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Judicial Watch Asks Federal Court to Order Release of the Audio of President Biden’s Interview with Special Counsel Hur

Biden Justice Department Argument is ‘Repugnant’

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced it requested a federal court to reject the Biden Justice Department’s request to rewrite the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and that it order the release of the audio recordings of President Biden’s interviews with Special Counsel Robert Hur within 14 days. (This lawsuit has already forced the Biden administration to confess that the transcripts of the audio recordings have been altered and are not accurate.)

 Judicial Watch filed the first FOIA lawsuit and is the lead plaintiff asking for the Biden audio recordings of his interviews in Special Counsel Hur’s criminal investigation of Biden’s theft and disclosure of classified records (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:24-cv-00700)). (The Judicial Watch lawsuit already helped force the release of a redacted transcript of the Biden interview.) 

The Biden Justice Department, in seeking to keep the audio recordings secret, asked the court to ignore precedent and rewrite FOIA law. The Biden agency: demands that a law enforcement/executive privilege exemption be rewritten to help Joe Biden; wants to change FOIA law to protect (after 50 years of being a politician) President Joe Biden’s privacy in his voice; and seeks to potentially end FOIA with a new argument that the possible “AI” alteration of the Hur recordings is reason to keep the keep the recordings and any government record a secret from the public.  

Judicial Watch argues that the recordings should be released “because an open question remains about whether Special Counsel Hur’s conclusion that President Biden should not be prosecuted for his mishandling of classified records [and] is supported by the evidence.”

Further, the audio would educate the public about “whether Special Counsel Hur appropriately pursued justice by recommending to the attorney general that criminal charges should not be brought against President Biden concerning his mishandling of classified materials.”  This question “is of even more import these days because another special counsel (with approval by Attorney General Garland) is currently prosecuting President Trump for allegedly engaging in similar actions.  In addition to President Trump being both President Biden’s former political opponent and the current Republican nominee in the upcoming Presidential election, President Trump is the only former president or vice president to be prosecuted for such actions.”

Judicial Watch also criticizes the Biden Justice Department’s reliance on a case that allowed the withholding of the audio of the dying cries of the Challenger astronauts as simply “repugnant.” 

“We hope the court rejects the Biden Justice Department’s political request to rewrite FOIA law to hide the Biden tapes,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Biden administration wants to destroy FOIA in order to protect Joe Biden.” 

On February 5, 2024, Special Counsel Robert Hur issued the “Report of the Special Counsel on the Investigation Into Unauthorized Removal, Retention, and Disclosure of Classified Documents Discovered at Locations Including the Penn Biden Center and the Delaware Private Residence of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.”

In the report, Hur called Biden a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” and declined to charge Biden with a “serious felony:”

We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory. Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him-by then a former president well into his eighties-of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness. 

Prior to the finalization of the report, the White House issued a letter to the Special Counsel’s office attacking the report’s “treatment of President Biden’s memory,” and added “there is ample evidence from your interview that the President did well in answering your questions …” 

The White House admitted to the court that the transcript of President Joe Biden’s testimony to Special Counsel Robert Hur is not accurate and is missing “filler words (such as ‘um’ or ‘uh’)” and words that “may have been repeated when spoken (such as ‘I, I’ or ‘and, and’)” which were sometimes “only listed a single time in the transcripts.” 

The Heritage Foundation and a CNN-led media coalition have recently been joined with Judicial Watch’s lawsuit.

Judicial Watch has several ongoing FOIA lawsuits about Biden’s document scandals and the related unprecedented partisan prosecutorial and judicial abuses of former President Donald J. Trump.

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