Biden Launches Fierce Effort to Block Trump Allies, from Securing Vital Robert Hur Tapes

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Biden Launches Fierce Effort to Block Trump Allies, from Securing Vital Robert Hur Tapes
Biden Launches Fierce Effort to Block Trump Allies, from Securing Vital Robert Hur Tapes

Biden Blocks Trump Allies from Obtaining Critical Interview Tapes

President Joe Biden has invoked executive privilege to stop Trump-aligned Republican House leaders from accessing audio recordings of his interviews with special counsel Robert Hur about Biden’s handling of classified documents.

The transcripts from these two-day interviews have already been released. In his explosive 345-page report, Hur concluded that Biden had committed no criminal acts but described him as a “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.” This characterization was quickly seized upon by Biden’s critics and condemned by his supporters as unprofessional.

Executive Privilege Sparks Political Clash

Biden’s decision to use executive privilege to prevent House committees from obtaining the interview tapes was disclosed in a series of letters from his administration officials. White House counsel Ed Siskel accused the Republican House leaders of pursuing the tapes for partisan reasons. In a letter to Reps. James Comer (R-KY) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chairmen of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, Siskel argued that the representatives had not provided a valid reason for needing the recordings.

“The absence of a legitimate need for the audio recordings makes your likely goal clear—to manipulate them for partisan political purposes,” Siskel wrote. He criticized their demands as an inappropriate attempt to acquire “sensitive and constitutionally-protected law enforcement materials” for political gain.

Rep. Comer responded by accusing the White House of trying to obstruct their investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents, despite Hur’s findings clearing the president of any criminal wrongdoing. “President Biden and his advisors clearly fear releasing the audio recordings of his interview because it will again reaffirm to the American people that he’s mental state is in decline,” Comer said in a statement.

Attorney General Merrick Garland supported he’s use of executive privilege, stating that blocking the Republican representatives’ attempts to subpoena the recordings was within his powers. Garland emphasized that releasing the tapes could discourage future White House officials from cooperating with law enforcement investigations. He also noted that Reps. Comer and Jordan had “failed to satisfy any of the relevant standards” to overcome the executive privilege.

He had not invoked executive privilege to block the February release of Hur’s transcripts, which ultimately cleared him of wrongdoing but sparked public concerns about his mental acuity and age. The release also put Hur, a Republican with ties to Donald Trump, under scrutiny for possible partisan motives.

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