18 April 2024

Poised and Exact, Hur Enters Fray Over Particular Counsel’s Report on Biden

The previous particular counsel Robert Ok. Hur, denounced by Democrats for his unsparing description of President Biden’s reminiscence lapses, had one in every of his personal throughout his testimony on Tuesday earlier than the Home Judiciary Committee.

Consultant James R. Comer, a Kentucky Republican, made passing reference to Dana A. Remus, a Democratic lawyer who had served as White Home counsel underneath Mr. Biden from January 2021 to July 2022.

Mr. Hur crinkled an eyebrow and corrected him: No, he mentioned, she occupied that publish underneath President Obama.

The misstep was an remoted second in an in any other case poised and exact look by Mr. Hur, 51, who was testifying about his report on the investigation into Mr. Biden’s dealing with of categorised paperwork. Mr. Hur, a Trump-era Justice Division official recognized amongst former colleagues for conserving a cool head in high-stress, high-stakes conditions, incited a furor after describing the president as a “well-meaning, aged man with a poor reminiscence.”

Earlier than his work as particular counsel, Mr. Hur, a graduate of Stanford Legislation College who clerked for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, was greatest recognized for his 11-month stint as the highest aide to the deputy legal professional normal, Rod Rosenstein, in 2017 and 2018. It was a time of extraordinary upheaval, when Mr. Rosenstein oversaw the installment of a particular counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, to analyze President Donald J. Trump’s dealings with Russia. Each males lived underneath the fixed menace of being fired by Mr. Trump, who noticed the appointment as a private betrayal.

Mr. Hur, who stepped down as particular counsel this week, did little to assuage critics in his look earlier than lawmakers. However he held his floor in opposition to Democrats, who noticed his report as a partisan hit job, and Republicans, who criticized him for declining to indict Mr. Biden regardless of some proof that the president had willfully retained some categorised materials.

He defended himself within the unhurried, forceful cadence of a veteran prosecutor addressing a skeptical jury, claiming he had supplied an evaluation — one which has been disputed — of Mr. Biden’s psychological acuity not out of malice however to justify his choice to not deliver prices. His tone, flat and matter-of-fact, didn’t change when rebuffing Republican efforts to amplify the criticism of Mr. Biden within the report.

One pissed off conservative on the committee went as far as to explain Mr. Hur, a registered Republican, as a member of the “Praetorian Guard” defending the Washington elites, together with Mr. Biden.

The listening to room was crammed for Mr. Hur’s testimony, as reporters haggled for seats and an extended line grew outdoors for individuals who confirmed up late.

Including to the stress originally: a loud protest contained in the listening to room by demonstrators calling for Israel to finish its battle in Gaza. They have been shortly eliminated by the police earlier than the sanctioned shouting, and there could be loads of it, commenced.

When Mr. Hur arrived, he sat alone within the heart of the lengthy witness desk. He wore a blue swimsuit with a lavender tie. From the entrance, going through an array of cameras, he projected an air of unflappability as Democratic and Republican lawmakers started their high-volume denunciations of his work, and one another.

However from the aspect, it was a distinct story. Mr. Hur perched tensely on the sting of his upholstered chair, bracing himself for confrontation.

He started his opening remarks, like many compelled to face a hostile reckoning in a Capitol Hill committee room, by acknowledging the sacrifice and braveness of his household.

Mr. Hur advised the story of his mother and father’ flight, as younger youngsters, from the Korean Battle — the American troopers who supplied meals to his ravenous father, his mom’s escape from the war-torn north, the lengthy and anxious journey to america.

“Their lives, and mine, would have been very completely different have been it not for this nation,” mentioned Mr. Hur, a barely perceptive quaver in his supply.

That was as emotional as he bought all day.