February 10, 2024 | BBC News | 1 minute read

Special Counsel Robert Hur placed a spotlight on President Joe Biden’s age and memory in a February 8 release of a year-long inquiry into Biden’s handling of classified files.

Hur, who was tapped for the special counsel role by Biden’s own attorney general, noted in his findings that Biden “willfully” retained classified files after leaving the vice presidency in 2017. In explaining his decision not to prosecute Biden, Hur said he would struggle to secure a conviction because of how Biden would come across to jurors given his age and memory.

Bracewell’s Seth DuCharme told BBC News that it is a stressful position for Hur to be in given that special counsel are usually aware of the political reaction their report could ignite.

“You look at it, and you probably breathe a heavy sigh, and you go: ‘No matter what I say, or even if I’ve done my best, the reality of the situation is that somebody’s gonna go nuts over this,’” DuCharme said. “‘And it may have real collateral political consequences. But do I stand by what I’ve said?’”

The challenge for all special counsel is to both investigate sensitive issues and explain their ultimate conclusions to the public – a high bar made even harder to clear when the subject is the sitting president on the verge of a November election.