Biden Asserts Executive Privilege Over Tapes Of Special Counsel Interview

By iHeartRadio

May 16, 2024

President Biden Meets With His Joint Chiefs And Combatant Commanders In The Cabinet Room
Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images News / Getty Images

The White House has invoked executive privilege over the audio recordings of President Joe Biden's interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. The decision was communicated in a letter from Edward Siskel, counsel to the President, to Rep. Jim Jordan, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. James Comer, chair of the House Oversight Committee.

Siskel stated that the President's decision was based on his commitment to protecting the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement investigations. He noted that disclosing such materials could deter witnesses in high-profile investigations from voluntarily cooperating in the future. Siskel also expressed concern that the audio recordings could be manipulated and used for partisan political purposes.

"The absence of a legitimate need for the audio recordings lays bare your likely goal—to chop them up, distort them, and use them for partisan political purposes. 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," Siskel wrote.

The House Republicans had demanded the audio recording of Special Counsel Robert Hur's interview with President Biden. The Justice Department had already provided the relevant panels with a transcript of the interview. In his report, Hur described Biden as 'an elderly man with a poor memory,' a remark that has drawn criticism from the White House and its Democratic allies.

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte also wrote a letter to Reps. Jordan and Comer, stating that an official who asserts the President's claim of executive privilege cannot be prosecuted for criminal contempt of Congress. He further argued that producing these recordings would risk undermining the Department's ability to conduct similar high-profile criminal investigations in the future.

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