‘What’s The Harm?’: CNN Anchor Presses Eric Swalwell On Biden DOJ’s Refusal To Hand Over Hur Tapes


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CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota on Wednesday questioned Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell about the Department of Justice (DOJ) refusing to turn over the audio of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur.Lawmakers have demanded the audio recordings of Hur’s interviews with Biden, but the DOJ has only handed over the transcript, withholding the audio. Camerota pressed Swalwell on what the damage would be if the DOJ released the audio, telling the congressman that her network, CNN, would appreciate having access to it as well. (RELATED: Biden World’s ‘MAGA Guy’ Attack On Robert Hur Just Doesn’t Add Up, Records Show)


“One of the Republicans’ issues with Attorney General Garland yesterday is that they want the audio tapes from the interview between President Biden and special counsel Robert Hur,” Camerota said. “They think there must be something damning on there that they’re not hearing and the attorney general refuses to hand them over. He’s already provided the transcripts, the written transcripts. But he won’t provide the audio. CNN, by the way, would like to hear the audio too. What’s the harm in handing over the audio?”

“Well, the investigation’s closed, right? And there was no wrongdoing found,” Swalwell answered. “DOJ allowed Robert Hur to come testify. Robert Hur was appointed by Donald Trump so this was a Donald Trump-appointed prosecutor who was made special counsel by Merrick Garland. The transcript was provided and actually Hur testified that at one point he told the president that the president had a photographic recall of his own house and where the materials were. So to me it just seems like there’s no end to what they would want to do. Once they get the audiotape, then they’re going to want the videotape. Once they get the videotape, they’re going to want him to be polygraphed. Once he’s polygraphed, they’re going to want his health records.” (RELATED: John Kennedy Asks Merrick Garland Point-Blank Why DOJ Let Statute Of Limitations Pass On Hunter Biden)

Merrick Garland at recent hearing.

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 04: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on June 04, 2024 in Washington, DC. Facing a contempt vote in the House, Garland pushed back against false accusation that the Justice Department is behind the prosecution and subsequent conviction of former U.S. President Donald Trump in New York, and that falsehoods and “conspiracy theories” are harming the rule of law. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Hur’s report released in February detailed Biden’s handling of classified documents, with the special counsel deciding not to seek charges against the president. However, Hur noted that Biden appeared to forget when his vice presidency term began and ended as well as when his late son, Beau Biden, passed away during their five-hour interview that took place in October. (RELATED: DOJ Declined Top Hunter Biden Prosecutor’s Request For Additional Authority, Testimony Confirms)

“What’s the harm?” Camerota asked again. “Since we have the transcripts, what’s the harm of handing over the audio? Why is that a deal breaker for the attorney general?”

“Well, the attorney general said yesterday that the same policy that they don’t like that’s protecting the president in a closed investigation from them going into this also protects Matt Gaetz, who has a closed sex trafficking investigation and DOJ is not turning over evidence from that investigation to the House Ethics Committee because they believe once these investigation are closed that they do have to protect some of the equities of making sure that you’re not smearing unnecessarily and they’ve provided enough,” Swalwell said.

If Biden were to appear in front of a jury, he would present himself as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Hur’s report suggested.

The House Oversight Committee marked up a resolution to hold Garland in contempt of Congress on May 16 over his refusal to hand over the recordings.

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