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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Biden Audio Tapes Update

Biden Justice Department Won’t Release Biden Special Counsel Recordings
NPR’s New CEO Sits on Board of Soros-Funded Activist Group that Pushes for Censorship

 

Biden Justice Department Won’t Release Biden Special Counsel Recordings

The Justice Department has told the court that it will not disclose the audio recordings of special counsel interviews with President Joe Biden to protect Biden’s “privacy” interests.

Biden’s Justice Department informed us and the court that it would assert Exemptions 6 and 7(C) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to prevent the release of the two audio recordings of Biden’s interviews with Special Counsel Robert Hur. Exemption 6 applies to “personnel and medical files and similar files” when disclosure of such information “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Exemption 7 (C) applies to “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes,” the disclosure of which “could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

On March 11, 2024, we filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the department failed to respond to a February 2024 FOIA request for records of all Special Counsel interviews of President Biden (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:24-cv-00700)). A redacted transcript of the Biden interview was released on April 15.

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 …”

This is yet another brazen cover-up. The Biden Justice Department’s political gambit in asserting Joe Biden’s privacy concerns in order to withhold audio of his criminal interviews with the special counsel really takes the cake. Obviously, the public’s right to know outweighs Joe Biden’s privacy in this widely public case. And, of course, President Biden can simply waive any privacy so the public can fully understand why he was given a pass from criminal prosecution.

 

NPR’s New CEO Sits on Board of Soros-Funded Activist Group that Pushes for Censorship

The hiring of the new liberal CEO to National Public Radio (NPR) is causing concern due to the organization being publicly funded. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the latest:

In a grim indicator of how news will be covered on taxpayer dime, the new head of the government-funded National Public Radio (NPR) is on the board of a leftwing activist organization called Center for Democracy and Technology that pushes for censorship and receives funding from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. Her name is Katherine Maher, a former Wikimedia Foundation CEO, with liberal views publicly expressed throughout the years in her social media posts. In 2018, she called former President Donald Trump a racist in a post that has since been deleted, according to a mainstream newspaper report. A couple of years ago Maher shared a photo of herself in a “President Biden” campaign hat. In a 2021 video clip the new NPR chief describes the First Amendment as the top challenge in the fight against disinformation, a fictitious crisis created by the Biden administration to control information.

Maher takes over at NPR as a longtime NPR editor, Uri Berliner, reveals that liberal bias has altered the public radio network’s coverage in recent years, resulting in errors on major stories such as the Hamas attacks in Israel, Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal and COVID-19. “It’s true NPR has always had a liberal bent, but during most of my tenure here, an open-minded, curious culture prevailed,” Berliner, a 25-year NPR veteran wrote in a recently published essay. “We were nerdy, but not knee-jerk, activist, or scolding. In recent years, however, that has changed. Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population. An open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don’t have an audience that reflects America. That wouldn’t be a problem for an openly polemical news outlet serving a niche audience. But for NPR, which purports to consider all things, it’s devastating both for its journalism and its business model.” Berliner confirms that race and identity have become paramount in nearly every aspect of the workplace and journalists are required to ask everyone they interview about race, gender, and ethnicity.

A few days ago, Berliner, a senior business editor, resigned, citing Maher’s response to his recent exposé. In an email to the radio network’s new CEO, Berliner wrote: “I am resigning from NPR, a great American institution where I have worked for 25 years. I respect the integrity of my colleagues and wish for NPR to thrive and do important journalism. But I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR I cite in my Free Press essay.” NPR and its new chief declined to comment publicly but the network’s news executive, Edith Chapin, wrote a memo to employees saying that inclusion among staff, sourcing and overall coverage is critical to telling the nuanced stories of this country and our world.

NPR is simply following the mainstream media’s leftist trajectory, though it has a duty to remain objective because it receives taxpayer dollars. The radio network was created over five decades ago as an educational news source that operates under the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which also includes television’s Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Its headquarters are in Washington D.C., and it has more than 1,000 radio stations nationwide. CPB’s 2024 operating budget is a whopping $535 million and, though most of it does not go to NPR, the public radio network says “federal funding is essential” and its continuation is critical. In fact, the news outlet’s website states that the elimination of federal funding would result in fewer programs, less journalism and eventually the loss of public radio stations.

This month a Virginia congressman introduced legislation to strip NPR of public money so that no taxpayer dollars fund its “radical left messaging.” The proposed legislation prohibits federal funding of NPR and prevents local public radio stations from using federal grant money to purchase content or pay dues to NPR. “It is bad enough that so many media outlets push their slanted views instead of reporting the news, but it is even more egregious for hardworking taxpayers to be forced to pay for it,” said Congressman Bob Good, the lawmaker behind the measure. “My legislation would ensure no taxpayer dollars are used to fund the woke, leftist propaganda of National Public Radio.”

 

Until next week,


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