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Pritzker ‘smells a rat’ in report on Biden’s memory and mishandling of classified docs

Illinois U.S. Rep. Mary Miller said in a statement that Governor Pritzker "must ask Biden to resign from office.”

Published: February 12, 2024 10:53am

Updated: February 12, 2024 10:54am

(The Center Square) -

After a special counsel’s report on President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents highlighted questions about the president’s mental capacity, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he “smells a rat.”

A special counsel report released Thursday decided not to file criminal charges against Biden in how he handled classified materials after his terms as vice president ended. But, the report also raised questions about the 81-year-old’s mental acuity.

"In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden's memory was worse," according to the report. "He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended ('if it was 2013 - when did I stop being Vice President?'), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began ('in 2009, am I still Vice President?')."

Biden pushed back on the questions about his mental capacity at a news conference later Thursday, saying his memory is “fine.”

Illinois U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Hindsboro, said in a statement that Pritzker "must ask Biden to resign from office,” and the governor “will disqualify himself from ever holding higher office if he stays silent.” She said “national security is at stake."

Miller also urged Biden cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president.

“Joe Biden is not competent to remain as Commander-in-Chief, and every day that he remains in office, he puts America's national security at risk,” Miller said. “If Biden won't resign, the Cabinet must meet and invoke the 25th Amendment."

Pritzker, who has stood by Biden’s reelection efforts, said the report’s headline of Biden doing nothing wrong is being buried by comments about Biden’s memory.

“I don’t know what [the special counsel's] purpose was, I just think that when you’re in the job as special counsel and making decisions about whether to charge somebody or investigating, but offering your personal opinion about somebody’s capabilities, it was unfair,” Pritzker said. “I smell a rat in the comments that were made, but I have to say I just thought it was unnecessary for him to talk about that. I would describe the entire subject matter that he raised as unfair.”

Asked about Americans who read the report and have concerns about the president's mental fitness, Pritzker said Biden is fit to be president.

“I’ve been with the president of the United States many times, he is on the ball,” Pritzker said. “The man knows more than most of us have forgotten. He knows so much more because he’s been in government for a number of years and has served in important positions.”

Pritzker would like to see Biden do more public events to show he’s capable.

“It’s always good for him to be in public,” Pritzker said. “He shows off just how smart he is and how capable he is when he is in public.”

The Democratic National Convention is in Chicago this August.