Garland defends Biden's mental fitness and says he has 'complete confidence' in him

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Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies before the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies budget hearing on Capitol Hill, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Merrick Garland told lawmakers on Tuesday that President Joe Biden has shown no signs of cognitive impairment while defending Biden's ability to serve as commander in chief.

Garland, appearing before a House committee overseeing funding for the Justice Department, was answering questions on the report from special counsel Robert Hur about Biden’s handling of classified material. Hur's report concluded in no criminal charges yet made some observations about Biden's mental state that infuriated the Democratic president and his aides.

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The attorney general, while stressing that he was not commenting on the specifics of Hur’s analysis, said that based on his own observations while interacting with Biden, he has “complete confidence in the president” when it comes to questions about his mental fitness.

“I have seen the president effectively guide the members of the department, of his Cabinet, and his military,” Garland said in response to questions from Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va. The attorney general added: “The president has no impairment.”

As Cline prodded him further, Garland stressed again: “I have complete confidence in the president, and I reject your characterization.”

Hur said in his report, released in February, that prosecutors would likely not be able to prove a criminal case against Biden beyond a reasonable doubt when it came to the president’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. In one line from the report, Hur found that 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.”

Biden angrily insisted in response that his memory is fine, and he was especially infuriated about Hur’s mention of him apparently being confused over the timing of the death of his son Beau in 2015.

Garland was appearing before the House committee to testify on the Justice Department's budget request.

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