Biden Invokes Executive Privilege To Block Release Of Hur Tapes

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden invoked executive privilege Thursday, blocking the audio recording of his interview with special counsel Robert Hur during an investigation into his handling of classified documents, according to The Washington Post.

After subpoenaing Attorneys General Merrick Garland, the House Oversight and Judiciary Committee were preparing to move a contempt resolution against the AG on Thursday in an attempt to obtain the audio. The White House and the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote letters informing the committee that Biden would be asserting executive privilege, claiming that House Republicans only want the recordings for political purposes, according to The Washington Post.

“The absence of a legitimate need for the audio recordings lays bare your likely goal—to chop them up, distort them, and use them for partisan political purposes,” Edward N. Siskel, counsel to the president, wrote in a letter obtained by The Washington Post. “Demanding such sensitive and constitutionally-protected law enforcement materials from the Executive Branch because you want to manipulate them for potential political gain is inappropriate.”

Hur concluded his investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents, opting not to charge the president and justifying his decision by saying the jury might see Biden as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

The special counsel noted that during his five-hour interview with the president, Biden appeared to forget when his vice presidency began and ended. Hur also added that Biden forgot the date of his late son’s death. (RELATED: Dem Rep Baselessly Accuses Robert Hur Of Doing ‘Everything You Can Do’ To Reelect Trump)

Biden rushed to quell concerns about his declining memory in a press conference following the release of the report. During the press conference, the president criticized Hur for raising questions about his late son, Beau Biden’s death, but the released transcript shows that it was in fact Biden who brought up the date. (RELATED: Biden Lied About Beau Exchange With Robert Hur During Angry Press Conference, Transcript Confirms)

After House Republicans forced the release of the transcript to the public, the House Oversight and Judiciary Committee moved to obtain the audio of the interview.

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer wrote in a report that the committee was requesting all documents and communications related to the interview as a part of his impeachment inquiry into the president and whether he took part in his son’s foreign business dealings, The Washington Post reported.

Garland supported Biden’s decision to invoke executive privilege on Thursday saying that the inquiry was not a serious request and would “harm their ability in the future to successfully pursue sensitive investigations,” CNN reported.