The Neutron Prosecutor: How Special Counsel Hur May Prove the Ultimate Punchline in Washington

Below is my column in the New York Post on reports that Special Counsel Robert Hur has finally interviewed President Joe Biden on allegations that he removed and retained classified material going back to his time as a United States senator. The problem facing Hur could be what to do if he actually finds evidence of a crime.

Here is the column:

A neutron and Special Counsel Robert Hur walk into a bar and order two drinks.

When Hur asks how much they owe, the bartender responds, “come on, for you guys, you know there’s never a charge.”

Unfortunately, for the prosecutor tasked with investigating President Joe Biden, it may not prove a laughing matter.

In many ways, Hur is the neutron prosecutor.

He may have spent two days interviewing Biden on the discovery of classified material going back decades in various offices and home locations.

But we already know that the Justice Department has long maintained a policy against the charging of a sitting president.

There are no such problems for Hur’s colleague. Jack Smith was appointed to investigate former President Donald Trump. He is the ultimate proton prosecutor.

Smith has aggressively pursued Trump in two different jurisdictions with a long litany of charges, including alleged criminal conduct tied to his removal and retention of classified material.

In comparison, Hur appeared to disappear.

There was no word of any grand jury or the issuance of subpoenas. His interview this week was the sign of life for a prosecutor who seemed headed for milk cartons.

I have long disagreed with the Justice Department policy as without foundation in the Constitution.

There is no question that the best course in dealing with a felonious president is to first remove the president from office through the impeachment process and then indict the former president in the wake of the Senate conviction.

However, even the Justice Department admitted in reaching this policy during the Clinton administration that “[n]either the text nor the history of the Constitution” is “dispositive” on this question.

It simply rendered an internal opinion against indictments of a sitting president as a matter of “considerations of constitutional structure.”

That is particularly a problem in what could be a strong case.

We still do not know whether fingerprints were taken off the documents found in various locations associated with the President.

Unlike Smith’s investigation, there have been no strategic leaks from Hur’s investigation.

On its face, the President claims that he had no knowledge of these documents appears dubious at best.

Some classified material reportedly goes back to Biden’s time as a senator — material that he would have had to remove from a sensitive compartmented information facility or secure room on Capitol Hill.

More importantly, the documents from the Obama Administration were removed when Biden left as vice president.

They were then divided and repeatedly moved to different locations. That suggests not just knowledge but a purpose.

Why were they divided and some documents were found in his garage and possibly his library?

If Hur found fingerprints that contradict Biden’s statements, he could face not just some of the same charges brought against Trump but also possible false statement or obstruction charges.

Notably, Biden used counsel to conduct searches and (as in the Trump case) additional classified materials were found after the Biden team said that they had finished their searches.

There are serious questions over whether, in allowing uncleared counsel to search through these documents, evidence may have been lost in how they were stored or appeared in locations like the garage.

Hur can bring charges against third parties, who would not be barred from indictment under the DOJ policy.

But what does Hur then do if he has evidence against the President himself?

He could wait to see if Biden does not run for reelection or loses in 2024.

He could ask for a reconsideration of the policy, which was poorly supported during the Clinton Administration as a rationale for blocking any indictment for perjury by the Office of Legal Counsel.

Absent such moves, the public may face the glaring contradiction of proton and neutron prosecutors where Smith pursues a former president with abandon while Hur is left with investigating with no possibility of an immediate charge.

It is the type of question that Attorney General Merrick Garland should be eager to answer. Indeed, it should have been clarified at the outset with the mandate given to Hur.

Garland, however, has maintained a position as a virtual spectator, disavowing any role in the ongoing investigations. He is neither neutron nor a proton. He is literally without mass.

So the question is whether Hur can get anything other than free drinks in Washington. The answer to that question may prove to be the best punchline of all.

Jonathan Turley is an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School.

113 thoughts on “The Neutron Prosecutor: How Special Counsel Hur May Prove the Ultimate Punchline in Washington”

  1. Mr. Turley… you just can’t find the strength to twist your own arm and call your former colleague, Merrick Garland, what he is: a police state fascist acting the part of Lenin’s Lavarentiy Beria for Biden and the Democrats.

    Merrick Garland and his apparatchik Jack Smith, morphed from acting as Obama’s political hitman prosecutor to Biden’s political hitman prosecutor; they all act as the Sword and Shield of Democrat presidents – both before and since Trump.

    Will you ever get around to actually writing what your former colleague Merrick Garland is, Mr. Turley?

  2. While we’re on the topic of neutron prosecutors:

    Yesterday, October 10, would have been Ashli Babbitt’s 38th birthday. Our thoughts are with Ms. Babbitt’s parents, widower, and her extended family and friends.

    Remember Ashli Babbitt
    -January 6, 2021

  3. The internet has let us peons look under the hood of our institutions. It is not a pretty sight. I am totally amazed we have made it as far as we have. I feel like I am in a slow motion car wreck.

  4. I am surprised that no one else suggested the obvious parallel analogy for Garland. The neutrino is a particle with negligible mass that interacts only very slightly with other particles.
    Mike Dubost

  5. Does it seem like Hur is doing his job as it be done?
    Maybe some other people should accept Hur’s example.

  6. “Four of the former Ohio State University wrestlers who have accused Rep. Jim Jordan of failing to protect them from a sexual predator when he was the team’s assistant coach in the 1980s and ’90s said Tuesday he has no business being the next speaker of the House.

    “’Do you really want a guy in that job who chose not to stand up for his guys?’ said former OSU wrestler Mike Schyck, one of the hundreds of former athletes and students who say they were sexually abused by school doctor Richard Strauss and have sued the university. ‘Is that the kind of character trait you want for a House speaker?’ … Dunyasha Yetts, another former OSU wrestler who has publicly and repeatedly accused Jordan of lying about not knowing what Strauss was doing to the athletes, said the congressman’s ‘hypocrisy is unbelievable.’”

    1. As you’ve all long ago figured out – my primary purpose here is to spread lies and fake news created by my Soviet Democrat bosses. I know most of you know it’s just sophomoric propaganda… but maybe you’ll at least get a laugh at what I post here for my other Marxist Useful Idiots to read.

    1. Can I you imagine this country bringing in Palestinians? Their average IQ is 83. A Denmark study from 1993 showed a majority of them 30 years later collecting welfare or disability, failing to ever do any meaningful work, and a majority of them with a significant criminal conviction. And 2/3 of their offsprings with criminal convictions. Just what we need. Besides, a manifesto that wants to kill an entire race.

  7. Just about all families have one black sheep in the family. Therefore, people understand when that relative does something embarrassing and do not hold the entire family to blame. However, when it comes to the Biden family, every single one of them carry that label. Corruption is the family business and motto.

  8. Turley’s comment section has obviously become the favorite gathering place for mental patients and prisoners. If one wanted to strike a blow AGAINST freedom of speech, this INSANE comment section would be the way to begin.

    1. Exactly. People we do not like say things we do not like. They should be censored. The way forward is Democrat authoritarianism. Obviously. Heil Biden!!!

        1. You imagine yourself to be smart. Yet you end a sentence in a preposition. Weird.

          Oh well. In your imagination people we don’t like who say things we don’t like makes them “insane.” And in your imagination insane people who say things we don’t like creates a threat to free speech.

          Now pop the top on another Bud Lite, adjust your pink pussy hat, and give the Heil Biden!!! salute to Democrat authoritarian censorship.


          1. The admonition not to end a sentence with a preposition is the kind of mindless adherence to rules up with which one should not put.

          2. Ending a Sentence with a Preposition | Examples & Tips
            Published on April 13, 2023 by Jack Caulfield.

            A preposition is a word such as “to,” “between,” “after,” or “for” that’s used to show the relationship between different elements in a sentence. They can express ideas related to time and location, as well as more abstract connections.

            You may have been taught the rule that it’s wrong to end a sentence with a preposition, suggesting that it’s wrong to say, for example, “What are you preparing for?” and that you should say “For what are you preparing?” instead.

            As you might guess from the fact that the “corrected” sentence reads much less naturally than the first, this “rule” is a superstition with no basis in reality. There is no problem with ending a sentence with a preposition, and it’s often better to do so than not.

    1. I know right? Dennis can ad hom and call people racists and his posts remain up. I merely say he likes the taste of feces, and its taken down.

  9. Jonathan, with a half-life of 12 minutes a lonely neutron flies apart into a proton, an electron and a spare antineutrino.
    No time to prosecute…

  10. Impeach Garland first.
    Then impeach Wray.
    Then impeach Biden.

    Then make sure Dr. Jill knows how much the country despises her as well for propping up her corpse of a demented sellout POS husband so she can milk being FLOTUS. She is a disgrace. She is nothing but white trash. “Call me Dr. Biden”……puke vomit gag us all Dr. Jill. You are as much a disgrace as your husband and the rest of the degenerates in your disgusting crime family that has been selling out your country for decades. You all belong in prison. You are stinkin white trash.
    The day the Biden Crime Family is prosecuted and locked up will be a very good day for America.

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