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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, February 10, 2024

Marcy Wheeler: In the middle of his explanation for why he believed that Joe Biden had willfully retained classified records pertaining to Afghanistan but that he couldn't prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, Special Counsel Robert Hur admitted that jurors "who are unwilling to read too much into" what Hur describes as an 8-word utterance would find his case lacking.

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MFA article:

I'm puzzled how this is not a confession that he, Hur, was really reading too much into two file folders the FBI found in a box in Biden's garage.

Indeed, that's what two bizarre chapters in his story are, Hur the novelist, spinning a story about this box because, he admitted much earlier, this is the best he's got.

The only other retained documents he even considered charging were Biden's diaries, which Biden seems to have kept under the Presidential Records Act's exclusion of diaries from the definition of Presidential Records (though Hur included a picture of Biden taking notes in one of these notebooks during a key meeting in the Situation Room, so that notebook, at least, was a Presidential Record).

To sustain his claim that those notebooks represented willful retention that he couldn't prove, Hur got in a squabble about the precedent set by Ronald Reagan's diaries, which similarly included classified information, but which weren't charged even after they bcame key evidence in the Iran-Contra investigation. Biden had a precedent to rely on, and so Hur didn't charge.

So left with only the box in the garage to appease the Republicans, Hur worked backward from this reference in a conversation Biden had with his ghost writer in 2017, the 66-word utterance on which he built a 388-page report:

"So this was--I, early on, in '09--I just found all the classified stuff downstairs--I wrote the President a handwritten 40-page memorandum arguing against deploying additional troops to Iraq-I mean, to Afghanistan--on the grounds that it wouldn't matter, that the day we left would be like the day before we arrived. And I made the same argument ... I wrote that piece 11 or 12 years ago." [my emphasis]

Only Hur didn't call it a 66-word utterance. He called it an 8-word utterance, repeating those bolded eight words 23 times in the report without mention of the 40-page memorandum that Biden mentioned in the same sentence. Only once did he provide the full context.

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2024-02-09 05:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Norman Ornstein
@NormOrnstein

This is a devastating and thorough debunking of Hur's report, making queer that it is utterly dishonest, distorted beyond belief. To all those legal analysts on CNN and elsewhere, who bought it at face value, shame.

Robert Hur's Box-Checking

#2 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2024-02-09 09:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Hur was pleasing his friends with this report. He's looking for position should Trump get back in.

Hur is defending himself physically from his friends. He knows they would hurt him for not towing the MAGA line, whether Trump gets back in or not.

#3 | Posted by Zed at 2024-02-10 07:43 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I read almost all9f the report. It was redundant, and wordy, and filled with irrelevant information. And I thought I was bad.

#4 | Posted by Miranda7 at 2024-02-10 09:33 PM | Reply

Mueller, She Wrote
@MuellerSheWrote

Imagine if Joe Biden instructed Merrick Garland to meet weekly with Hur over whiskey and cigars at a bar in a building owned by Hunter Biden to curtail the scope of his probe.

It's like the media forgot Trump, Barr, and Durham did that.

twitter.com

#5 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2024-02-10 09:35 PM | Reply

Only Hur didn't call it a 66-word utterance. He called it an 8-word utterance, repeating those bolded eight words 23 times in the report without mention of the 40-page memorandum that Biden mentioned in the same sentence.

The O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services, Washington D.C.) psychological profile of Hitler described his use of the big lie:

"His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it."
www.cia.gov page 38.

#6 | Posted by YAV at 2024-02-10 10:25 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The report reads as though it were written by several different people, and those people could not agree about what should be included or edited out, so they just merged it all together and called it a day. It appears they smushed together what would normally be separate reports into one.

The investigators file a report which should factual and chronological, documenting the investigators activities/interviews/evidence collection. This report would be detailed and unfiltered, but absent opinion or analysis, Just the facts unrolling as they were learned.

The prosecutors report summarizes the evidence found by the investigators that support criminal charges, as well as exculpatory evidence supporting the accused. This report should also be factual, but pared down to a legal discussion as to whether the evidence establishes the elements of the crime. This would form the basis of an indictment or information.

Finally, the declination report is opinion based. The prosecutor discusses and weighs the strength of evidence to demonstrate reasonable probability of conviction is lacking. Associated factors, such as witness credibility, likely defenses and extenuating circumstances would be discussed. This may form the framework for a plea bargain, or non filing decision.

Looks like he tried to put this altogether, running in circles with it and splattering it against the wall.

#7 | Posted by Miranda7 at 2024-02-10 11:00 PM | Reply

I read almost all9f the report. It was redundant, and wordy, and filled with irrelevant information. And I thought I was bad.
#4 | POSTED BY MIRANDA7

That's really impressive, Miranda. It's more than I have done and more than most journalists have likely done as well, according to Marcy Wheeler, who calls reading the entire report "a slog":

emptywheel
@emptywheel

Greg's absolutely right about media's CHOICEs to write ignorantly first then consult experts after.

But I'm also really curious how many of these self-imagined journalists have slogged through the 388-page report?

[It is a slog. I've done it.]
twitter.com

I'm sure it took a lot of time, intelligence and perseverance to read the whole report and arrive at your own observations and conclusions. Your background in law enforcement no doubt contributed to your ability grasp the general framework of the report and what the various sections of the report where attempting to do. Again, kudos to you for the work you did reading the report.

#8 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2024-02-10 11:29 PM | Reply

I'm an insomniac, so I go down rabbit holes in the wee hours. This report out me to sleep repeatedly.,so I didn't quite -------- My biggest takeaway is that it was very poorly written and feels like a group project. Writing style and voice changes. At times it is very critical of Biden in a petty and argumentive way, and practically fawns over him in other places.Just wierd.

For clarification, what I described is the way reports are typically presented, that is not the framework they used. They just went in circles

#9 | Posted by Miranda7 at 2024-02-11 01:23 AM | Reply

YAV@ #6

Thanks for posting the link to the CIA's analysis of Hitler. Having read just the first three sections, I found it astounding how easy it was to replace the name Hitler with the name Trump. The similarities are nothing less than remarkable in some respect and always outright bone-chilling in total.

I know most people here won't read it which is more the shame. For it explains so much of what appears to be history repeating itself. And I say this without an ounce of hyperbole.

I'm going to archive that link so I can read it in full as time permits. It's quite long.

Thanks again. You've done this site a great favor. I hope they take advantage of it.

#10 | Posted by Twinpac at 2024-02-11 05:19 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I found it astounding how easy it was to replace the name Hitler with the name Trump.

#10 | POSTED BY TWINPAC

There is no reason not to use the names enter-changeably.

The German people, er, MAGAs know what they're getting.

#11 | Posted by Zed at 2024-02-11 07:39 AM | Reply

TwinPac, you are welcome, and thank you for saying that. I found it chilling.

Miranda, I have to hand it to you. I only made it through a quarter of the "report" and then I started doing searches and reading sections. Your analysis is spot on from what I was seeing. Inconsistencies, changes in voice, and discontinuities. The more I read the more it came across as garbage except as a political hit piece.

The only thing worth taking from it was that it repeatedly states that there's nothing that warrants prosecuting Biden.

Try and tell that to Jeff/Bellringer or any other "Republican," though. There is nothing that angers me more than a prosecutor or "special counsel" that admits there is no legal option to pursue someone, but then goes on to destroy them. Pathetic.

And the press? Wow. Awful. That press conference with Biden and the questions they were asking? Some (most?) came across as ignorant and uninformed.

#12 | Posted by YAV at 2024-02-11 07:51 AM | Reply

BTW - while I was reading through it, remembered Trump has Hitler's "My New Order" and Ivanka Trump said he read it "from time to time." Trump said that Marty Davis "from Paramount" and "he's a Jew" gave "Mein Kampf" to him, however Davis isn't Jewish and said it wasn't "Mein Kampf" but "My New Order." That confirmed Ivanka's account. When called on it, Trump then said "If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them."

Right.

I'd bet it's the only history he's actually really studied (devoured) in his life.

#13 | Posted by YAV at 2024-02-11 07:54 AM | Reply

I wish the MSM, who want to be fair, objective and unbiased, would talk about Trump's deposition in the Mueller probe. This is as close as we are going to get to an apples to apples comparison of the way the 2 major candidates comported themselves under oath, my emphasis:

Trump's most frequent contribution to the Mueller probe? I don't recall.'
April 18, 2019

One sentence in the report written by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigators summarizes President Trump's responses to their inquiries succinctly.

"We viewed the written answers to be inadequate," it says.

It's easy to see why.

After battling with Trump's attorneys for months to get an in-person interview with the president, Mueller's investigators instead offered written questions to be answered under oath. They covered four primary topic areas: the Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, the Russian effort to interfere with the election, the proposed development project in Moscow and contacts with Russia or Russia-related issues during the campaign and transition. In total, the Mueller team asked 38 distinct questions with 37 follow-ups.

Trump offered 22 distinct answers. In 19 of those answers, he claims not to remember or recall some particular issue. Often, those failures to remember what happened constitute the entirety of his response.

In the past, Trump has touted his memory. In June, speaking at a news conference in Singapore, he assured reporters that he didn't need notes about his conversation with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because he has "one of the great memories of all time." Unfortunately, that memory appears not to extend back to 2015, as indicated in Trump's responses.

Here's what he couldn't remember when asked by Mueller.

www.washingtonpost.com

#14 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2024-02-11 10:17 AM | Reply

For clarification, what I described is the way reports are typically presented, that is not the framework they used. They just went in circles
#9 | POSTED BY MIRANDA7

Gotcha.

"I'm an insomniac, so I go down rabbit holes in the wee hours."

I hear you. FWIW, last night when I couldn't sleep, I watched this interview because I did want to judge for myself:

Josh Marshall
@joshtpm
Extensive interview w Biden about a week before the interchange Hur alleges. Judge for yourself

John Harwood
@JohnJHarwood

as for Biden's mental fitness, I talked to him one-on-one at the White House 10 days before Hur did

here's the video; judge for yourself

twitter.com

My assessment: Biden did just fine. He was thoughtful and sincere. He was empathetic towards folks who didn't vote for him and genuinely concerned for the future of democracy in this country. Special Counsel Robert Hur described President Biden as a "sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."
I did find Biden to be a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man but not one with a poor memory.

#15 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2024-02-11 11:04 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Thanks again, Gal.
That interview was excellent.
It was hard to watch because of the ramifications of what Biden says in it. Biden's 100% right and so on point. Full command of the facts, the issues, and what matters. Concise and clear.

I can't imagine how that same interview would go with Trump. It'd be a total farce. It'd be a circus. Wow.

#16 | Posted by YAV at 2024-02-11 12:54 PM | Reply

Keep in mind 74% of Republicans think that Trump acting as a dictator would be a positive or mostly positive thing.

#17 | Posted by YAV at 2024-02-11 12:55 PM | Reply

You people apparently have a touch of CRS desease like the current potus who talks to dead presidents.

Hur let biden off the hook like every democrat does and you attack him for telling an obvious truth.

you wackos are....wackos.

#18 | Posted by shrimptacodan at 2024-02-12 08:33 AM | Reply

My assessment: Biden did just fine. He was thoughtful and sincere. He was empathetic towards folks who didn't vote for him and genuinely concerned for the future of democracy in this country. Special Counsel Robert Hur described President Biden as a "sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."
I did find Biden to be a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man but not one with a poor memory.

#15 | POSTED BY GAL_TUESDAY AT 2024-02-11 11:04 AM | FLAG:
(CHOOSE)
| NEWSWORTHY 1

How with it can he be when as he walks out to his prized vette he walks past an opened and tattererd box that says "top secret documents" knowing that Hunter and his hookers and drug dealers walk by the same box and not do anything about it.

#19 | Posted by fishpaw at 2024-02-12 12:30 PM | Reply

I found it astounding how easy it was to replace the name Hitler with the name Trump.
#10 | POSTED BY TWINPAC
There is no reason not to use the names enter-changeably.
The German people, er, MAGAs know what they're getting.

#11 | POSTED BY ZED AT 2024-02-11 07:39 AM | FLAG:
(CHOOSE)

Right, Hitler wanted his opponents removed so they could never challenge him. He also wanted all Jews removed from this earth like the members of the squad.

#20 | Posted by fishpaw at 2024-02-12 12:52 PM | Reply

Hitler wanted his opponents removed so they could never challenge him.

#20 | POSTED BY FISHPAW This is Trump, alright. He's already threatened as much

#21 | Posted by Zed at 2024-02-12 12:56 PM | Reply

Right, Hitler wanted his opponents removed so they could never challenge him. He also wanted all Jews removed from this earth like the members of the squad.

#20 | Posted by fishpaw

Yeah remember when the squad organized the UNITE THE RALLY and marched through charlottesvillw with torches chanting JEWS WILL NOT REPLACE US?

That was the squad wasn't it?

#22 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2024-02-12 12:56 PM | Reply

#20 | POSTED BY FISHPAW: MAGA knows what they're getting in Trump. You know what you're getting in Trump. We know what you're getting in Trump. Elected again he'll hit the road running with a florid mental illness centering upon megalomania and violence. People will get hurt, a lot of them. And one of those may even be you.

#23 | Posted by Zed at 2024-02-12 12:59 PM | Reply

*UNITE THE RIGHT RALLY

#24 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2024-02-12 01:14 PM | Reply

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