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Trump appointee uses death of president's 46-year-old son to tilt election

Beau Biden Thumbs Up Joe Biden hugging presidential primary deleware
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Special Counsel Robert Hur outrageously clears and smears President Biden. Another gift from one of Trump's "best people."

January 16, 1977 is forever etched in my memory, and so is the day I sat in front of a federal grand jury for eight hours repeatedly saying, “I don’t remember.”

Joe Biden might be forgetful, but he remembers the date of his son Beau’s death. It is etched forever in his mind. My dad died on January 16, 1977. I think about that day every day. And there’s no way in hell, as Biden himself would say, that he doesn’t recall the day his son died. He thinks about it every day.

Biden himself, at a press conference on Thursday night, said it best. He said it wasn’t any of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s business to know when Beau died. That had nothing to do with a document investigation.

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House — 2/8/

Why would Hur use that dreadful question to make an evaluation of Biden’s memory?

If I was in that seat, and Hur, out of the blue, asked me when my father died, I would have told him to “Go f**k yourself!”

And to a degree, I was in that seat. At 26, I was subpoenaed to testify in front of a federal grand jury when the congressman I worked for was under investigation (he was subsequently cleared). I had to sit, for eight hours, alone in front of a grand jury answering questions. It was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life.

Witnesses' lawyers are not permitted in the grand jury room, so when something came up I didn’t know how to answer, I had to ask for a break, go outside the grand jury room, and ask my attorney how I should respond to specific questions.

I’ll never forget his replies, because they were all the same: “Tell them you don’t remember.” Would Hur characterize me as an elderly man with a poor memory?

Truth be told, and it was over 30 years ago, there were some aspects that I did remember. But I didn’t trust where the prosecutors were going with some of the questions, so I stopped — I was afraid he’d send me to jail. Do I remember what those questions and answers were after all these years? I have no idea. The only thing I remember is that I was petrified and got really drunk that night.

Everyone’s memory is different, and Biden is no different from anyone else just because he’s president, and maybe his memory isn’t what it used to be, but that would be understandable because Biden has lived a full and jam-packed life.

The special counsel said that “Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited,” pointing to him missing the date of Beau’s death by “several years.” While I remember that dark January day 47 years ago, I also try very hard to forget what happened. People cope with grief in myriad ways. Personally, I don’t like to be reminded about that day, and I’m positively sure President Biden doesn’t like remembering Beau’s death and definitely doesn’t like being asked about it when it isn’t pertinent to a conversation.

To Hur, I ask, “How did you expect the president to respond to that?” “As a braggadocio? “He died on May 30, 2015. See how good my memory is that I can remember the date of my son’s death!” What in God’s name did Hur think he was going to prove by asking such a deeply personal question?

Hur’s report characterized Biden’s memory as "hazy," "fuzzy," "faulty," and "poor." These are questions now for the special counsel: Was this your first deposition? Was this your first time questioning a witness? A subject of an investigation?

Because most people under the glare of a deposition or testimony — like I was — usually resort to “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall.” Some for legal strategy, and others for the sheer fact that they actually don’t remember.

Unless you're Marilu Henner, you’re going to have a very hard time recalling answers to questions about documents you didn’t know you had in the first place.

Hur cruelly goes on to say, “We have also considered that, at trial, 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,”

People are allowed to forget, Mr. Hur, and as an infallible human being, maybe it doesn’t happen to you, but it happens to everyone else.

First, Hur questions Biden’s love for his son, and then he makes himself the judge and jury deciding Biden is an elderly man with a poor memory. This from a 50-year-old prosecutor who has absolutely no idea what it feels like to be older.

I have news for Hur. He’s going to find out pretty quickly what it’s like to get old because it sneaks up on you before you know it. You’re also going to start forgetting aspects of a decades-long past that includes infinite memories that jumble together.

To Hur, I would use the words of another special counsel, the Army’s Joseph Welch, who confronted the monster of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's communism investigation in the 1950s by saying, “Have you no sense of decency?”

Hur is a Trump appointee, so of course he doesn’t, and his words prove his incivility.

John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate.

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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John Casey

John Casey is a senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the United Nations and with four large U.S. retailers.
John Casey is a senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the United Nations and with four large U.S. retailers.