Biden Asserts Executive Privilege To Withhold Recordings From Lawmakers

Biden Puts Foot Down on Audio Recordings Sought By Republicans

( – The White House issued a resolute response to Republican demands for the audio footage of President Joe Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. The President has asserted executive privilege to deny access to the recordings and informed Republicans of this just before the House Oversight Committee met to decide whether to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for failing to supply them.

Executive privilege allows the President to maintain confidentiality and refuse to reveal communications even if subject to a subpoena.

The House Oversight Committee continued with the motion to hold Garland in contempt and voted in favor by 24 votes to 22. Simultaneously, the House Judiciary Committee also convened a meeting and voted 18 votes to 15 to hold the Attorney General in contempt.

In a letter to the chairmen of both Committees, Edward Niskel, Counsel to President Biden, said that the President had decided to exert executive privilege to protect the “integrity, effectiveness, and independence of the Department of Justice.” Republicans James Comer, who chairs the Oversight Committee, and Jim Jordan of the Judiciary Committee, both subpoenaed the Justice Department for the tapes, but it has refused to comply.

The Department of Justice stated that its previous provision of a transcript of the Robert Hur interview with Biden is sufficient, but Republicans argue that lulls in the conversation or the President’s hesitancy would speak to his mental and cognitive state.

Hur spoke to Biden as part of his investigation into allegations that he had mishandled classified documents. In his subsequent report, the lawyer wrote that he would not bring charges against the President because a jury would likely see him as a well-meaning elderly man with “a poor memory.”

Many Democrats reacted with fury to the report, saying such content was gratuitous and inappropriate. Meanwhile, a number of Republicans questioned how a man deemed unfit to face criminal charges could be considered fit to be President of the United States.

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