[Special Counsel Jack Smith]

GOP lawmaker reveals ‘perverse implication’ of Robert Hur’s argument on Trump ‘deterrent effect’

A House GOP lawmaker targeted former Special Counsel Robert Hur over what he called a ‘perverse implication’ that the current prosecution of former President Donald Trump at least partially factored into Hur’s decision not to recommend charges for President Biden.

Hur testified before House lawmakers on Tuesday in a lengthy and, at times, heated hearing on his report — the product of a monthslong investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents. 

Rep. Kevin Kiley, R-Calif., took issue with a part of Hur’s report that downplayed the ‘deterrent effect’ of charging Biden, both because of ‘little risk he will reoffend’ and that ‘future presidents and vice presidents are already likely to be deterred by the multiple recent criminal investigations, and one prosecution, of current and former presidents and vice presidents for mishandling classified documents.’

Kiley argued during the hearing, ‘The perverse implication here is that the administration, by the very terms of your analysis, actually made it less likely that the president would face charges by [Special Counsel Jack Smith] bringing an indictment [against Trump].’

‘I’ll stand by the way and the specific terms in which I characterize my assessment of deterrence value of a case under the principles of federal prosecution,’ Hur told him just minutes earlier.

Kiley stood by his argument in a brief interview with Fox News Digital on Tuesday afternoon, explaining, ‘It’s the implication that is perverse, because it means that Biden sort of lowered his chances of facing charges when the administration brought charges against former President Trump.’

Trump has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges stemming from Smith’s federal investigation into alleged election interference. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether Trump has presidential immunity from prosecution in the case.

‘I think there’s a lot here that’s fairly troubling,’ Kiley said. ‘That’s why I wanted to sort of bring it to light. I didn’t know, maybe, even if Mr. Hur had really thought that through, that particular implication.’

‘I think that really, broadly, the report was well done. I think that particular factor was not thought through as carefully as it should be.’

Meanwhile, Fox News contributor and Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley argued that the section of the report suggesting Biden himself was at ‘little risk’ of reoffending is not an accurate conclusion on deterrence. 

‘The finding seems inherently in conflict with the acknowledgment that Joe Biden continued to remove classified material over 40 years since he was a senator,’ Turley said. ‘There was no evidence of deterrence despite repeated warnings given to him by counsel and staff. If anything, that record shows a certain habitual violation of well-known rules on the handling of classified material.’

Hur found that Biden did willfully mishandle classified materials but did not recommend charges, citing, in part, that he came off ‘as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,’ and 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.’

Fox News Digital reached out to the Justice Department but did not immediately hear back.

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