Accusations Fly As Hur Clashes With Schiff On Biden Docs Report

During a Capitol Hill hearing on Tuesday, Robert Hur got into a contentious back-and-forth with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) over how his special counsel report on President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents while out of office dealt with the thorny issue of the commander-in-chief’s foggy memory.

Schiff charged that Hur must have known he was injecting his “personal, prejudicial, subjective opinion” into the report — which described Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” whom a jury likely would not convict “of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness” — that political rivals could seize upon in an election season.

When Schiff tried to pivot to the criminal documents case against former President Donald Trump, Hur brought the conversation back to what the California Democrat had just said about the investigation into Biden and lobbed his own accusation at the congressman.

“What you are suggesting is that I needed to provide a different version of my report that would be fit for public release. That is nowhere in the rules. I was to prepare a confidential report that was comprehensive and thorough,” Hur said.

Schiff said the rules demanded that Hur not “gratuitously do things to prejudice the subject of an investigation when you are declining to prosecute,” particularly with language “that you know will be useful in a political campaign.”

“You understood exactly what you were doing,” Schiff said, adding later, “That was a political choice. It was the wrong choice.”

In reply, Hur said, “What you are suggesting is that I shape, sanitize, omit portions of my reasoning and explanation to the attorney general for political reasons — ”

Schiff interjected and declared, “No, I suggested that you not shape your political report for political reasons, which is what you did.”

With Schiff’s time expiring, Hur was allowed to get in one final response: “That did not happen.”

Earlier in the exchange, Hur explained that regulations “required” him to write a confidential report explaining his decision-making to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

But it was ultimately Garland’s call on how much of the report to release to the public in accordance with legal requirements and Department of Justice policy, Hur added.

Schiff, who is running for Senate, served as the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee for several years, including as its chairman. But he was kicked off the panel last year by then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who had accused Schiff of being a repeat liar, particularly with investigations related to Trump.

The GOP-led House later voted to censure Schiff over allegations that he abused his access to sensitive information and misled the American people about Trump’s ties to Russia and more. The congressman rejected the censure resolution as a “sham” and said he would wear the rebuke as a “badge of honor.”

Over the weekend, Schiff said that he hopes the U.S. intelligence community will “dumb down” briefings for Trump if he secures the GOP nomination ahead of a possible 2020 rematch against Biden in November’s election.

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