unable to determine whether these materials were ever recovered, although they were likely found and disposed of by military aides or naval enlisted aides.

The return of classified briefing books without all of their contents frustrated the Executive Secretary team. In response, Hogan implemented additional security procedures described below. But even after those measures were implemented, the Executive Secretary team continued to struggle to retrieve classified briefing books from Mr. Biden.

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In addition to the marked classified documents Mr. Biden received through the President’s Daily Brief classified briefing books, and other avenues, he also regularly created classified documents in the form of his own handwritten notes. Throughout the eight years of the Obama administration, Mr. Biden took notes during classified meetings and about classified information in notebooks and on notecards. Although the substantive information in the notebooks and notecards was similar — and similarly classified — the notebooks and notecards were handled differently, both during the administration and after.

During the Obama administration, Mr. Biden’s staff regularly collected and reviewed his notecards to determine if they contained classified information and so they could eventually be archived as presidential records. At the end of the administration, Mr. Biden’s staff arranged for him to store most of his classified notecards, which contained notes on the President’s Daily Brief and other classified information, in a SCIF at the National Archives. In contrast, Mr. Biden held his notebooks close, and his staff did not review them. After the administration, Mr. Biden brought his notebooks home with him and stored them in unsecured locations that were not authorized to store classified information — even though the notebooks, like the notecards, contained classified information.

Some information in the notebooks remains classified up to the Top Secret level and includes Sensitive Compartmented Information, including from compartments used to protect information concerning human intelligence sources.

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Mr. Biden wanted to take copies of his notecards when he left office to help write his book. As explained in Chapter Five, in the final year of his vice presidency, Mr. Biden began writing a memoir about his time in office. When conceiving of and writing the book, Mr. Biden worked with a ghostwriter, Mark Zwonitzer. In 2016, Zwonitzer reached out to Mr. Biden’s staff and requested help with locating Mr. Biden’s journals and notes that would be helpful in writing the book. As he approached the end of his vice presidency, Mr. Biden sought to keep copies of his notecards and other records for use in the book-writing process. According to a staffer involved in the project, Mr. Biden wanted to take copies of the notecards “so that he didn’t have to go to [the National Archives] every day to help write this book.”

In late September 2016, Zwonitzer e-mailed Mr. Biden’s chief of staff to schedule an interview with Mr. Biden. Zwonitzer said he wanted to cover “very specific topics and time frames” and said he would “tell you exactly what ground/time period I want to cover in the session so the VP could have relevant notes/diaries etc, with him when we talk.” Around this same time, Mr. Biden’s staff made copies of the notecards and organized them into binders so that he could take them after he left office. The notes were organized by topic or date.

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As for [Kristen] Bakotic [VP Biden’s executive secretary], during an interview with our office, she said that she did not recall ever taking the position that Mr. Biden could take classified notes home with him after his vice presidency. According to Bakotic, she believed in the fall of 2016, when the detailee wrote her e-mail, that there was still time for Mr. Biden to review his notes and get the information he needed in a secure fashion before the administration ended.

She also did not recall ever advising Mr. Biden that he could retain classified notes after his term in office, and said it was not her role to advise the vice president about classified record-handling. Nor did she recall anyone else in the Obama administration taking the position that Mr. Biden could take classified material home with him in an unsecure environment after the vice presidency. Based on her own training, she knew that classified materials were supposed to be stored in a secure facility. A memorandum from the National Security Council sent to all Office of the Vice President staffin December 2016 and January 2017 confirmed this understanding, instructing that “[m]eeting notes … , and classified notes of any kind, are NOT personal notes” and that only unclassified personal records could be removed from the White House at the end of the administration, though there is no evidence this guidance was ever communicated to Mr. Biden

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In October 2016, Mr. Biden’s staff installed a new safe at the Naval Observatory for the storage of Mr. Biden’s notecards. Shortly after the Executive Secretary detailee raised an objection to the handling of Mr. Biden’s notecards in October 2016, Mr. Biden’s staff installed a new safe at the Naval Observatory. E-mail traffic from that time suggests the safe was meant to store Mr. Biden’s classified notecards.

On October 20, 2016-two days after the Executive Secretary detailee objected to the handling of the notecards-Mr. Biden’s deputy national security advisor reached out to Mr. Biden’s personal aide asking to ‘run something” by Mr. Biden. Later that night, the personal aide replied that he had talked to Executive Secretary Bakotic and “[s]ounds like we’re good. Let me know if there’s anything additional beyond the safe issue.”

That same day, the deputy national security advisor sent an e-mail with the subject line “New Safe at NavObs” to Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, Counsel, national security advisor, and others. In the e-mail, the deputy national security advisor said that “[t]he VP approved the placement of a new safe at NavObs and conveyed his desired location.” He explained that the safe would be installed the following day and would be “load[ed] up with the relevant materials.” Later that evening, a career employee on the Executive Secretary team e-mailed the detailee to let her know “for [her] awareness” that a safe was being installed. Although these e-mails suggest that Mr. Biden’s staffers installed the new safe at the Naval Observatory to store the notecards, the staffers told investigators that they did not remember why the safe was installed or what was stored in it. At the same time Mr. Biden’s staff was considering how to handle the notecards, he told his ghostwriter that “they didn’t even know” he had notebooks containing similar classified
notes.

Mr. Biden appeared to reference the notecards issue during a recorded interview with his ghostwriter Zwonitzer on October 10, 2016 — the same time period during which his staff were discussing and arranging the secure storage of his classified notecards. At the time, Mr. Biden was reading aloud from his “Foreign Policy” notebook, including reading notes from meetings in the Situation Room. As explained below, Mr. Biden’s notebooks were separate from his notecards, though he often took similar-and similarly classified-notes in each. Referring to his “Foreign Policy” notebook, Mr. Biden added, ”[t]hey didn’t even know I have this.”

The Most Important Revelations in the Special Counsel’s Report on Biden

On February 8, 2024, Andrew Kerr of the Washington Free Beacon wrote the following:

Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents so enraged the president that he hastily called a 7:45 p.m. press conference Thursday evening to reassure the nation: “I know what the hell I’m doing.”

Biden in particular took issue with Hur’s claim that the president appeared “as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” who could not recall basic details like when he served as vice president, or when his son, Beau, died.

But Hur’s investigation uncovered more about Biden than the mental lapses dominating news coverage. Here are the biggest revelations from Hur’s report.

Biden knew he had classified records at his home as early as February 2017.

Biden said in January 2023 he “immediately” turned over the classified information stored at his Delaware home when the records were discovered in December 2022.

But investigators obtained a recording of a February 2017 conversation in which Biden acknowledged he had “classified stuff” at the Virginia home he rented after leaving office the month prior.

Biden told Mark Zwonitzer, the ghostwriter of his 2017 memoir, Promise Me, Dad, that he “just found all the classified stuff downstairs” concerning President Barack Obama’s 2009 Afghanistan troop surge. Investigators later found classified information related to the surge in the garage of Biden’s Delaware home.

Biden also told Zwonitzer during a recorded conversation that he had resisted turning in some of his notes to the National Archives, which he reviewed in a secure room during in-person visits to the Archives in May and July 2017. Hur said Biden should have known that those same security protocols would have applied to the notes he maintained at his Delaware home, some of which remain classified at the Top Secret level.

Biden knew his ghostwriter wasn’t authorized to receive classified information, but furnished it, anyway. 

Biden proposed hiring his ghostwriter, Zwonitzer, as an official historian for his vice presidential office in 2011. Biden knew at the time that Zwonitzer did not have a security clearance, and Biden’s counsel wrote in a memo at the time that the author would need to obtain one in order to review “any notes or other material that contained classified information.”

The memo dissuaded Biden from hiring Zwonitzer as his historian in 2011. Still, Biden read classified passages from his notes to the ghostwriter nearly verbatim in 2017 as the pair worked on Biden’s memoir.

“Some of this may be classified, so be careful,” Biden told Zwonitzer during one recorded conversation. “I’m not sure. It isn’t marked classified, but.”

Biden then read nearly verbatim his notes from a 2014 Situation Room meeting that, to this day, remain classified at the Secret level, Hur wrote.

Biden claimed he only called the documents classified “in a generic sense, to refer not to the formal classification of national security information, but to sensitive or private topics to ensure that Mr. Zwonitzer would not write about them.”

Hur said the president’s statement was “incredible,” noting that Biden had nearly 50 years of experience dealing with classified information and should know better than to use the term “classified” as a euphemism for “private.”

Biden preserved his classified notes for personal profit.

Hur reports that as early as July 2010, Biden identified three reasons to retain classified notes: defense of his record, his future presidential aspirations, and his personal profit to finance his retirement.

“One function of Mr. Biden’s notebooks was to provide raw material for his eventual second memoir,” Hur wrote in his report. “After leaving office, Mr. Biden kept his notebooks at his homes in Virginia and Delaware and used them to write that book.”

Biden’s notes contained classified information about American intelligence and military sources, methods, capabilities, and activities, as well as plans and capabilities of foreign militaries and terrorist organizations. Investigators located eight excerpts from Biden’s notes containing top secret information, seven of which contained information concerning human intelligence sources.

Those notes, Zwonitzer said, “made the book possible” by providing the “emotional arc of the … story,” Hur wrote in his report.

Biden and his wife, Jill, earned more than $15.6 million from book deals and speaking fees between 2017 and 2019.

A military detailee expressed concern in 2016 that Biden was mishandling classified notes

Biden’s insistence that he keep his classified notes for use in writing a book “after the [Obama] administration has ended” spooked one military detailee so much that she warned Biden’s notes were “being mishandled” in an October 2016 memo.

The unnamed military detailee said she raised concerns during an Oct. 18, 2016, meeting about Biden’s retention of his classified notes, but was rebuked by the then-vice president’s executive secretary, Kristen Bakotic, who insisted Biden’s notes should be made available to him “without restriction.”

“I do not agree with Kristen Bakotic,” the military detailee wrote in her memo. “I believe these records are being mishandled; however, Kristen is my superior officer and I am not in a position to challenge her authority. I have requested to not participate in any project or meetings that involve these records.”

Biden’s ghostwriter tried to delete incriminating evidence.

Much of Hur’s report is based on recordings between Biden and his ghostwriter, Zwonitzer, as they worked on the president’s 2017 memoir.

But if Zwonitzer had his way, those recordings would have never seen the light of day. The ghostwriter deleted most of the recordings from his laptop after learning of Hur’s appointment, but before being contacted by FBI investigators seeking records related to his work with Biden.

Investigators used forensic tools to recover the deleted recordings.

Zwonitzer said he deleted the recordings after receiving “vague but threatening e-mails from groups hostile to Mr. Biden,” which left him concerned that hackers could break into his systems and expose the recordings to the public.

The ghostwriter told investigators he didn’t delete the recordings at Biden’s request, nor to prevent authorities from obtaining them, both of which were key factors in Hur’s decision not to charge Zwonitzer with obstruction.

Biden’s lawyers tried to pressure Hur into rescinding comments on Biden’s mental acuity. 

Biden attorneys Richard Sauber and Bob Bauer urged Hur to “revisit” his “inappropriate” description of the president’s memory response to the special counsel’s draft report on Feb 5.

“The report uses highly prejudicial language to describe a commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of year’s old events,” Biden’s lawyers said. “Such comments have no place in a Department of Justice report.”

The president’s attorneys contended that Biden’s performance during his interviews with Hur was exemplary, considering he was preoccupied with the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel that occurred the day before.

“We request that you revisit your description 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,” they added.

Following the release of Hur’s report, a Biden campaign official attacked the special counsel as a “MAGA guy” who was bitter that he failed to indict the president on criminal charges.

Biden’s Response to the DOJ’s Special Counsel Report of February 5, 2024

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: President Joe Biden erupted in anger during a press conference that he called at the last minute on Thursday night to address the special counsel’s report on the criminal investigation into Biden’s handling of classified material…. During the event, Biden snapped at reporters for asking him about his mental fitness, even though 76% of Americans have said that his mental and physical fitness was a concern. When asked about voters’ concern, Biden snapped: “That is your judgement! That is your judgement! That is not the judgement of the press.” Biden then declared that he was “the most qualified person in the United States to be president.”

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: While discussing [at the press conference] Israel’s war with Hamas, Biden mixed up world leaders, saying that “the president of Mexico, El-Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in.” [Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is not the president of Mexico, he is the president of Egypt.] “I talked to him, I convinced him to open the gate,” Biden claimed. “I talked to Bibi [Netanyahu] to open the gate on the Israeli side.”

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: Biden then forgot the name of the church where his late son, Beau Biden, got the rosary that the president now wears every day.

Daily Wire, 2-8-2024: Biden claimed that the special counsel did not accuse him of sharing classified information with the ghostwriter of his book in 2017, even though the special counsel said that Biden did exactly that.

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