“It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness,” Mr. Hur wrote.
In his own statement, Mr. Biden appeared to suggest a reason for why he was distracted.
“I was so determined to give the Special Counsel what they needed that I went forward with five hours of in-person interviews over two days on October 8th and 9th of last year, even though Israel had just been attacked on October 7th and I was in the middle of handling an international crisis,” he wrote. “I just believed that’s what I owed the American people.”
The president’s lawyers, Bob Bauer and Richard Sauber, took exception in a Feb. 5 letter with Mr. Hur’s description of the president’s memory.
“It is hardly fair to concede that the President would be asked about events years in the past, press him to give his ‘best’ recollections and then fault him for his limited memory,” the lawyers wrote. “The President’s inability to recall dates or details of events that happened years ago is neither surprising nor unusual.”
Concerns about Mr. Biden’s age have been a recurring theme of his presidency over the past three years. Fueled in part by video of the president appearing weak or stumbling in public, many voters have expressed concern about his mental and physical fitness as he seeks to remain in the White House until he is 86 years old.