Biden Administration Under Fire For Blocking Special Counsel Interview Audio

The Biden administration faces mounting criticism after invoking executive privilege to prevent the release of audio recordings from President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur. The move, condemned by congressional Republicans, has sparked accusations of obstruction and political maneuvering.

The House Committees on Oversight and Accountability and Judiciary had issued subpoenas for the records, including audio recordings, related to Hur’s investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents. However, White House Counsel Ed Siskel, in a letter to House Republicans, argued against the release, stating, “Demanding such sensitive and constitutionally-protected law enforcement materials from the Executive Branch because you want to manipulate them for potential political gain is inappropriate.”

Attorney General Garland supported the administration’s stance, asserting that the audio fell within the scope of executive privilege. Garland emphasized the Justice Department’s efforts to provide information, including a transcript of the interview, but expressed concerns that releasing the audio could compromise future investigations.

The decision has drawn sharp rebuke from Republicans, with House Speaker Mike Johnson accusing Biden of blocking the release because he “doesn’t want voters to hear him struggling mentally during an election year.” House Oversight Chairman James Comer echoed these sentiments, describing the move as a “five-alarm fire at the White House” and affirming the committee’s determination to pursue contempt charges against Garland.

“Clearly President Biden and his advisors fear releasing the audio recordings of his interview because it will again reaffirm to the American people that President Biden’s mental state is in decline,” Comer declared in a statement. “The House Oversight Committee requires these recordings as part of our investigation of President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents. The White House is asserting executive privilege over the recordings, but it has already waived privilege by releasing the transcript of the interview. Today’s Hail Mary from the White House changes nothing for our committee. The House Oversight Committee will move forward with its markup of a resolution and report recommending to the House of Representatives that Attorney General Garland be held in contempt of Congress for defying a lawful subpoena.”

Hur’s investigation had previously revealed concerning details about Biden’s cognitive abilities, including his struggles to recall events and dates, as well as his own son’s death. Despite Biden’s vehement denial during a press conference, transcripts from the interview contradict his claims, exposing inconsistencies and potential lapses in memory.

The House Judiciary Committee’s vote to advance a resolution recommending contempt charges against Garland further underscores the contentious nature of the situation. As tensions escalate between the executive and legislative branches, questions linger about the transparency and accountability of the Biden administration.