DOJ asks GOP to ‘avoid conflict’ after refusal to hand over Hur recordings

by | Apr 9, 2024

The Justice Department advised House Republicans to “avoid conflict” amid a looming confrontation, following their threat of potential contempt proceedings in their pursuit of information regarding special counsel Robert Hur's investigation into Biden's management of classified records.

In a letter sent on Monday, the head of the Justice Department's legislative affairs division stated that the House Oversight and Judiciary committees had been provided with the requested information, including transcripts of Hur's interview with Biden and a recording of the conversation. Additionally, they had requested some classified documents and all communications with Biden's attorneys, which were also provided.

“The Committees have received the information you requested. That info may not have substantiated the concerns the Committees articulated, but it does appear to help resolve them and your inquiry,” Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte wrote to House Oversight Chair James Comer and House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan.

The letter further asserts that the chairs may have sought the information for “political purposes that should have no role” in determining which law enforcement files are shared.

We are therefore concerned that the Committees are disappointed not because you didn’t receive information, but because you did. We urge the Committees to avoid conflict rather than seek it,” Uriarte added.

While the Justice Department has provided the transcript of Biden's interview with Hur, it did not furnish the requested audio recordings that Republicans sought.

“The Biden Administration does not get to determine what Congress needs and does not need for its oversight of the executive branch. 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,” Comer explained in a statement.

“Why shouldn’t the American people be able to hear the actual audio of his answers? The American people demand transparency from their leaders, not obstruction. The Oversight Committee will continue to work with the Judiciary Committee to obtain the information needed for our investigation of Biden’s willful retention of classified documents. We will respond to the DOJ soon.”

The exchange regarding the recordings indicates that the two parties may be on course for a legal dispute over the issue. This scenario could prompt Biden to invoke executive privilege and prevent the release of the recordings.

If the GOP panels proceeded with their threat to hold Garland in contempt of Congress, it would primarily be a symbolic gesture. In such cases, it serves as a referral to the Justice Department, which then assesses whether there is enough evidence to pursue legal action.

Source: The Hill



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