Biden will not face criminal charges for mishandling classified materials

A special counsel has decided not to bring criminal charges against US President Joe Biden over his mishandling of classified documents when he was vice president.

Classified documents on military and foreign policy in Afghanistan were discovered in 2022 and 2023 at Biden's home and private office. The papers date from the time when he was vice president.

Special Counsel Robert Hur released a report on Thursday. It said, "Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen."

Hur added, "We concluded that no criminal charges are warranted in this matter."
The report said, "Mr Biden's memory was significantly limited" and "it would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him" of a felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.

Biden welcomed the decision in a speech in the state of Virginia on Thursday. He said he is pleased with the conclusion, and he believes no charges would be brought against him.

Former President Donald Trump said on social media that "This has now proven to be a two-tiered system of justice." He said what Biden did was a crime. Trump has been indicted over the illegal possession of classified documents.

US media say the decision not to seek criminal charges against Biden is good news for him. But they say the report cited Biden's poor memory as one of the reasons for the decision, and this could hurt his reelection campaign.