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Biden refuses to provide Republicans with recording of his testimony before a special prosecutor

Photo: Mandel Ngan Agence France-Presse US President Joe Biden

France Media Agency in Washington

Published at 11:45 a.m. Updated at 5:05 p.m.

  • United States

American President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he refused to provide his Republican opponents in Congress with the recording of his testimony before a special prosecutor, which had provoked, particularly among his opponents, a deluge of comments on the memory and mental agility of the 81-year-old American president.

Special prosecutor Robert Hur recommended in his 388-page report in February that Joe Biden be dismissed in a case of withholding confidential documents. But he had mentioned an “elderly man with a bad memory”, comments deemed “inappropriate” by the White House.

Since then, in the middle of an election year which must see Mr. Biden faces Donald Trump again in November, two Republican-controlled House committees are demanding that the recording be provided to them, not just the transcripts.

< p>On the recommendation of his Justice Secretary, Merrick Garland, Mr. Biden invoked his “prerogatives as chief executive” to reject this request, wrote to the Republican chairs of these committees, White House counsel, Ed. Siskel, and the Department of Justice.

“The lack of legitimate necessity to claim these audio recordings exposes your likely goal: to slice them up, distort them and use them for partisan purposes,” Ed Siskel wrote to the chairmen of both committees, Jim Jordan and James Comer.

Mr. Garland, for his part, justified his recommendation by the need to ensure the cooperation of future senior executive officials in future similar investigations.

“We are “went extraordinarily far to ensure that the committees' legitimate requests were met, but this is not one of them,” he told reporters at a press briefing at the Justice Department.< /p>


Granting this request would have “harmed our ability in the future to conduct sensitive investigations”, he argued, deploring the stated desire of the two parliamentary committees to find him guilty of obstructing the investigative powers of the Congress, for its opposition to the handing over of the recordings.

One of these committees, that of Judicial Affairs, adopted a resolution to this effect on Thursday. But in the absence of action on the part of the Department of Justice, this procedure should not lead to criminal proceedings.

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“To determine whether the special prosecutor acted in accordance with justice in not prosecuting — in not recommending the prosecution of — the president, the records are necessary,” the Judiciary Committee chairman said, Jim Jordan.

“Frankly, the transcripts alone are not sufficient evidence of the state of the President's memory, because the White House has by altered past transcripts,” he said.

Appointed in January 2023 by Mr. Garland, the special prosecutor concluded in his report that Joe Biden had “ knowingly kept and disclosed classified documents after his vice presidency while he was a private citizen.”

But he considered that “an indictment would not be justified”, believing in particular that a jury would give the benefit of the doubt to “a sympathetic, well-intentioned elderly man with a bad memory”. According to him, at one point during the interview, Joe Biden no longer remembered the year of the death of his eldest son, Beau.

The Democratic camp had denounced “gratuitous” comments with “political motivations” but his Republican opponents in the House of Representatives immediately exploited the report to believe that Joe Biden was “unfit” to exercise his functions.

During a hearing in March before these two committees of the House of Representatives, Robert Hur justified his comments on his memory.

“I did not not sanitize my explanation, nor unfairly denigrate the president,” he assured.

The appointment of the special prosecutor followed the discovery of classified documents dating from the time when Joe Biden was vice-president (2009-2017), in particular on the American military engagement in Afghanistan, in his residence in Wilmington, in the Delaware (east), as well as in a former office.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116