President Joe Biden may find himself in legal jeopardy after allegedly lying to Special Counsel Robert Hur last year, spinning a tall tale about the events that led him to devote his life to politics. According to Biden’s recounting of the decades-old story, feelings of compassion led him to walk away from a promising career with a high-powered Delaware law firm and embrace a life of public service; according to official records, these events may actually be a work of complete fiction.

Joe Biden may have lied about his legal career in an interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur last year, claiming he helped with a case that never happened.
Special Counsel Robert Hur. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

In October 2023, Biden, 81, sat for a deposition with Special Counsel Hur in connection with the president’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. At the end of this investigation, Hur and the Department of Justice declined to bring criminal charges against Biden, claiming that the elderly executive’s “significantly limited” memory would make prosecution impossible. As Hur concluded, “At trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Hur later stressed during congressional testimony that he had not exonerated Biden with his report, further revealing that the president had provided many answers that were “not credible” during the interview process.

Subsequent transcripts of the deposition reveal that Biden lied multiple times during his public response to Hur, downplaying his own forgetfulness about key facts, including the death of his son Beau in 2015.

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However, amongst myriad other mistakes and inconsistencies in Biden’s “painfully slow” statements, he also repeated an oft-told story about his time as a clerk at a law firm in Wilmington, Delaware in the late 1960s.

As first reported by The Washington Free Beacon, Biden, fresh out of law school but still waiting to pass the bar exam, took a clerical job at the high-powered firm of Prickett, Ward, Burt & Sanders. Soon after, the firm was tapped to represent a local construction company in a lawsuit brought by a former employee. The 23-year-old plaintiff had been employed as a welder when he “lost part of his penis and one of his testicles” in a fire that broke out while he was working inside a chimney at a plant in Delaware City.

According to Biden, his crafty legal defense allowed his firm’s client to beat the lawsuit, leaving the injured welder with nothing.

“I wrote this memo. And son of a b***h, it prevailed,” Biden told Hur, describing how he leveraged the man’s failure to wear protective gear to place legal responsibility on the plaintiff. “And I looked over at that kid…and I thought, ‘son of a b***h, I’m in the wrong business, I’m not made for this.’”

Biden was then wracked with guilt over the outcome of the case, which led him to apply for a job at the public defender’s office that same day. He made up an excuse to get out of a celebratory lunch with one of the firm’s partners to make time for the job interview. “It’s the only time I ever lied,” he continued, according to the deposition transcript.

However, according to the Free Beacon, the events of this story are highly suspect given the timeline Biden provided.

Related: Hur Confirms He Did Not Exonerate Biden, While New Transcripts Show Biden Lied

The Free Beacon reviewed court records from the National Archives and obtained comment from Biden’s former colleagues, finding no evidence that the president ever personally worked on a case matching the one he described. However, the details bear a striking resemblance to a case taken on by Prickett in 1964, while Biden was still an undergraduate at the University of Delaware.

In 1962, Joseph Januszewski, a welder for the Catalytic Construction Company—the very company Biden claims to have defended—was engulfed in flames while doing chimney repairs at the Stauffer Chemical plant in Delaware. Januszewski, 56, was left horribly disfigured, and both his legs required amputation. He remained in a wheelchair until his death in 1972, but details are unclear about whether he sustained damage to his genitals.

Januszewski and his wife sued Catalytic Construction in May 1964 and a federal jury ruled in their favor in April 1968, awarding them a settlement of $315,000 ($2.8 million in today’s dollars). Inconsistencies in both the injuries and the final verdict raise questions about Biden’s version of events.

Moreover, when the case was filed, Biden was a 21-year-old undergraduate at the University of Delaware. When the final ruling was issued, Biden was still in law school at Syracuse University—where he ranked 76th in class of 85 after failing a class for plagiarizing multiple papers.

Joe Biden may have lied about his legal career in an interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur last year, claiming he helped with a case that never happened.
Joe Biden in 1968 Edition of Onondagan Yearbook

Based on the timeline established in his 2007 memoir, Biden did not begin working for Prickett until June 1968, two months after the case was settled. No appeals were ever filed, making it unlikely that he worked on the case. However, Januszewski’s story was published in an article in the Wilmington News-Journal, which the president has reportedly read every single day for decades.

The Free Beacon admits that it is technically possible for another civil suit that matched every detail of Januszewski’s own to have been litigated in the late 1960s—however, if this is the case, no record of it exists.

The District Court of Delaware only keeps records going back to 1974, and the law firm, now renamed Prickett, Jones & Elliot, said that documents from nearly 60 years ago have long since been lost or destroyed. Founding partner William Prickett, who Biden claims took a chance on hiring him despite his failing grades in law school, died in 2014 when Biden was still vice president.

“We are familiar with the passage in Mr. Biden’s autobiography discussing our firm and a civil action William Prickett and Mr. Biden worked on,” a spokesman for the firm said. “Unfortunately we cannot confirm that the Januszewski matter is the one to which the autobiography refers. Any records from the case, and other matters the firm handled in the late 1960s, are well outside the time period of our records retention policy and have likely been destroyed.”

While Biden was not under oath while speaking with Hur, lying to a federal official during an investigation is still a criminal offense.

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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