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Transcript of Joe Biden’s Interview with Hur Reveals How the Date of Beau Biden’s Death Came Up

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The transcript of President Joe Biden’s interview with investigators looking into his handling of classified documents shows that special counsel Robert Hur did not ask him about Beau Biden’s death, as the president falsely claimed in February.

“How in the hell dare he raise that,” Biden angrily said in response to Hur writing in his report on the investigation that Biden “did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.”

“Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself it wasn’t any of their damn business,” Biden said in a Feb. 8 White House press conference.

According to the transcript of the Oct. 8, 2023, interview, Biden — not Hur’s team — brought up the date of his son’s death in 2015 from brain cancer when he was answering Hur’s question about where he stored papers related to his post-vice presidency work projects.

The transcript also shows that Biden remembered the month and day that Beau died, but he appeared to need help remembering the year.

Talk of Beau Biden’s Death

On March 12, Hur testified before Congress, and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee published transcripts of the interviews investigators did with Biden last year, on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9. Lawmakers brought Hur before Congress to explain his decision not to recommend charges against Biden, and why he included details about the president’s memory in his report to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Hur told the committee that investigators did not “identify evidence that rose to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt” that Biden “willfully” retained classified documents. As we’ve written, Hur’s report said there was a lack of evidence that Biden stored classified documents at his Virginia rental house, that he knew there were boxes with classified records in his Delaware home’s garage, or that Biden was aware that his vice presidential notebooks containing some classified information were not his to keep. (See “Biden’s Claims About Special Counsel Report on Classified Documents Investigation.)

Another part of his reasoning not to pursue charges, Hur said in his report, was that “Mr. Biden will likely present himself to the jury, as he did during his interview with our office, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

As one example of Biden’s “poor memory,” Hur’s report said the president “did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.”

But when Biden took issue with that claim in his Feb. 8 remarks, he said that Hur’s team had asked about Beau’s death during the Oct. 8 interview. That’s not what happened.

The transcript, on page 82, shows Hur asking Biden where he kept documents pertaining to projects he worked on after he was no longer vice president and living in Virginia.

In response, Biden said, “I don’t know. This is, what, 2017, 2018, that area?” After Hur said, “yes, sir,” Biden started talking about Beau’s death.

“Remember, in this time frame, my son is either been deployed or is dying,” Biden said – although Beau had died in 2015.

Biden then transitioned to talking about his decision not to run against Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Afterward, he returned to talking about Beau.

Here’s how the exchange went, according to the transcript:

Hur, Oct. 8, 2023: So during this time when you were living at Chain Bridge Road and there were documents relating to the Penn Biden Center, or the Biden Institute, or the Cancer Moonshot, or your book, where did you keep papers that related to those things that you were actively working on?

Biden: I don’t know. This is, what, 2017, 2018, that area?

Hur: Yes, sir.

Biden: Remember, in this time frame, my son is — either been deployed or is dying, and, and so it was — and by the way, there were still a lot of people at the time when I got out of the Senate that were encouraging me to run in this period, except the president. I’m not — and not a mean thing to say. He just thought that she had a better shot of winning the presidency than I did. And so I hadn’t, I hadn’t, at this point — even though I’m at Penn, I hadn’t walked away from the idea that I may run for office again. But if I ran again, I’d be running for president. And, and so what was happening, though – what month did Beau die? Oh, God, May 30th —

Rachel Cotton, White House lawyer: 2015.

Unidentified male speaker: 2015.

Biden: Was it 2015 he had died?

Unidentified male speaker: It was May of 2015.

Biden: It was 2015.

So, it was Biden who asked which month Beau died, and he correctly said May 30.

But when two people, including a White House lawyer, added that it happened in 2015, Biden initially seemed uncertain before agreeing.

Bottom line: Hur did not ask about Beau’s death, as the president wrongly claimed. But Biden also remembered more about when his son passed than Hur’s report may have suggested.

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