A prosecutor responsible for investigating the mismanagement of classified documents by Joe Biden pointed out in his report the Democratic president’s “bad memory”. Republicans consider him “unfit” to be head of the United States.
The news should have delighted Joe Biden. Special prosecutor Robert Hur, appointed to investigate his mismanagement of classified documents, announced this Thursday, February 8 that he would not prosecute the American president.
But the reason given had the effect of a political bomb. At the conclusion of a long report, the magistrate argues that an “indictment would not be justified” against a “sympathetic, well-intentioned elderly man, with a bad memory”.
Referring to an exchange lasting several hours with the Democratic leader, Robert Hur indicates that Joe Biden “did not remember when he was vice-president”, nor the exact year of the death of his eldest son Beau.
A hard blow for Joe Biden’s campaign
The report falls like a blow to the campaign of the Democratic leader, candidate for re-election, and provides support to his detractors who consider him too old to govern. At 81, Joe Biden is multiplying his oratory blunders and moments of confusion. This Sunday, February 4, for example, he confused Emmanuel Macron with François Mitterrand.
“I mean well, I’m an old man and I know what I’m doing, damn it (…) I don’t have memory problems,” defended Joe Biden, angrily, during a speech organized at the last minute on the night of Thursday to Friday. But at the end of his speech, he made a final blunder by referring to the Egyptian head of state, Marshal al-Sissi, as the “Mexican president”.
It was enough for the Republicans to rush into the breach. In a press release, the Republican staff in the House of Representatives judged Joe Biden “unfit” to lead the country.
Republicans invoke the 25th Amendment
“When we do not have the faculties required to be judged (…), we certainly do not have the faculties required to be in the Oval Office,” asserted the leader of the Republican elected officials Mike Johnson, a close friend of Donald Trump. “An elderly man with a bad memory does not have to have the nuclear codes,” insisted Kevin Hern, Republican congressman from Oklahoma.
Elected officials from the Republican camp go so far as to demand the implementation of the 25th amendment to the Constitution, which allows the president’s functions to be terminated if the latter is no longer able to assume them.
For Simon Grivet, lecturer in United States history at the University of Lille, the Republicans’ declarations will go no further than simple political agitation.
“To activate this amendment, the agreement of the vice-president and a majority of the cabinet members (ministers) of the Biden administration is required,” recalls the specialist to BFMTV.com. The option is therefore highly improbable.
Procedures doomed to failure
According to Simon Grivet, the 25th Amendment was designed “for cases of extreme emergency, if the president has a stroke or falls into a coma” and has never been used in American history.
However, the simple fact that this amendment is being brandished says a lot about the concerns surrounding Joe Biden. “The last time the question was asked was at the end of Ronald Reagan’s second term, when the Republican president was caricatured as a doddering old man,” underlines the teacher.
Other elected officials, like Trumpist Marjorie-Taylor Greene, are calling for impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden, already the target of an impeachment investigation last December. But the maneuver has even less chance of succeeding.
“The American Constitution provides that Congress can impeach the president in the event of ‘treason, corruption or other major crimes and misdemeanors’. The health of the president is not one of the valid reasons”, sweeps Simon Grivet.
Even if an impeachment procedure were launched, it would have no chance of succeeding, the Senate, which must vote on impeachment as a last resort, being dominated by Democrats.
If Joe Biden will in all likelihood carry out his mandate to the end, his campaign for his re-election promises to be delicate as Prosecutor Hur’s report gives food for thought to Donald Trump’s supporters.
The former Republican president, accustomed to disjointed remarks and outlandish statements, also had his moments of confusion. But these affect his campaign much less, the billionaire enjoying immense popularity with his supporters.