Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

Special Counsel Testifies On Biden Classified Docs Investigation. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired March 12, 2024 - 11:30   ET



REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): January 20, whatever it was, 2009 when he became vice president, and the day when he left being vice president, January the 20th -- I guess the first would have been January 20 again, 2009 and then January 20 in 2017. He knew those dates exactly right. And if he knew the exact date, and the instant that Beau Biden died, would that have changed your decision to not -- to bring a prosecution?

ROBERT HUR, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: Sir, I cannot engage in hypotheticals about what my decision would have been with different facts. What I did was to make a decision based on the facts and the circumstances that I was presented with, and we did identify during our investigation.

COHEN: But it appears to me, and I think it appeared at American public that these minor discrepancies as far as dates and after a long period of time, was not the basis -- it was not the basis for your decision to decline to prosecute was the fact that you didn't have the facts. He acted differently than Trump, that he voluntarily provided the documents. He complied with the Justice Department. That he didn't try to obstruct justice. Those were the reasons you didn't prosecute him, not because he missed a few dates.

HUR: Congressman, my reasons for my declination decision are set out in my report, and I stand by the words in the report, sir.

COHEN: Well, thank you. And I think I'm encompassing them in my -- in my -- what I'm saying to you is that there was not anything to do with his memory why he wasn't chosen to be -- you chose not to indict him. It was the difference in the facts in the case and how he dealt with it.

The fact is, Mr. Biden sat through five hours, and he did an admirable job. And he did an outstanding job in the State of the Union laying out the case for the future of America, for the middle class, for the freedom -- for democracy around the world, for standing up to the Russians not bending down to them. That's what's important.

Not if you can be like on the $64,000 question, sue me he was legit, and answering every single question correctly. That's not what you need to be president. To be president, you need to have values, you need to have an understanding of what values America has and needs to maintain to keep the world safe and peaceful. That's dealing with Ukraine. That's dealing with difficult people like Netanyahu in Israel to try to get something done that's correct. That's what Joe Biden does.

And understanding social security and Medicare -- Medicaid are important institutions that help seniors and not senile people. I mean, I've really objected to that -- common people see. He's not -- nobody suggests he see now. And that's disrespectful of senior people with any kind of memory disability. Lots of seniors have memory disability, but they're not seeing now that. And to do such was shameful.

Joe Biden is a competent, good president --

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R-CA): Mr. Chairman.

COHEN: -- who knows American values. I turn --

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The gentleman's time has expired. Gentleman yields back. The gentleman from California is recognized for five minutes.

ISSA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Here, I'd like to start off by thanking you for a year of hard work and a comprehensive report. I'm going to try not to provide testimony as some people on both sides are or provide conclusions, but I do have some questions that lead me to ask you for conclusions. One question is, are -- were there notes of the -- of the president of the United States that dated back to when he was a senator that contain classified information?

HUR: Among the documents that were recovered during our investigation were marked classified documents that dated back to when Mr. Biden was a senator.

ISSA: When he was in his 30s, 40s, 50s?

HUR: I believe that's correct.

ISSA: And were there documents from the time that he was vice president?

HUR: Yes.

ISSA: OK. So, there's been a lot to do about, you know, senility, non- senility, poor memory, and so on. But let's just go through something that you deal with as a prosecutor every day. You first start off with a set of initial evidence that indicates there may have been a crime. Is that right? The -- by the time it gets to you, usually you have some evidence that there may have been a crime.

HUR: I think -- I think that is very, yes.

ISSA: OK. And in this case, at some point during this investigation where the elements of the crime, including willfulness, were put before you and you reached a personal conclusion that either there was likely guilt or not, is that correct? Not comparable, not in front of a jury, just personal. Because you have to make that decision as part of the case, correct?

HUR: Correct. And I would say it. I approach the task as I have been trained to as a prosecutor, which is on an iterative basis.

ISSA: So --

HUR: Investigation is always uncovering evidence that you incorporate.

ISSA: Right. So, both before during, and at the end, did you reach a conclusion notwithstanding his current mental state of being an elderly man with a poor memory and so on, that he did in fact, deliberately take documents and held them from back when he was a senator that -- and we're talking about your personal not that you could prove it. But personally, did you see a pattern that goes all the way back to him being a senator of taking documents, making notes, and taking them and holding them personally?


HUR: Congressman, I viewed my task as a prosecutor in this matter to determine what I believed the evidence.

ISSA: No, I appreciate that. And I'm not trying to take away from your conclusion. Some others are debating the conclusion. I'm not debating the conclusion. I just want to go through one element that I think is important.

Look. You've prosecuted people in the past and failed to get a conviction. Is that correct?

HUR: Correct.

ISSA: OK, you're not a one-thousand-perfect batting average. OK.

HUR: I can't say that.

ISSA: Yes. So, you went into cases thinking that you would succeed, and you didn't. One might say you probably declined to prosecute ones that you might have either gotten a conviction or gotten a plea on which you said, that's fair to say over your long career.

HUR: I think that's fair because I take the rules as set forth in the Justice -- (INAUDIBLE) seriously.

ISSA: OK. However, I'm going to presume that you would never prosecute someone you thought was outright innocent.

HUR: Correct.

ISSA: In this case, did you reach a conclusion that this man was outright innocent?

HUR: That conclusion is not reflected in my report, sir.

ISSA: Right. So, you did not reach that conclusion, or it would have been in your report. HUR: I viewed my task of explaining my decision to the Attorney General as being based on my judgment.

ISSA: Right.

HUR: And my assessment of the evidence would have -- would a conviction at trial be the probable outcome? That's what it's --

ISSA: And I just want to make sure the record is complete in that because I think it's extremely important. You did not reach an idea that he had committed no wrong. You reached a conclusion that you would not prevail at trial and therefore did not take it forward. Is that correct?

HUR: Correct, Congressman.

ISSA: OK. I just want to go through one or two little -- it's a housekeeping almost. The documents that the president -- the vice -- the president, then vice president took, which included his own notes, to your knowledge, aren't those covered by the Freedom of Information Act potentially?

HUR: I honestly do not know, Congressman.

ISSA: Aren't they covered by the Presidential Records Act as every note and every text of the president, the vice president, and members of the cabinet are covered?

HUR: I think different folks would have different views on whether they're covered by the PRA, Congressman.

ISSA: But isn't it true that he left office leaving none -- no copies of that behind? And that alone was inconsistent with an open and transparent individual, correct?

HUR: I'm not aware of copies of those materials being left behind, Congressman.

ISSA: OK. I want to thank you. And, Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for the extra few seconds. I yield back.

JORDAN: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized.

REP. HANK JOHNSON (D-GA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Hur, you've led a distinguished career earning your law degree from Stanford University and you served as a student as executive editor of the Stanford Law Review. Correct?

HUR: Correct.

JOHNSON: Then you went on to clerk for Judge Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit, correct?

HUR: Yes, sir.

JOHNSON: After that, you ascended to a clerkship with then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the United States Supreme Court. Correct?

HUR: Correct.

JOHNSON: And then you later joined the Daddy Bush Department of Justice as a special assistant to a known Federalist Society member and now FBI Director Christopher Wray, isn't that correct?

HUR: I did spend some time working for former Assistant Attorney General Christopher Wray.

JOHNSON: And you later joined the Trump Justice Department as the principal Associate Deputy Attorney General working as the right-hand man for another known Federalist Society member Rod Rosenstein, isn't that correct?

HUR: I served as Mr. Rosenstein's principal deputy.

JOHNSON: And then Donald Trump appointed you to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. Is that correct?

HUR: President Trump nominated me to serve in that position, and I was --

JOHNSON: You would --

HUR: Unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.

JOHNSON: That's correct. And thereafter, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed you to serve as Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice to conduct a full and thorough investigation of certain matters to determine whether or not Joseph Biden should be charged with unlawfully removing and retaining classified documents at night. Correct?

HUR: Correct.

JOHNSON: And nowhere in that order does Attorney General Garland authorize you to conduct an investigation and issue a report on whether President Biden is mentally fit to serve as president, isn't that correct?

HUR: That does not appear in the appointment order.


JOHNSON: And pursuant to your appointment to conclude your investigation, you issued a report that was published by Attorney General Garland. Correct?

HUR: He made it available to Congress, sir.

JOHNSON: And your report concluded that after a full and thorough investigation, the evidence was insufficient to establish that President Biden had willfully retained classified documents, isn't that correct?

HUR: My judgment was that based on the state -- the state of the evidence, a conviction at trial was not the probable outcome.

JOHNSON: And you determined that there was no evidence of willful retention because each time classified documents were discovered to be in the President's possession, the White House notified the National Archives right away. The Biden legal team and the White House fully cooperated with the National Archives during the investigation. Once the DOJ opened the investigation, President Biden and his personal counsel fully cooperated. Isn't that correct?

HUR: We did not -- we did identify some evidence of willful retention and disclosure. But we all pointed at the right --

JOHNSON: Right. So, -- (INAUDIBLE) that the president cooperated fully with you. And didn't president -- I mean, they never tried to hide any documents from you, did they?

HUR: The report does note steps of cooperation taken by the president.

JOHNSON: Thank you, sir. And last but not least. Unlike in the Trump classified documents case, President Biden's counsel never falsely certifying that there was no classified documents in the president's possession. Correct?

HUR: The report does include its comparisons and contrasts between the facts alleged in the Trump case and the Biden case.

JOHNSON: Despite clearing President Biden from being prosecuted, you use your report to trash and smear President Biden because he said in res-- in response to questions over a five-hour interview that he didn't recall how he got the documents. And you knew that that would play into the Republican's narrative that the president is unfit for office because he's senile. And the American people saw during the State of the Union address that that was not true.

But yet, that's what you tried to offer to them. And that's why they are having you here today so that they can expand upon that narrative. And you knew that that's what was going to happen, didn't you?

HUR: Congressman, I reject the suggestion that you have just made.

JOHNSON: Well, let me -- let --

HUR: That is not what happened.

JOHNSON: Well, let me move on then, sir. You are a member --

HUR: Partisan politics have no part whatsoever in my work.

JOHNSON: You are -- you are a member of the Federalist Society. Are you not?

HUR: I work -- (INAUDIBLE) and it -- and fair.

JOHNSON: Are you a member of the Federalist Society?

HUR: I am not a member of the Federalist Society. JOHNSON: But you are a Republican, no, aren't you?

HUR: I am a registered Republican.

JOHNSON: Yes, sir. And you're doing everything you can do to get President Trump reelected so that you can get appointed as a federal judge or perhaps to another position in the Department of Justice. Isn't that correct?

HUR: Congressman, I have no such aspirations. I can assure you. And I can tell you that partisan politics had no place whatsoever in my work.

It had no place in the investigative steps that I took. It had no place in the decision that I made. And it had no place in a single word of my report.

JOHNSON: Thank you, sir.

JORDAN: The gentleman's time has expired. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for five minutes.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Hur, thank you for being here. No. I think for the folks that may be watching this at home, they might be a little bit confused. And I'm trying to organize this in my mind as well.

REP. JEFF VAN DREW (R-NJ): The way the president is portrayed in your report and just how we feel about him was he a well-meaning, forgetful man, as you said, or was he a man that was focused on history, was he a man that maintained and retain these top-secret documents that should have been not in his home, and was he the man that wanted to prove he was worthy to be president and that his vision of Afghanistan was better than even President Barack Obama's, and that his focus on history was most important to him? Do you know which it is?

HUR: Congressman, to the extent, you're quoting language from my report. I stand by the words in my report.

VAN DREW: So, you stand by that he was -- and let me quote you exactly, "a well-meaning but forgetful old man?

HUR: I don't think those exact words appear in the report, Congressman, but to the extent that I use words similar to that effect in my assessment of how a jury would perceive Mr. Biden and the evidence relating to him, including his testimony, I do stand by that assessment.

VAN DREW: So, is it accurate to say that in your interview, President Biden retained and disclosed classified materials as a means to bolster his image as a presidential figure? And I'm asking for yes or no's here because our time is so limited.

HUR: I believe words to that effect are in my report, Congressman.

VAN DREW: So, the answer is yes. Would you agree that President Biden's intend to showcase his legacy provides a motive for his actions concerning classified materials?

HUR: It is --

VAN DREW: Yes or no.


HUR: It is one of the motives addressed in the report.

VAN DREW: Yes. To showcase his legacy. Is it accurate to quote your report that classified documents were found in "badly damaged boxes in his garage near a collapsed dog crate, a dog bed, a Zappos box, and an empty bucket?" Is that correct?

HUR: Those words do appear in the report.

VAN DREW: So that's correct. The answer is yes. Are these secure locations to store classified documents?

HUR: They are not.

VAN DREW: OK. So, we got a former vice president, who is established, who have willfully purposefully retained classified documents in order to highlight his political stature and show his stature as a presidential figure. We have a former vice president who stored classified documents in very unsecure places. We have a former vice president who will not suffer any consequences for all of these actions, all because we say well, he's a well-meaning forgetful old man.

You know, if you are kind of a well-meaning forgetful old man that was driving a car and you forgot what you were doing a little bit, and you hit somebody and killed them, I believe he'd be responsible. The law must apply, you know this, to everyone. The standard behind the decision not to prosecute Joe Biden, especially in light of Special Counsel Jack Smith's decision to prosecute President Trump for similar conduct gives the real appearance of two standards. Just again, so pretty much part of this Department of Justice. Justice for the, but not for me.

Special Counsel Hur, has any former president or vice president, besides President Trump ever been criminally charged for knowingly retaining classified information after they left office? Yes or no?

HUR: No.

VAN DREW: Would you concur that Special Counsel Smith's decision to charge a former president for retaining and disclosing classified information was an extraordinary, unusual, and unprecedented decision?

HUR: I will not comment on that matter.

VAN DREW: Well, I'm going to comment. You -- the answer is yes. Special Counsel Hur, these two reports are the culmination in my mind of the Department of Justice's two standards -- two standards. And an example again, of the Justice Department being weaponized against conservatives.

You know, there's another piece to this to live just a few seconds. We know that when his ghostwriter was speaking to him, he also did recordings. And when he did those recordings, it was clear. In fact, I'll try to quote this here. It was a month in 2017, a month after Biden left his VP, he was aware of top secret classified materials that were "downstairs," is that true?

HUR: That is reflected in an audio recording. Yes.

VAN DREW: It's reflected in audio quick -- or you know, so sometimes he may be sleepy. Sometimes he may be forgetful. Sometimes he may be cognitively impaired, there's no doubt about that.

But, man, when it came to his personal legacy, the way he wanted to be remembered, to make -- be sure that he was a big deal in plain English, in the future, he was willingly unknowingly breaking the law. And it's unfortunate that we have a Department of Justice that will treat one person one way and somebody else a different way. It's a sad day for America. Thank you, Mr. Hur. I yield back.

JORDAN: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from California is recognized.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Sir, I want to ask you about some of the differences between the facts involving President Biden and President Trump. But before I do, I would refer back to your opening statement in which you said that you did not disparage the president -- your report. But of course, you did disparage the president. You disparaged him in terms you had to know what have a maximal political impact. You understood your report would be public, right?

HUR: I understood based on comments that the Attorney General had made that he had committed to make as much of my report public as consistent with legal policy and legal requirements.

SCHIFF: And you could have chosen just to comment on the president's particular recall vis-a-vis a document or a set of documents. But you decided to go further and make a generalized statement about his memory, didn't you?

HUR: Congressman, I could have written my report theoretically in a way that omitted references to the president's memory, but that would have been an incomplete and improper report.

SCHIFF: That wasn't my question.

HUR: And then it does not reflect my analysis --

SCHIFF: You could have written --

HUR: In the explanation of my decision by the attorney general.

SCHIFF: You could have written in your report with his -- with comments about his specific recollection as to documents or a set of documents. But you chose a general pejorative reference to the president. You understood when you made that decision, didn't you, Mr. Hur, that you would ignite a political firestorm with that language? Didn't you?

HUR: Congressman, politics played no part whatsoever in my investigative steps and my decision --

SCHIFF: But you understood nevertheless, didn't you Mr. Hur?

HUR: The words that I put in my report.

SCHIFF: Mr. Hur, you cannot tell me you're so naive as to think your words would not have created a political firestorm. You understood that didn't you, when you wrote those words, when you decided to include those words, when you decided to go beyond specific references to documents? You understood how they would be manipulated by my colleagues here on the GOP side of the island and by President Trump. You understood that. Did you not?


HUR: Congressman, what I understood is the regulations that govern my conduct as special counsel.

SCHIFF: And those regulations -- those regulations --

HUR: That regulation required me to write a confidential report for the attorney general --

SCHIFF: Which you knew would not be essential.

HUR: Explaining my decision.

SCHIFF: Which you know --

HUR: And that's what I did, Congressman. I follow the rules.

SCHIFF: Mr. Hur, you knew it would not be confidential.

HUR: I know the rules and I followed them.

SCHIFF: You knew would not be confidential, didn't you?

HUR: Sir, the regulations required me to write a confidential report explaining my decision to the attorney general.

SCHIFF: Which you knew would be released.

HUR: It was up to the attorney general to determine what --

SCHIFF: Which if understood it would be released, did you not?

HUR: Portions of the report would be released consistent with DOJ policy -- (INAUDIBLE)

SCHIFF: You understood it would be released -- you understood to be released, didn't you? HUR: I understood from the attorney general's public comments that he would make as much of my report public as he could, consistent with legal requirements in DOJ policy.

SCHIFF: And you also understand DOJ policy that you are to take care not to prejudice the interest of the subject of an investigation, right?

HUR: That is generally one of the interests that DOJ policy requires that prosecutors respect.

SCHIFF: And it was your obligation to follow that policy in this report, was it not?

HUR: It was also my obligation to write a confidential report for the attorney general explaining completely my decision.

SCHIFF: But what you did write was deeply prejudicial to the interests to the president. You say it wasn't political, and yet you must have understood -- you must have understood the impact of your words. You must have understood the impact of your decision to go beyond the specifics of a particular document, to go to the very general to your own personal prejudicial subjective opinion of the president when you knew would be amplified by his political opponent when you knew that would influence a political campaign.

You had to understand that. And you did it anyway. And you did it anyway. And let me just go -- let me just go to some of the differences here between the president's conduct and Mr. Trump's.

In the superseding indictment on page three, it says that Mr. Trump suggested that his attorney falsely represented the FBI and grand jury that he did not have documents called for by the grand jury subpoena. You didn't find anything like that with respect to Mr. Biden, did you?

HUR: Congressman, I do not have the Trump indictment in front of me. But I need to address something that you said in your prior question. What you're suggesting is that I needed to provide a different version of my report that would be fit for public release.

That is nowhere in the rules. I was to prepare a confidential report that was comprehensive and thorough of an explanation of my decision to the attorney general.

SCHIFF: But what is in the rules -- Mr. Hur, what is in the rules is you don't gratuitously do things to prejudice the subject of an investigation where you're declining to prosecute. You don't gratuitously add language that you'll know will be useful in a political campaign.

You were not born yesterday. You understood exactly what you were doing. It was a choice. You certainly didn't have to include that language. You could have said vis a vis the documents that were found in the university, the president did not recall.

There is nothing more common. You know, this. I know this. There is nothing more common with a witness of any age when asked about events that are years old to say, I do not recall.

Indeed, they're instructed by their attorney to do that if they have any questions about it. You understood that. You made a choice. That was a political choice. It was the wrong choice. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

JORDAN: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from Arizona -- the special counsel wished to respond to that, the final question.

HUR: Yes. Congressman, what you are suggesting is that I shape, sanitize, omit portions of my reasoning and explanation to the attorney general for political reasons.

SCHIFF: No, I suggest that you not shape your report for political reasons, which is what you did.

JORDAN: The time is -- the time is the witness is in response.

HUR: That did not happen, Congressman. That did not happen.

JORDAN: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from Arizona is recognized for five minutes.

REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Mr. Hur, for being here. Thank you for your report. I've read it.

And I think where you and I might have disagreements, they may be matters of opinion, and not necessarily the facts as you reported them. So, I want to -- I want to go over the elements of the offense that seem to have at least struck micros is the -- that you put in here twice that the jury would not find -- not likely to find intentionality on the part of disclosure in particular. So, I want to talk about that for a second. So, if it's not willful, we might say an accident, something negligent, or careless, that would not necessarily rise to willful or intentional or purposeful, right?

HUR: Those are different standards of intent under the law. Yes, sir.

BIGGS: Yes. So, when President Biden misplaced 30 briefing documents in 2010 that had classified material and then -- and they're not sure even if they ever got them all back, or when he was in the Hamptons party -- at a party, and he lost what they were calling code words, which is high-security information.


That wasn't necessarily willful. There was no indication that he purposefully did that. Accidental. Negligent. You indicated.

I don't know if we even got all that information back. We're assuming maybe we did. That would -- that would not be willful, right?

HUR: As reflected in the report, there were certain categories of documents where when we looked into them and investigated how they got to where they ended up, or how they ended up being misplaced, we did not identify evidence of willfulness. BIGGS: Yes. And so, if something's willful, you wouldn't say it's ignorant. It's not incompetence. It's not accidental. We'd say something like it's willful, it's intentional, it's purposeful.

It indicates really a choice that you have made a deliberate conscious decision to enact -- to act in a certain way. Is that fair?

HUR: That is fair, Congressman. And as I explained in the report, the standard -- the willfulness standard, basically involves -- can be boiled down to the following things that you know that what you are doing is against the law --

BIGGS: And --

HUR: When you do it.

BIGGS: Correct. So, let's take a look at it. And this has been brought up before. In February of 2017, he's having a discussion with a ghostwriter. He says -- he's at the Virginia House at this point.

He says, I just found all the classified stuff downstairs, right? So, he knows he's got classified stuff, right? Two months later, in April, he's at a different location. It is my understanding. I think he's in -- I think he's now up in Delaware. As you look at page -- let's look at 105 -- 106 here.

He says -- Biden reads from a different notebook entry. He reads a lot from notes summarizing a range of issues. We're talking about U.S. military views expressed there and he tell -- by the intelligence community, the DNI, CIA director. And while he's reading those notes, he says, I can't -- I can't read my own writing.

Do you have any idea what the heck I'm saying here? That -- he asked the ghostwriter. The ghostwriter says well, something blah, blah, blah. And Biden says this. Some of this may be classified. So, be careful.

Some of this may be classified. So be careful. Now, my immediate response was, OK. So, he knows he's got classified ducks. He's looking at this. He can't read.

He's telling -- he's giving this to somebody he knows to has no security clearance and he says, hey, read this. But be careful. It might be classified. The next thing -- and the guy says, OK. The next thing he says well, I don't know if it's classified or not.

I'm suggesting to you, and this is the diff -- where you and I have a difference of opinion. When you say something like, hey, I just -- look, this may be classified. Be careful. That warning -- that warning to be careful -- be careful because it may be classified, that indicates guilty knowledge.

That indicates he might know something more than he otherwise would have. And it indicates -- then they go on and they read it. As you point out here, he reads classified information. And it's still classified today. That's on page 106. So, when you look at this, it's hard for me to say, well, he was ignorant. He was incompetent. It was accidental. No.

He had guilty knowledge. He knew and told the guy that he's going to expose that classified material to, hey, be careful. Be careful. It may be classified.

That indicates something a little bit more than mere knowledge. Indicates that he has some intent there. Because the next thing he should have said is, hey, I don't know if it's classified but we're going to skip over this until that's resolved. He didn't do that. What he said is read it anyway. I yield back.

JORDAN: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from California is recognized for five minutes.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Mr. Hur, I was moved by your parent's emigration story and how that has shaped you. And their story is a story that so many of us know through our constituents. It's a story of America.

It's a story that the guy who appointed you would end if he was in charge. Again, it's a story that most of the folks on the other cross -- other side of the aisle seek to block every day in this room. But it's a story that's persuasive.

You want your report to be received with credibility, is that right?

HUR: My goal was to provide a thorough explanation of my decision to the attorney general as I was required to do. And I -- as I said in my opening statement, I felt that I needed to show my work.

SWALWELL: And you want to be perceived as credible, right?

HUR: That would be helpful and laudable. Yes.