DOJ rebuffs House GOP’s request for Hur-Biden interview audio

House Republicans warned that they would hold Attorney General Merrick G. Garland in contempt if Justice Department refused to hand over requested records.

The Justice Department has refused to comply with the demands of House Republicans for audio recordings of Robert Hur, former special prosecutor’s interview conducted by President Joe Biden.

The DOJ wrote to Oversight Chairman James Comer, (R. Kentucky) and Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan, (R. Ohio) to say that it would not be able turn over the interview audio by Monday’s deadline set by the House GOP. Officials warned the public that releasing the audio of an interview could have a negative impact on future investigations.

The Department must understand the Committees’ reasoning for retaining the audio files, even if they do not have any remaining investigative purpose that can be refuted by the evidence provided so far.


The team did however hand over a transcript of their interview with Mark Zwonitzer (Biden’s ghostwriter) for the Hur team.

House Republicans warned that they would hold Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the United States, in contempt of Congress for not releasing information from Hur’s investigation into Biden’s handling of classified materials. Justice Department had previously provided transcripts from Hur’s interview of Biden as well as access to documents cited in his report. However, Republicans wanted audio recordings of the interview.

Hur’s report stated that Biden will be perceived as “a sympathetic, well-meaning old man with a bad memory” in any court proceeding. This was a description Republicans quickly seized upon.

Comer and Jordan’s spokespeople did not immediately respond to the Justice Department’s letter. Republicans redoubled their demand for audio of the interviews in a letter sent to the Justice Department last month. They told the DOJ that the House GOP subpoena created a “legal requirement” for them to provide it.

In their broad impeachment investigation of Biden, Republicans sought information about Hur’s investigations. The investigation has focused primarily on his family’s business dealings, but it also includes his handling of classified information.

In its response, the Justice Department said that granting access increases the likelihood “that future prosecutors will not be able to secure this degree of cooperation.” It also “risks serious chilling our abilities to conduct investigations and prosecutes.”

Officials have criticized the House GOP for its contempt threats, given that they’ve handed over or allowed access to many documents related to Hur’s investigation.

We are concerned that committees are not disappointed because they received information but because they did. Uriarte said, “We urge the Committees not to seek conflict but rather avoid it.”