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Democrats in damage control over concerns raised about Joe Biden’s memory and age

“But it comes back to that very core choice that we have with our nation,” Fetterman said, trying to contrast Biden to Donald Trump. “Do we want order over chaos? Do we want the truth over lying? Do we want virtue against just corruption and sleaze?”

Former March For Our Lives director Maxwell Frost, the first “gen-Z” member to be elected to the US Congress, also defended Biden, highlighting his first-term achievements such as bipartisan gun reform and an uptick in the economy.

“Yes, okay, we know President Biden is old; it doesn’t sound like breaking news to me,” said 27-year-old Frost, who is 54 years younger than the president.

John FettermanCredit: Bloomberg

“But what sounds like news to me is: number one: 15 million jobs being created; wages being up; inflation coming down. That sounds like news.”

Hur’s report sent shock waves through Washington when it was handed down on Thursday afternoon (Friday AEDT), and gave Republicans fresh ammunition to claim that he is not fit for office.

It also revealed that Biden had wilfully retained and disclosed classified material, but his age and hazy memory would be unlikely to result in a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

Biden sought to defend himself in a hastily convened press conference on Thursday night, only to undercut his insistence that “my memory is fine” by confusing the presidents of Mexico and Egypt when answering a question about the Israel-Hamas war.

Gun control advocate Maxwell Frost, the first Gen Z-er elected to Congress.
Gun control advocate Maxwell Frost, the first Gen Z-er elected to Congress.Credit: Orlando Sentinel

The Special Counsel report is contentious because polls have long suggested that many Americans believe that Biden, who at 81 is already the oldest person to occupy the White House, should not be running for another term.

Trump is 77 and also known to make gaffes, but does not suffer the same poor polling numbers when it comes to his health and vigour. In a warning sign for Democrats, his popularity has also continued to rise every time he has been indicted on criminal charges, as he seeks to portray himself as the victim of a “witch hunt”.

Republicans immediately seized on Hur’s report, with some even demanding that Attorney General Merrick Garland invoke the 25th Amendment, which sets out the procedures to replace a president in the event of death, resignation, removal or incapacitation.

However, the White House branded the idea a stunt and suggested the inappropriate references to Biden’s memory may have come about because Hur did not want to upset Republicans for not charging the president. Another special counsel appointed under Trump, David Weiss, faced a backlash last year for not going harder against Biden’s son Hunter, during an investigation into his tax filings.

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“The environment that we are in generates a ton of pressure because you have congressional Republicans and other Republicans attacking prosecutors that they don’t like,” said Ian Sams, the spokesperson for the White House counsel’s office.

Biden is not the only person to face scrutiny over his handling of classified documents. Trump has also been investigated for retaining and disclosing classified material that was found during a raid at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. He is now awaiting trial.

Former vice president Mike Pence was also investigated over material found at his Indiana home, but the probe closed last June with no charges filed.

 

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  • Source of information and images “brisbanetimes”

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