• Congressman Jim Himes Flawed Analysis Of The Special Counsel’s Report Regarding President Biden’s Handling Of Classified Documents

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    Jim Himes, in defense of President Biden’s illegal possession of classified documents, stated in an MSNBC Deadline Whitehouse interview, “Well, there were lots of aspects of this report that raised questions in my mind. What’s getting a lot of attention right now is the Special Counsel’s judgment that, if President Biden chose to do so, he could approach the jury as — I can’t remember the exact language — but as a forgetful old man. The fact that a Special Counsel wrote that about the President, but didn’t write that about any of the other people who testified to him, who he deposed, the fact that the Special Counsel was speculating about a possible defense strategy is pretty wild.”

    This is an absurd and irresponsible statement considering serious questions raised by this report. Instead of covering for President Biden’s shortcomings, Himes should have more carefully analyzed the Special Counsel's Report.

    The Special Counsel’s Report regarding President Biden’s possession and handling of classified documents was extensive. It analyzed each instance of mishandling classified documents. There is no doubt that Biden possessed and mishandled classified documents.

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    Despite the fact that Biden illegally possessed these documents, the Special Counsel declined to prosecute him.

    Even though illegal acts were committed, the Special Counsel went on to discuss what defenses Biden would have, the likelihood of conviction and the public policy benefit of pursuing the case.

    The following quote from the record describes memory issues in 2017 as well as at the time of the interview with the special prosecutor.

    “Mr. Biden’s memory also appeared to have significant limitations-both at the time he spoke to Zwonitzer in 2017, as evidenced by their recorded conversations, and today, as evidenced by his recorded interview with our office. Mr. Biden recorded conversations with Zwonitzer from 2017 are often painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.

    In his interview with our office Mr. Biden’s memory was worse. He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (“it was 2012- 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). 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 Genera Karl Eikenberry, when in fact Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.”

    Special Counsel's Report, (p.207-208).

    For Mr. Himes to claim that it was the stress of a deposition that made Mr. Biden nervous and forgetful is a flawed argument. Mr. Biden had an interview not a deposition. In 2017 based on the recordings for Zwonitzer, his ghost writer, his speech was painfully slow. In the Special Counsel’s interview he did not even remember the years that he served as Vice President and even asked if he was still Vice President. The degree of impairment implied in this report is frightening. Finally the President of the United States is under a great deal of pressure to deal with both domestic and international issues and crises. If someone cannot handle the stress of an interview, how can they handle the stresses of being President of the United States?

    With regard to the classified documents, the report went on to say:

    “For all of the classified materials recovered during this investigation, after the vice presidency, Mr. Biden did not receive a written waiver of the need-to-know requirement, and no agency official made the findings required by the executive order. Therefore, Mr. Biden’s possession of those materials in unsecured spaces in his home after his vice presidency was unauthorized within the meaning of the Espionage Act”.

    Special Counsel's Report, (p.180).

    There is no question that President Biden, from the time he left office as Vice President in January 2017, and until January 2021, when he became President, did not have the legal authority to possess the documents.

    The facts in the case confirm unauthorized possession of classified material being kept in house. However the Special Counsel has decided not to prosecute him based on several reasons.

    The first being that because of Mr. Biden’s poor memory it would be extremely difficult to prosecute him for knowingly committing a crime that requires intent when he does not remember why he illegally possessed the documents

    A second reason is a policy issue as stated in footnote 950 “Memorandum for All Federal Prosecutors: General Department Policies Regarding Charging, Pleas, and Sentencing. Office of the Att’y Gen. (Dec. 16, 2022) at 1-2 (even if a prosecutor is able to obtain and sustain a conviction, “a prosecutor should not commence a prosecution if the prosecution would not serve a substantial federal interest” and in determining whether a substantial federal interest exists, the prosecutor should “weigh all relevant
    considerations” including nine enumerated factors) U.S. Dep’t of Just., Just. Manual SS
    9-27.001, 9-27.230 (2023).” (p.249)

    A third reason, with the exception of former President Donald Trump, there is “no record of the Department of Justice prosecuting a former president or vice president for mishandling classified documents from his own administration” (p.250). A fourth reason is that the jury would likely be sympathetic to a memory-impaired elderly man.

    Mr. Himes as a Congressman of the United States should act in the interests of the citizens of his district and the people of the United States and demand that the concerns and dangers regarding a sitting president’s mental ability to perform his job are thoroughly investigated by Congress rather than automatically defending President Biden.

    It is also disturbing that Mr. Biden is being given a pass for his illegal record possession while Mr. Trump is being vigorously prosecuted for his handling of supposedly classified documents.

    In the 1920’s President Woodrow Wilson remained in office despite the fact that he had a debilitating stroke. The public was kept in the dark and unelected officials made decisions on his behalf. Some have argued that had different decisions been made during that period, World War II might have been prevented.

    It seems like history is repeating itself.

    We are at a crossroads regarding international conflicts and trends that could lead to expanding global conflict and possibly World War III. We need an elected president at the helm that is up to the job.

    Let’s not make the same mistake that was made about 100 years ago. Too much is at stake.

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    Dr. Michael Goldstein

    Dr. Michael Goldstein is running for U.S. Congress. You can learn more about his campaign here: https://goldsteinforcongress.com/

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