Biden Invokes Executive Privilege to Block Audio of Interview with Special Counsel

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   ‘Clearly President Biden and his advisors fear releasing the audio recordings of his interview because it will again reaffirm to the American people that President Biden’s mental state in in decline,’ says House Judiciary Committee chair Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.)

Joe Biden’s Justice Department is preventing the release of audio from his interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur, citing executive privilege on Thursday for keeping the interview out of Republicans’ hands.

ABC News reports the DOJ expects the move to help shield Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland from “criminal exposure” as Republicans attempt to hold him in contempt of Congress.

However, the audio could give Republicans ammunition to use against Biden, as Special Counsel Hur’s report depicted the 81-year-old president as having memory problems, and ultimately concluded he wouldn’t recommend charges because a jury would see him as “an elderly man with a poor memory.”

Special Counsel Robert Hur testifies during House Judiciary Committee Hearing on March 12, 2024 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The DOJ claims it’s worked with Republicans throughout the investigation, however, it argued releasing the audio could set “an untenable precedent where high-profile figures under criminal scrutiny would second-guess cooperating with the government in the future,” reports ABC News.

In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte wrote, “The Attorney General must draw a line that safeguards the Department from improper political influence and protects our principles, our law enforcement work, and the people who carry out that work independently, without fear or favor.”

“The Committees seek to hold the Attorney General in contempt not for failing in his duties, but for upholding them,” Uriarte added, highlighting DOJ policies “held by administrations of both parties that an official who asserts the President’s claim of executive privilege cannot be prosecuted for criminal contempt of Congress.”

Attorney General Garland also defended the move Thursday, telling reporters, “We have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the committees get responses to their legitimate requests, but this is not one… To the contrary, this is one that would harm or ability in the future to successfully pursue sensitive investigations.”

“There have been a series of unprecedented and frankly, unfounded attacks on the Justice Department,” Garland continued. “This effort to use contempt as an as a method of obtaining our sensitive law enforcement files is just the most recent. The effort to threaten to defund our investigations and the way in which there are contributions to an atmosphere that puts our agents and prosecutors at risk — these are wrong.”

House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) railed against the department’s use of executive privilege, calling it a “hail mary” attempt to block the contempt charge.

“It’s a five-alarm fire at the White House,” Comer wrote in a statement released on X. “Clearly President Biden and his advisors fear releasing the audio recordings of his interview because it will again reaffirm to the American people that President Biden’s mental state in in decline.”

🚨STATEMENT🚨

The White House is now asserting executive privilege over the Hur audio recordings.

Clearly @POTUS & advisors fear releasing the recordings because it will reaffirm that Joe Biden’s mental state is in decline.

This Hail Mary from the White House changes nothing. pic.twitter.com/YjqjWCJGP8

— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) May 16, 2024

Regardless of whether the audio is released, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) says the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee has enough votes to hold Garland in contempt.

James Comer:
Later today we will hold Merrick Garland in Contempt of Congress. pic.twitter.com/XcKcr8LhyZ

— julie kelly (@julie_kely2) May 16, 2024

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