President Biden considered resigning as vice president “in protest” over former President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan policies in 2009 over fear the war would become “another Vietnam,” according to Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on Biden’s mishandling of classified documents released Thursday.
Hur has been investigating Biden’s improper retention of classified records since last year. The papers included classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, among other national security and foreign policy records, which Hur said implicated “sensitive intelligence sources and methods.”
“Tomorrow the President is going to make a fateful decision regarding Afghanistan – as I sat looking out the window at the sea – thinking I should resign in protest over what will bring his administration down,” Biden wrote in what the report noted was an “Af/Pak” notebook he used to take notes during a number of National Security Council meetings on Afghanistan in 2009.
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“Although I obviously wasn’t there I feel like this is what it must have felt like for Kennedy then Johnson in the early days of VTN [Vietnam]. I feel guilty and boxed in myself. Guilty for not having been more successful w/ the President – and staying. Boxed in by knowing or at least feeling that my resignation would only harden his position and leave him with one less voice,” he added.
Biden strongly opposed the administration’s plans to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan throughout 2009, a view reflected in various entries in his notebook, as well as in a memo he sent Obama, that FBI agents found at his Delaware home alongside marked classified documents containing his advice to the former president.
According to the report, Biden called Army leaders’ request for another 40,000 troops in Afghanistan “f—ing outrageous,” and privately fretted the decision to do so would be “disastrous.”
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The reported later said Biden “had a strong motive to keep the classified Afghanistan documents,” because of his belief the 2009 troop surge was a Vietnam-level mistake.
“He wanted the record to show that he was right about Afghanistan; that his critics were wrong; and that he had opposed President Obama’s mistaken decision forcefully,” it said.
“There is evidence that, after his vice presidency, Mr. Biden willfully retained marked classified documents about Afghanistan and unmarked classified handwritten notes in his notebooks, both of which he stored in unsecured places in his home. He had no legal authority to do so, and his retention of these materials, and disclosure of classified information from his notebooks to his ghostwriter, risked serious damage to America’s national security,” it added.
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Fox News Digital has reached out to representatives of Obama for comment.
Hur announced he would not seek criminal charges against Biden.
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Fox News’ Joe Schoffstall and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.