Bush-Era AG Weighs in on Fight Over Biden Interview Recordings

Bush-Era AG Weighs in on Fight Over Biden Interview Recordings

(RepublicanView.org) – Former Attorney General (AG) Michael Mukasey has pushed back on current AG Merrick Garland for refusing to hand over audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur to a Congressional committee. Mukasey, who served as AG during the George W. Bush administration, argued Garland made a “flawed privilege assertion” based on a letter he wrote in 2008 regarding the use of executive privilege in the investigation into CIA officer Valerie Plame.

In a declaration filed at a federal court in Washington, DC, Mukasey agreed with Republican arguments that audio recordings of the interview would help clarify the President’s “mental acuity.” He also stated that he supports executive privilege “when necessary to protect sensitive information,” but insisted that the assertion of privilege to prevent the publication of the audio footage “goes well beyond the limits of any prior assertion and is not supported by the 2008 Executive Privilege Letter.”

President Biden exerted privilege over the recordings in May, as the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees debated whether to hold Garland in Contempt of Congress for failing to disclose recordings of the 2023 interview. Robert Hur previously declared he would not file charges against the President because a jury would likely consider him “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Furious Republicans questioned how a man considered unfit to stand trial on criminal charges could be fit to be President of the United States.

While the Department of Justice gave transcripts of the Hur interview to Republicans, it would not provide recordings, prompting lawmakers to consider contempt charges against Garland. In June, however, the Justice Department wrote to GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson saying Garland would not face prosecution because his actions did not “constitute a crime.” Johnson said the decision was “sadly predictable.”

The DOJ determination came after the Republican-controlled House voted by 216 votes to 207, recommending charges against the Attorney General. Assistant AG Carlos Filipe Uriarte reminded Republicans that the President exerted privilege, and in such cases, the Attorney General cannot shoulder the blame.

Johnson revealed on June 27 that he was planning to file a lawsuit in an effort to get the audio recordings.

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