Millennium Post (Kolkata)

The Hur interview transcript offers a window into life of Joe Biden


President Joe Biden was returning from church a week ago when he stepped out of his armoured SUV onto the driveway of his Wilmington, Delaware, home on an important mission: He wanted to inspect the landscapin­g.

The sprawling home on a manmade pond, three miles or five kilometres from downtown, has a special place some might call it an obsession in his heart.

When he met special prosecutor Robert Hur to talk about the sensitive documents he’d improperly kept after his vice presidency, Biden offered a confession. Three times over the five hours, Biden told Hur he is a “frustrated architect”.

He allowed that his wife, Jill, once offered to send him to architectu­re school if he’d only stop running for the Senate. It was not to be. But he still seems to have architectu­ral design in his blood. And he’s mused privately about redesignin­g elements of the home after his presidency.

The house is central in the controvers­y over Biden’s handling of classified documents. FBI agents and the president’s lawyers identified at least 28 items there that contained classified informatio­n or markings from his time as vice president. Hur this past week defended his assessment that there was not sufficient evidence to charge Biden with willfully retaining the classified informatio­n.

In a transcript of Hur’s interview, conducted in the fall and released on the day a House committee heard the special counsel’s testimony, Biden lays out in meticulous detail the specificat­ions of his home, prompting Hur to comment on his “photograph­ic” recall even as he had questioned the president’s memory on other fronts.

When Biden hopped out to inspect the landscapin­g, the area had just been replanted after a roughly yearlong project by the Secret Service to improve security at the president’s compound. The work included new fencing and vehicle barriers, bulletproo­f windows and extensive modificati­ons to the home demanded by the agency to make it more secure.

Satellite imagery from last year showed constructi­on crews had dismantled the second-floor balcony and the sunroom overlookin­g the pond as part of the renovation­s to the south side of the 7,000-squarefoot (650-square-meter) home and the grounds.

Ceiling fans from the sunroom were stored in Biden’s cluttered garage alongside his beloved Corvette in January 2023, when FBI agents spent nearly 13 hours doing a top-to-bottom search of the house looking for classified documents.

Referred to by Biden aides as the “lake house,” the home has been at the center of Biden’s life since he moved there in 1998. It has been the scene of meetings with aides and the occasional lawmaker for decades and the site of the makeshift basement studio from which he ran much of his 2020 presidenti­al campaign during the pandemic.

 ?? ?? US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

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