Biden Utilizes Executive Privilege to Shield Special Counsel Interview Audio

 May 16, 2024

President Joe Biden will invoke executive privilege to keep the audio and video recordings from his interview with special counsel Robert Hur confidential.

According to the Western Journal, this move aims to seal records of his discussions surrounding an investigation into his handling of classified documents.

The executive action to withhold the content primarily includes audio and video interviews with Special Counsel Robert Hur. Hur previously investigated allegations against Biden regarding the mishandling of classified documents during his vice presidential tenure.

The inquiry's outcome recommended no criminal charges, attributing this to factors surrounding the President's cognitive state and predicted jury empathy due to his age and declining memory.

The Implications of Withholding Information

Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice stood by the decision to apply executive privilege. Their main argument is rooted in protecting the integrity of future high-profile investigations. They stress the importance of voluntary cooperation from those in the highest government ranks. Merrick Garland underscored the sensitive nature of such disclosures, stating that they could undermine the Department's work in similar situations.

Republican Representatives Jim Jordan and James Comer have been vocal in demanding the release of these recordings. However, their efforts were countered by the DOJ's firm stance on the matter, emphasizing long-standing policies regarding executive privilege that span multiple administrations.

Analysis of Biden's Cognitive Health

The files in question include remarks by Hur about the challenges in proving Biden's willingness to mishandle secrets, considering his advanced age and mental decline. According to Hur, convincing a jury could prove difficult given Biden's cognitive health circumstances.

In his report, Hur noted a notable decline in Biden's memory since a 2017 interview, citing an instance where Biden seemed unsure about the exact time of his son Beau Biden’s death.

Robert Hur articulated concerns about the President’s mental state:

It would be demanding to convince a jury to convict Biden, potentially a former president by the time of trial, of a serious charge that necessitates intentional misconduct.

Broader Impact on the Presidency and Justice

The choices made in this case are not just passing legal tactics but possibly setting precedents affecting future interactions between the White House and judicial bodies. The ultimate decision to use executive privilege has sparked a widespread debate about the balance of transparency, accountability, and national security.

The controversy extends beyond legal circles, touching on public perception and the ethical standards expected of elected officials. It raises critical questions about the boundaries of executive power, especially when it involves potentially damaging evidence against a sitting President.

While the DOJ and the White House insist that releasing the interviews could impede future governmental cooperation in judicial matters, opponents argue it shields potential misconduct from public scrutiny.

Concluding Reflection on the Investigation and Its Secrecy

The case against Biden, now cloaked in executive secrecy, rests on a bedrock of sensitive issues ranging from national security to the President's capability to fulfill his duties. The withheld interviews form a key part of understanding the broader implications of his handling of classified materials, yet remain tucked away from public and judicial review on the grounds of protecting essential executive privileges.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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