AG Garland snaps at Republicans questioning Biden's mental health, asserts he's fine

 April 17, 2024

A majority of Americans have concerns about President Joe Biden's cognitive capabilities and mental health, especially after Special Counsel Robert Hur highlighted Biden's increasingly apparent memory problems in a report about his mishandling of classified documents.

Yet, in response to questions from congressional Republicans, Attorney General Merrick Garland downplayed the claims in Hur's report and angrily insisted that his boss Biden suffered "no impairment" whatsoever, according to Fox News.

Garland's defense of Biden's mental faculties came on Wednesday during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Justice Department's budget request for Fiscal Year 2025.

Garland insists "the president has no impairment"

During that Wednesday hearing, Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA) referenced a line in Special Counsel Hur's report about why he declined to criminally charge President Biden for retaining classified documents from when he was the vice president and a senator, namely because a jury would likely view Biden as a "sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."

"I've said before, and I'll say again with respect to the report that it's improper for the attorney general to editorialize," AG Garland replied, mistakenly referring to the former special counsel and Maryland U.S. Attorney as an "attorney general," and noted, "I take that separately from the question you’re asking about my own observations about the president -- I have complete confidence in the president."

Pressed if he'd ever personally witnessed any "impairment" of the president, Garland fired back, "I have seen the president effectively guide members of the department, of his Cabinet and his military -- the president has no impairment," and added testily, "I don’t know how many ways I can say this: I have complete confidence in the president and I reject your characterization."

Garland gets snappy in defense of Biden's cognitive capabilities

The New York Post reported that AG Garland also explained to the committee of President Biden, "I have watched him expertly guide meetings of staff and Cabinet members on issues of foreign affairs and military strategy and policy in the incredibly complex world in which we now face and in which he has been decisive in instructions to the staff and decisive in making the decisions necessary to protect the country."

"Likewise," he further insisted, "with respect to domestic policy discussions -- these are intricate, complicated questions -- he has guided all of us through in order to reach results that are helpful and important and beneficial to the American people."

At another point in the hearing, Garland's ire was raised when Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) paraphrased the Hur report as saying the reason Biden would not be criminally charged "was that he was cognitively incapable of understanding what he was doing and he was too old to face charges."

Garland snapped back, "That is not at all what Mr. Hur said. And I urge everyone to read again what he said. He did not say anything like that."

Garland might not be concerned, but most Americans are

While AG Garland was insistent that he's seen "no impairment" in President Biden during his tenure in the White House, the same cannot be said for a majority of the American people who are concerned that Biden is too old and lacks the mental fitness to serve effectively for another four-year term as the president.

In February, NBC News reported on a poll that found that a combined 76% of voters had "major" or "moderate" concerns about Biden "not having the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term" -- a number that included 95% of Republicans, 81% of independents, and even 54% of Democrats.

Similarly, an AP-NORC poll in March found that a combined 63% of Americans were "not very/not at all confident" that Biden "has the mental capability to serve effectively as president."

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