Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Biden moves to block release of audio of his classified documents interview with special counsel Hur

By 37ci3 May16,2024

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has claimed executive privilege over audio recordings of his interview with special counsel Robert Hur, a Republican federal prosecutor. refused to press charges against the president for handling classified documents.

Hur wrote in his report that one reason for not indicting Biden was because the president would be sympathetic to the jury and could present himself as “different.”an old man with poor memory.” Biden defended his abilities, and Attorney General Merrick Garland later said that would be the case.absurd“He tried to block Huron’s language regarding the president’s memorial for him.

White House counsel Ed Siskel notified Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, of the decision. letter Thursday. It came after Garland advised Biden to approve executive privilege. The Justice Department had already been given to House Republicans transcripts from the interviews.

Carlos Felipe Uriarte, a Justice Department official, said, “It is a longstanding position of the executive branch, governed by administrations of both parties, that an official who asserts presidential executive privilege cannot be held criminally liable against Congress.” letter Jordan, of Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Comer, of Kentucky, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Garland also wrote letter The audio tapes of the Biden interview “are within the ambit of executive privilege” and that releasing the records to Congress “would pose an unacceptable risk of undermining the Department’s ability to conduct similar high-profile criminal investigations, particularly investigations,” where voluntary cooperation from White House officials is critical.

In a press release Thursday morning, Garland said the Justice Department “has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the committees receive a response to their legitimate requests, but this is not one.”

By releasing audio of the interview, he said it would “harm our ability to successfully pursue sensitive investigations in the future” and that it was part of an “unprecedented and, frankly, unwarranted series of attacks” against the Justice Department, including efforts to capture Garland. disrespects audio acquisition.

“This request, this attempt to use contempt as a method of obtaining our sensitive law enforcement documents, is the latest,” Garland said. “The attempt to threaten to defund our investigations and contribute to an atmosphere that puts our agents and prosecutors at risk is wrong. Look, all I can do is keep doing the right thing. I’m going to protect this building and its people.”

House Republicans are using their pulpits to undermine presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s criminal prosecutions and attack Biden ahead of a 2024 rematch.

Although a transcript of Biden’s interview has already been released, the Jan. 6 committee showed that audio and visual materials can strike a stronger political chord with the American public than dense, written reports that very few voters will actually read.

News outlets, including NBC News, have pushed for the release of the audio under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), arguing that transcripts cannot replace audio recordings.

John Fishwick, a former U.S. attorney under former President Barack Obama, told NBC News that the Justice Department “should not rely on a flimsy executive privilege argument to stop the release of President Biden’s audio interviews with special counsel Hur,” and that Biden and the Justice Department “promote full transparency of the Hur investigation.” should do and distribute the recordings now”.

Trump, who is currently facing four separate criminal charges in which he has pleaded not guilty, did not sit with then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s team during the trial. Investigation into Russian interference in 2016 election, which decision was paid for the former president. Trump he said he was “f—ed” when he learned of Mueller’s appointment, saying it would be the “worst thing” that ever happened to him. Trump has publicly claimed he wants to speak with Mueller, even saying, “to surpass” he met with his lawyers, but in the end he never sat down with the investigators.

Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, spoke to the FBI during an investigation into her handling of classified documents. There is Clinton he called the bureau’s decision to reopen its investigation days before the 2016 election was a “defining factor” in his loss to Trump.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton testified before a federal grand jury as part of an investigation into whether he lied under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. This video About a month later, it was released by the House Judiciary Committee.

Then, as now, the White House argued that the video was being released only to embarrass the president. In that case, Independent Counsel Ken Starr willingly turned over Clinton’s video to Congress. The The independent counsel law expired in 1999 and special prosecutors now operate under different rules.

In a press release that week, he called Trump’s muted monetary judgment “an atrocityHouse Speaker Mike Johnson said Biden was “using his position to defend himself politically.” federal election interference charges Arguing that he was covered by presidential immunity until the Supreme Court, successfully delays judgment It was due to continue in March and would likely result in a verdict at that point.)

“President Biden appears to be afraid that the citizens of this country and anyone else will hear these tapes,” Johnson said. “They’re publicly confirming what the special counsel found, and I think they’re going to be so alarmed to the American people that the president is using all his power to suppress their release.”

Johnson shot very differently Note After the Mueller investigation ended five years ago in 2019, says NPR “It’s time to move forward” and that “trying to redo” the special counsel investigation “would be a waste of our time” and the importance of the Justice Department’s rules on the release of sensitive information.

“There are existing DOJ regulations that prohibit it [then-Attorney General Bill Barr] prevent disclosure of classified information for obvious reasons, secret grand jury information, and other sensitive information,” Johnson said later.

The House Oversight Committee was scheduled to hold a hearing this morning to consider recommending contempt charges against Garland, but the Trump trial took precedence over the Biden investigation.

Several members of the panel made plans to show their loyalty to Trump by showing up at the courthouse today, forcing Comer to pull the plug on the 11 a.m. hearing and move it to 8 p.m. tonight. While Trump no doubt appreciates their presence as political corroborators, House members have no formal role in the proceedings.

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