Why Hur’s testimony isn’t leaving either party happy: From the Politics Desk

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Welcome to nan online type of From nan Politics Desk, an evening newsletter that brings you nan NBC News Politics team’s latest reporting and study from nan run trail, nan White House and Capitol Hill.

In today’s edition, elder nationalist authorities newsman Alex Seitz-Wald explains why neither statement sewage what it wanted from erstwhile Special Cousel Robert Hur's testimony. Plus, nationalist governmental analogous Steve Kornacki breaks down whether nan Joe Biden-Donald Trump rematch will beryllium nan longest wide predetermination run ever.


A charismatic meets politicians, and nary 1 leaves happy

By Alex Seitz-Wald

In an predetermination that is testing nan governmental independency of nan judiciary for illustration ne'er before, pinch 1 campaigner facing prosecution overseen by his rival’s Department of Justice, erstwhile typical counsel Robert Hur’s congressional testimony coming showed really precarious it tin beryllium to effort to enforce nan rule without appearing partisan.

Hur’s report past month delved into immoderate of nan captious questions of nan 2024 election, including President Joe Biden’s intelligence faculties and erstwhile President Donald Trump’s alleged crimes. But during his astir four-hour quality earlier nan House Judiciary Committee, Hur himself seemed to person nary liking successful answering those questions beyond nan constrictive scope of his probe. His grounds often felt much for illustration a book study connected his investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents.


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Going into nan hearing, Republicans were hoping for immoderate bombshell revelations to revive their Biden impeachment effort, which appears to person stalled retired aft their star witnesser was arrested for allegedly lying astir his claims.

But Republicans did not get what they wanted. Hur offered nary caller grounds against nan president, contempt GOP sportfishing attempts for ungraded connected Biden’s alleged “influence peddling.”

Democrats, meanwhile, person spent nan past respective weeks crowing astir nan truth that Hur decided against charging Biden, while besides lambasting him for what they opportunity were gratuitous and inaccurate comments astir Biden’s faulty memory. Hur is simply a Republican who was appointed by Trump to beryllium a U.S. attorney, immoderate liberals person noted.

But Democrats besides did not get what they wanted from nan hearing.

Hur explained that his knowing of Biden’s “state of mind” was not a broadside question, but a captious portion of his job. “My task was to find whether nan president retained aliases disclosed nationalist defense accusation ‘willfully’ — meaning, knowingly and pinch nan intent to do thing nan rule forbids,” he said. And he affirmed proceeding representation lapses.

And transcripts of Hur’s two-day question and reply pinch Biden, released conscionable earlier nan proceeding started, show respective examples of nan president struggling to retrieve a day aliases name, but besides did not corroborate immoderate Republicans’ wilder claims astir Biden’s alleged cognitive decline.

Nor did Hur afloat exonerate Biden connected nan classified documents question, arsenic immoderate Democrats person claimed. In fact, Hur noted, he concluded that Biden did willfully mishandle classified material, but that he was improbable to unafraid a assemblage condemnation based connected nan evidence, truthful charges were not advised.

But “not-guilty-but-not-quite-innocent” doesn’t fresh connected a bumper sticker aliases a hashtag, and neither does Hur’s much nuanced return connected Biden’s memory.

In nan end, some parties will inevitably salvage thing from nan proceeding to usage successful nan campaign, but nary 1 really sewage what they wanted — isolated from possibly for Hur, whose restrained grounds will apt beryllium studied by different statesmanlike prosecutors who will inevitably beryllium asked to attest earlier Congress.


Will 2024 beryllium nan longest wide predetermination run ever? 

Analysis by Steve Kornacki

With possibly nan astir suspense-free superior play successful history winding down, it judge feels for illustration nan 2024 wide predetermination run will beryllium nan longest ever. And by 1 metric it could good beryllium — but conscionable barely.

That’s because today’s primaries and caucuses successful Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi and Washington authorities are group to springiness some Biden and Trump capable delegates to scope nan magic number needed to clinch their parties’ nominations. 

Biden, now conscionable 99 delegates short of nan mark, figures to do truthful early — astir apt successful nan 7 p.m. ET hour, erstwhile polls adjacent successful Georgia. For Trump, it will return a spot longer. Potentially, he could do it erstwhile Washington’s polls adjacent astatine 11 p.m. ET. If that happens, past today, March 12, will beryllium nan time that some candidates clinch. And that would past time off 240 days until nan Nov. 5 election, which would so group 2024 up to characteristic nan longest wide predetermination run successful nan modern era.

But ballot tabulations and delegate allocations tin sometimes return a while, truthful it’s imaginable Trump won’t clear nan number until aft midnight, and possibly not moreover until Hawaii’s results travel successful astir 2 a.m. ET. Under this scenario, it would technically beryllium tomorrow that some candidates clinch, which would time off 239 days until Nov. 5. And that would necktie nan grounds group successful some nan 2004 predetermination betwixt George W. Bush and John Kerry, and nan 2000 predetermination betwixt Bush and Al Gore.

Of course, this is conscionable 1 metric to measurement nan magnitude of a campaign, and it has its flaws. Four years ago, for instance, Biden crossed nan Democrats’ delegate period connected June 6. But that was a specified formality; Bernie Sanders had dropped retired 2 months earlier and Biden had agelong since shifted his attraction to Trump. So for each intents and purposes, nan 2020 wide predetermination run was a batch longer than nan 151 days shown above. 

On nan different extremity of nan scale, there’s 1980, erstwhile Jimmy Carter obtained nan needed delegates connected June 3. But his Democratic superior opponent, Ted Kennedy, battled each nan measurement until nan August convention, pursuing a rules alteration that would free delegates from their existing commitments and let them to ballot for him instead. (The effort failed, of course.) It could beryllium argued, then, that nan Carter-Ronald Reagan run was overmuch shorter than 155 days. 

Similarly subjective issues originate successful different predetermination years too, including nan existent one. While nan general delegate thresholds will beryllium met coming aliases early successful nan morning, media outlets (including NBC News) already declared Trump nan presumptive Republican nominee past week aft Nikki Haley dropped out.

Was that nan existent commencement of nan wide election? Or was it moreover earlier than that? Even arsenic Haley continued to run aft Trump’s Iowa and New Hampshire victories, it was taken arsenic a fixed that he’d beryllium nan GOP nominee, and nan Trump and Biden teams were already aiming their occurrence astatine each other. 

Ultimately, calculating nan precise magnitude of a run is an art, not a science.



🗞️ Today’s apical stories

  • 📱 TikTok flip-flop : Trump’s newfound guidance to banning TikTok isn’t swaying Republicans connected Capitol Hill arsenic nan House prepares to ballot Wednesday greeting connected authorities to barroom nan celebrated video-based video app successful nan U.S., unless nan China-based ByteDance agrees to divest it. Read much →
  • 🚨 2024 warning: American intelligence agencies said successful their yearly world threats appraisal that Russia and China could usage caller technologies, including artificial intelligence, to sow divisions successful nan U.S. and interfere successful elections. Read much →
  • 🇺🇦 Ukraine update: The White House is providing $300 cardinal successful further weapons to Ukraine arsenic much backing remains held up successful Congress by Republican leaders. The announcement comes arsenic nan Ukrainian subject is facing dire weapons shortages successful its two-year warfare pinch Russia. Read much →
  • 📺 Taking connected Trump: The group Republican Voters Against Trump is readying a $50 cardinal run against nan erstwhile president, featuring videos of erstwhile Trump supporters, according to The New York Times. Read much →
  • 🐘 Staff shakeup: Trump allies’ takeover astatine nan Republican National Committee has led to a unit shakeup. At slightest 4 elder RNC staffers were terminated connected Monday, pinch dozens much perchance facing layoffs. Read much →
  • 👋 Buck-ing his party: Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., announced Tuesday that he is resigning from Congress astatine nan extremity of adjacent week, telling CNN that this past twelvemonth was “the worst twelvemonth of nan 9 years and 3 months that I've been successful Congress.” Read much →

That’s each from The Politics Desk for now. If you person feedback — likes aliases dislikes — email america astatine politicsnewsletter@nbcuni.com

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