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Biden's legal team went to Justice Dept. over what they viewed as unnecessary digs at his memory

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Biden's legal team went to Justice Dept. over what they viewed as unnecessary digs at his memory

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s personal attorney said Sunday he went to both the special counsel and the attorney general to register concerns over what he viewed to be pejorative and unnecessary digs at the president’s memory.

“This is a report that went off the rails,” Bob Bauer said on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday. “It’s a shabby work product.”

The special counsel was investigating whether the president mishandled classified documents during his previous positions as vice president and senator, and found this week that no criminal charges were warranted.

But in building his argument for why no charges were necessary, Special Counsel Robert Hur, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, detailed in part that Biden’s defense of any potential charges could possibly be that: “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.”

And then he went on to cite examples where investigators said the president’s memory lapsed, including over when his older son Beau had died. In particular, the comments about Beau Biden enraged the president, who has been very open about his grief over his son’s death, speaking often of him.

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“How the hell dare he raise that,” Biden questioned angrily following the report’s release. “Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself, was it any of their damn business?”

Biden’s age has already been a concern for voters. Democrats are now answering the widespread questions about the 81-year-old president’s age and readiness by affirming that Biden is capable of being commander in chief and trying to discredit people who portray him feeble. First lady Jill Biden wrote a letter to donors Saturday questioning whether those comments were politically motivated; it fetched the most money in donations of any email since Biden launched his campaign.

Bauer, who is married to Biden’s top White House aide Anita Dunn, said he raised concerns over the inclusion of these details to both Hur and Garland, which he viewed to be a violation of the Justice Department norms that essentially work to avoid prejudicing the public against people who are not charged with a crime. But the appeal failed.

“It’s evident that he had committed to make the report public the way that the special counsel had written it,” said Bauer.

Former Trump Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended the report on CNN’ “State of the Union” Sunday.

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“When you conduct a criminal investigation, some of the information that you uncover and some things that you evaluate don’t necessarily put the subject in a favorable light. And, ordinarily, that’s not publicized. And I think that’s a good thing,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that the special counsel process results in public reports that expose things that otherwise would remain sealed in Department of Justice files.”

The president sat down with investigators over several hours just as the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas happened. He said he answered the questions truthfully and to the best of his knowledge.

Bauer argued that what didn’t make it into the report were moments when the president deconstructed questions by investigators and when the special counsel notes that he’d be taking Biden through “events that are many years ago,” and notes that he should just give his best recollection.

He said the special counsel made a decision “to cherry pick in a very misleading way” what references made it in and what didn’t.

Bauer, too, suggested there was political pressure on the Justice Department, which is prosecuting former President Donald Trump for refusing to turn over a trove of classified documents as well as his role in the Jan. 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol and has been excoriated by Trump and others as biased and that his prosecution represents a “two-tiered system of justice.”

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Hur is a Republican, and a former U.S. attorney under Trump.

“So you have to wonder with those pressures impinging on the investigation from the outside knowing the attacks that Republicans have levied on the law enforcement process, did he decide we would have to ask that we reach the only legal conclusion possible and then toss in the rest of it to placate a certain political constituency?” Bauer asked.

The Justice Department has not commented on the criticism.

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US Man Gets Prison for Tokyo Olympics Doping Charge

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US Man Gets Prison for Tokyo Olympics Doping Charge
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Texas man who pleaded guilty to involvement in providing banned performance-enhancing drugs to athletes before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was sentenced on Wednesday to three months in prison, U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan said. Eric Lira, 44, of El …
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US conducts four 'self-defense strikes' against Houthi weapons preparing to launch: CENTCOM

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US conducts four 'self-defense strikes' against Houthi weapons preparing to launch: CENTCOM

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The U.S. military conducted “self-defense strikes” against Houthi missiles and a launcher prepared to fire from Yemen toward the Red Sea on Wednesday, U.S. Central Command announced.

Between 12 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. local time on Wednesday, four self-defense strikes were launched in response to seven mobile Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles and one mobile anti-ship ballistic missile launcher aimed at the Red Sea, the agency said.

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Also, in an act of self-defense, CENTCOM said its forces shot down a one-way attack unmanned aircraft system.

US CARRIES OUT ‘SELF-DEFENSE’ STRIKE AGAINST HOUTHI ANTI-SHIP MISSILE: CENTCOM

U.S. Central Command announced more “self-defense strikes” against Houthi terrorists in Yemen after American forces located missiles and a launcher prepared to fire toward the Red Sea. (Mass Communications Spc. 2nd Class Moises Sandoval/U.S. Navy via AP)

The missiles, launchers and the unmanned aircraft system were all determined to have originated from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

CENTCOM said they “presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and to the U.S. Navy ships in the region” and were destroyed.

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HOUTHIS DEMAND US, UK AID WORKERS LEAVE YEMEN WITHIN 30 DAYS FOLLOWING 2ND COALITION STRIKE

“These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels,” CENTCOM concluded.

CENTCOM and the State Department have been adamant in recent days about condemning Houthi aggression in the Red Sea toward military and civilian ships.

Model of Houthi missile

A model of a Houthi missile is carried during a protest in Sanaa, Yemen, against the war in Gaza and U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Houthis on Feb. 16. (Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Prior to Wednesday’s self-defense strikes, U.S. and coalition forces have shot down 11 one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicles, one anti-ship cruise missile, and one surface-to-air missile launcher located in Houthi-controlled Yemen since Feb. 19, according to CENTCOM announcements.

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Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.

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Three people killed in shooting near Jerusalem

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Three people killed in shooting near Jerusalem

Israeli police say officers shoot two of the gunmen, and a third tries to escape but is found and arrested

At least three people have been killed and eight wounded when Palestinian gunmen opened fire at motorists near an Israeli checkpoint near occupied East Jerusalem.

The head of Israel’s ambulance service, Eli Bean, told the public broadcaster Kan that two women were seriously wounded on Thursday.

Israeli police said the attackers took advantage of slow morning traffic on the central highway east of Jerusalem near the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank and opened fire with automatic weapons at cars waiting near a checkpoint.

A spokesperson said the gunmen were Palestinians but gave no further details.

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Israeli police said two gunmen were killed and a third was arrested.

In response to the attack, far-right Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir said freedom of movement for Palestinians should be restricted.

“Our right to life overrides the Palestinians’ freedom of movement,” the official said, according to Israeli media reports.

“I will fight for barriers around the villages that will limit the freedom of movement of the residents of the Palestinian Authority.”

Tensions in the occupied West Bank have been exacerbated since Israel’s war on Gaza began on October 7 following a Hamas attack that killed 1,139 people, according to Israeli figures.

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Israel’s retaliation on Gaza for the attack has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians and wounded close to 70,000 people, according to Palestinian health authorities, and has reduced much of the enclave to rubble.

Reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Willem Marx said the attack is an “indication of the frustration that many people inside the occupied West Bank and those facing challenges around access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque are feeling at this very, very fraught time”.

“This is something that reflects a period in history, decades ago, when these kinds of attacks were incredibly frequent in and around Jerusalem,” Marx said, adding that there have been “several similar incidents” recently in the West Bank and around illegal settlements.

The shooting “so close to Jerusalem at a busy time in the morning next to a major checkpoint where there’d be a huge security presence is an indication of that frustration”, Marx reported.

Last week, two people were killed by gunmen who police suspect to be Palestinians at a bus stop in southern Israel.

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