Joe Biden Invokes Executive Privilege Over Special Counsel Recordings

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 02:05 PM

After the DOJ stonewalled over surrendering an audio recording of Special Counsel Robert Hur's interview with President Joe Biden over his handling of classified documents, the White House has invoked executive privilege to block House Republicans from obtaining it.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland requested that Biden assert executive privilege over the recordings following a subpoena from the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

"Because of the President’s longstanding commitment to protecting the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement investigations, he has decided to assert executive privilege over the recordings," said White House counsel Ed Siskel in a letter obtained by The Hill.

The Feb. 27 subpoena requested copies of notes, audio files, video and transcripts related to Hur's probe, and had a deadline of March 7.

"Americans expect equal justice under the law and DOJ is allowing the Bidens to operate above it,"  House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said in an April statement. "Special Counsel Hur’s report outlined that classified documents Joe Biden stashed for years relate to countries where his family cashed in on the Biden brand."

In response to a request for audio of what author Mark Zwonitzer recorded while interviewing Biden, whose two memoirs he wrote, Assistant AG Carlos Felipe Uriarte said there is no need for the department to hand it over because the committees also have transcripts of the interviews.

"To go further by producing the audio files would compound the likelihood that future prosecutors will be unable to secure this level of cooperation," Uriarte wrote.

"They might have a harder time obtaining consent to an interview at all. It is clearly not in the public interest to render such cooperation with prosecutors and investigators less likely in the future."

Uriarte then reiterated that the DOJ has provided ample evidence to the committees.

Hur's 345-page report concluded that no charges should be brought against Biden due to cognitive decline.

"We have also considered that, 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 wrote.

Hur cited 2017 conversations between Biden and Zwontizer, which Hur described as "painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries."