DOJ Refuses To Hand Over Recordings of Biden's Infamous Special Counsel Interviews

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April 8, 2024

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday rebuffed demands by Republicans in the House of Representatives to hand over audio recordings of President Joe Biden's interviews with a special counsel whose report questioning Biden's memory set off a political firestorm.

Special Counsel Robert Hur angered House Republicans by deciding not to pursue criminal charges against Biden for retaining classified records dating back to his time serving as vice president under Barack Obama. The department had charged Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for keeping classified documents after he left the White House.

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte said the department had already provided all of the information sought in a congressional subpoena, including certain transcribed interviews from Hur's investigation.

"The Committees have responded with escalation and threats of criminal contempt," Uriarte wrote in a letter to House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan and House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer. "We urge the Committees to avoid conflict rather than seek it."

House Republicans have threatened to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt if the department does not hand over all of the records they are seeking.

Hur announced in February that he was declining to charge Biden for knowingly taking classified documents after leaving the vice presidency in 2017, sparking a political firestorm by noting in a report that the president had cooperated with the probe and that his status as a "well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory" would make him difficult to convict.

Spokesmen for both Jordan and Comer could not be immediately reached for comment.

In the department's letter, Uriarte argued that lawmakers have already received "an extraordinary amount of information" related to the Hur probe.

This not only included Hur's report and his testimony, but copies of certain classified records, transcripts of the interviews with Biden, and a copy of the transcript of Hur's interview with Biden's memoir ghostwriter Mark Zwonitzer, he said.

Published under: Joe Biden