O’Reilly: DOJ’s ‘damning’ report on Biden necessitated speech
(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden responded angrily to a Justice Department special counsel report into his handling of classified documents in a prime-time address Thursday, a speech that Bill O’Reilly says was necessary because of the “damning” report.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a report as damning to a sitting president, and I’m writing a book on all the presidents,” O’Reilly said Thursday on “CUOMO” after the release of the report and Biden’s televised response. “The happiest guy in the country tonight is Donald Trump. His poll numbers will rocket now.”
The Justice Department released the report Thursday after the investigation was concluded by special counsel Robert Hur, who was appointed to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents after some were found in Delaware home and a Washington, D.C., office.
Hur concluded that while Biden did willfully retain the documents from his time as vice president, he did not recommend criminal charges partly because a jury might view Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory.” Typically, prosecutors do not bring cases if they don’t believe they can secure a conviction by proving a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The (report) basically says he broke the law, no doubt he did, he knew he was breaking the law, but we’re not going to charge him because he’s a doddering guy who’s probably got dementia,” O’Reilly said. “It’s devastating, so he had to go out (and give an address), but he didn’t look relaxed and he’s on the defensive, of course.”
Biden rebutted the claims from the special counsel in a televised address from the White House on Thursday night, telling the nation, “I know what the hell I’m doing.” He also took issue with Hur claiming in the report that Biden couldn’t recall the year his son Beau died: “How the hell dare he?”
NewsNation host Chris Cuomo says speaking to the nation was a “good move” by the president.
“I am surprised that the president doesn’t do a lot more of this. … He should he should do it a lot more. He should do it twice every week,” Cuomo said. “Why? If for no other reason there won’t be an open question as to how his mind works. People will know.”
After the speech, Biden took questions from reporters, the first of which was posed by Fox News’ Peter Doocy, with whom the president frequently spars.
“How bad is your memory, and can you continue as president?” Doocy asked.
“My memory is so bad I let you speak,” Biden quipped back.
Cuomo called it the best line of the night from Biden.
“That’s the Joe Biden that a lot of people who’ve been in this business for awhile remember,” Cuomo said. “He was known for being feisty, for wanting to go one-on-one with somebody.”
Biden told another reporter, “my memory is fine.”
“Take a look at what I’ve done since I’ve become president. Nobody thought I could pass any of the things I got passed. How’d that happen? I guess I just forgot what was going on,” Biden said.
Marked classified documents about Afghanistan with classification markings up to the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level were found in a box in Biden’s Delaware garage, Hur’s report said. A handwritten memo from 2009 Biden wrote to then-President Obama to dissuade him from sending additional troops to Afghanistan was also found.
In a recorded conversation with a ghostwriter helping him with his 2017 memoirs, about a month after Biden left the vice president’s office, Biden said he found “classified stuff downstairs.” At that time, Biden had been renting a home in Virginia. He later moved out of the Virginia home in 2019, consolidating his belongings in Delaware.
Charges were not merited in this case, because as vice president, and during his subsequent presidency when the Afghanistan records were found, Biden had the authority to keep classified documents at his home, the report said.
In addition, Biden’s “memory was significantly limited” both during his recorded interviews with ghostwriters and interviews with the DOJ’s office in 2023, according to the report.
This, along with Biden’s cooperation in the investigation, will “likely convince” jurors he made an innocent mistake, the report said, and didn’t have an intent to break the law.
O’Reilly said he’s “happy” Biden won’t face charges, and he doesn’t believe Trump should, either.
“I think this whole thing is yeah, they shouldn’t have done it, Trump shouldn’t have done it, but does it really matter to the country? No,” O’Reilly said.