A trio of House committees investigating President Biden are asking the Justice Department to turn over transcripts and recordings of his interviews with Special Counsel Robert Hur following the release of a report critical of Biden’s cognitive abilities while reviewing his handling of classified documents.
The request, sent in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, echoes GOP leaders critical of the Justice Department’s conclusion of the report, complaining Biden received more favorable treatment than that of his 2024 campaign rival, former President Trump.
“The Committee on the Judiciary requires these documents for its ongoing oversight of the Department’s commitment to impartial justice and its handling of the investigation and prosecution of President Biden’s presumptive opponent, Donald J. Trump, in the November 2024 presidential election,” wrote the chairs of the three committees.
The request — from House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) — ignores key differences in the two cases.
Trump repeatedly rebuffed law enforcement as they sought the return of classified records stored at his Florida estate, a process that escalated to a subpoena he failed to comply with, resulting in the search of his home and the seizure of more than 300 records with classified markings.
Biden’s team alerted authorities to the discovery of classified records at his prior office and home, and cooperated with the investigation. While critical, Hur ultimately concluded there was not enough evidence to support charges that Biden willfully retained the records.
But the report also included numerous comments about Biden’s ability to recall details during the interview, details the Republican leaders are eager to zero in on.
“Although Mr. Hur reasoned that President Biden’s presentation ‘as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” who “did not remember when he was vice president’ or ‘when his son Beau died’ posed challenges to proving the President’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the report concluded that the Department’s principles of prosecution weighed against prosecution because the Department has not prosecuted ‘a former president or vice president for mishandling classified documents from his own administration,’” they wrote.
“The one ‘exception’ to the Department’s principles of prosecution, as Mr. Hur noted, ‘is former President Trump.’ This speaks volumes about the Department’s commitment to evenhanded justice.”
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to request for comment.
But Democrats even last week predicted Republicans would seek to review Hur’s work.
“MAGA Republicans will no doubt now call to investigate the investigators — it’s their favorite move — but the Hur report effectively ends the discussion. President Biden cooperated fully with the Special Counsel and redacted no portion of the Special Counsel’s report,” House Judiciary ranking member Jerold Nadler (D-N.Y.) wrote last week following the release of the report.
He also added Hur’s report shows that “if Trump had cooperated with the Department of Justice — instead of lying to investigators, again and again” he may have avoided charges entirely.
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