Former President Donald Trump argued Friday night for charges against him to be dropped in his classified documents case after a DOJ special counsel recommended no charges for President Joe Biden in a separate classified documents probe.
Trump spoke to a crowd gathered for a National Rifle Association meeting in Pennsylvania and said that Special Counsel Robert Hur’s Thursday report suggesting no criminal charges for Biden is an example of “selective persecution.” Hur’s investigation concluded that there is “evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen,” but said “no criminal charges are warranted in this matter.”
“If Biden is not going to be charged … that’s up to them, but then I should not be charged,” the former president said. “This is nothing more than selective persecution of Biden’s political opponent, me.”
The special counsel argued that it would be unlikely a jury would convict the 81-year-old Biden of a “serious felony” because of his “mental state.”
“Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017 [with whom he shared classified materials], and in his interview with our office in 2023,” Hur’s report said. “We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. 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.”
The report added that it would be “difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”
During his speech at the NRA meeting on Friday night, Trump also slammed the president’s mental state, saying he “doesn’t know if it’s Biden” who is pushing the DOJ to target him.
“I don’t think he knows he’s alive,” Trump said.
Trump was hit with 40 charges over his handling of classified documents after he left office, which include charges of obstructing government officials from retrieving the documents. The FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022 to confiscate the classified documents, but Trump has maintained his innocence, saying that he is protected by the Presidential Records Act.
“It was just announced that Joe Biden’s Department of Injustice will bring zero charges against crooked Joe despite the fact he willfully retained, willfully retained, undisclosed droves of ultra-classified national security documents,” Trump told the NRA crowd, according to the Associated Press. “Now, that’s not what I’ve been hearing and he’s not under the Presidential Records Act, which is a big thing. I am [under the Presidential Records Act]. It’s a protective act.”
The former president added that the case against him “is peanuts” compared to Biden’s handling of classified documents.