GOP at War With DOJ

( – A war has erupted, for all practical purposes, between the House GOP majority and the US Justice Department because the latter is adamantly declining to comply with the former’s requests for audio recordings of Joe Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur during the probe into the president’s mishandling of classified documents.

In a meticulously written letter on Thursday, the DOJ informed Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) of its steadfast refusal to release the audio recordings, despite them being subpoenaed.

“We have repeatedly invited the Committees to identify how these audio recordings from law enforcement files would serve the purposes for which you say you want them,” Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte articulated in a letter, cited by National Review.

“We have also repeatedly urged the Committees to avoid unnecessary conflict and to respect the public interest in the Department’s ability to conduct effective investigations by protecting sensitive law enforcement files. The Committees have repeatedly failed to explain your needs or to demonstrate respect for the Department’s law enforcement functions,” he added.

“Despite our many requests, the Committees have not articulated a legitimate congressional need to obtain audio recordings from Mr. Hur’s investigation, let alone one that outweighs the Department’s strong interest in protecting the confidentiality of law enforcement files,” the DOJ official elaborated.

Earlier in the month, the Justice Department provided a similar rationale for not disclosing the audio recordings, implying that the Republicans’ interest in the tapes was politically motivated rather than for purposes of investigation.

The release of Hur’s approximately 400-page final report on the investigation into Biden stirred controversy, especially due to the special counsel’s remarks concerning Biden’s advanced age and declining cognitive abilities.

Notably, Hur pointed out Biden’s difficulty remembering the specific years of his vice presidency and the year his late son, Beau Biden, passed away.

Following the publication of the report, President Biden vehemently attempted to challenge Hur’s observations in a press conference, where he mistakenly mixed up the leaders of Egypt and Mexico.

Transcripts released before Hur’s congressional testimony in March seemed to support his description of Biden’s memory issues during the president’s extensive two-day interview with Hur.

Uriarte highlighted that the Justice Department had provided transcripts of Hur’s interviews with Biden and his ghostwriter, Mark Zwonitzer, as well as correspondence related to Hur’s report.

At the start of his testimony, Hur justified his comments on Biden’s age as necessary for his conclusion that Biden should not face criminal charges despite having “willfully” retained classified information.

Hur also disclosed that the White House had unsuccessfully tried to persuade him to moderate his statements on Biden’s age after he submitted a draft of his report.

In late March, Attorney General Merrick Garland faced criticism from liberals for his decision not to amend Hur’s report prior to its release.

“It’s curious the Biden Administration is refusing to release the audio of President Biden’s interview with the Special Counsel after releasing the transcript. Why shouldn’t the American people be able to hear the actual audio of his answers?” questioned Comer in a statement on April 8.

Comer and Jordan have indicated their willingness to begin contempt of Congress proceedings against Attorney General Merrick Garland if the Justice Department fails to surrender all documents from Hur’s year-long investigation.

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