Biden blocks release of tapes containing his statements on his handling of classified files

A letter sent by the Justice Department to Republicans in Congress revealed that the president used his "executive privilege" to prevent the release of the audio files. The letter argues that Republicans only wanted them released for "political purposes."

A letter sent by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to Republican members of Congress revealed that President Joe Biden used his "executive privilege" to block the release of recordings containing his statements regarding the investigation into his handling of classified files.

House Republicans had demanded the release of tapes containing audio of the president's two-day interview with special counsel Robert Hur. However, according to the DOJ, Republicans only wanted the recordings "to chop them up" and use them for political purposes.

In the letter sent by the DOJ to the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, it was revealed that the decision not to release the recordings fall within the scope of "executive privilege."

'You want to manipulate [the recordings] for potential political gain'

Biden confirmed he was blocking the release of the recordings in a separate letter sent by his lawyer, Edward Siskel, to the Republicans. Siskel noted that "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.

Attorney General Merrick Garland noted that the Republicans' request is part of "a series of unprecedented and, frankly, unfounded attacks" against the DOJ.

2024 05 16 Wh Counsel Siske... by Veronica Silveri

Biden 'afraid for the citizens of this country and everyone to hear those tapes'

The White House's decision to block the release of the tapes comes to light a few hours before the House of Representatives begins drafting a resolution to declare Garland in contempt. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer considered the measure to be politically motivated and reiterated that he will continue to move forward with the resolution to hold Garland in contempt of Congress:

It’s a five-alarm fire at the White House. 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.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson assured that Biden is "afraid," since he does not want "the citizens of this country and everyone to hear those tapes."

President Biden is apparently afraid for the citizens of this country and everyone to hear those tapes. ... They obviously confirm what the Special Counsel has found, and would likely cause I suppose, in his estimation, such alarm with the American people that the President is using all of his power to suppress their release.

The committee published a video on X (formerly Twitter) in which they claim that "the Biden Administration is trying to block" what is called "Constitutional oversight."