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Biden asserts executive privilege over audio of Robert Hur interview in classified documents probe

President Joe Biden has asserted executive privilege on audio recording of his interview with special counsel Robert Hur over handling of classified documents, to prevent House Republicans getting tapes of an exchange where he reportedly showed “poor memory.”

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee and House Judiciary Committee had demanded that Attorney General Merrick Garland turn over the recording of Mr Biden and Mr Hur, who investigated how classified documents ended up at the president’s Delaware home and former office in Washington, DC.

The White House rejected the demand, telling Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan and Oversight Committee chair James Comer that Mr Biden was heeding Mr Garland’s request to deny the GOP-led panels access to the tapes.

The attorney general told the president in a letter that  “audio recordings of your interview… fall within the scope of executive privilege”.

The decision both stops Congress accessing the recordings and shields Mr Garland from criminal contempt of Congress charges, that could emerge from a House vote expected later on Thursday.

The executive privilege decision is also in line with actions by previous administrations, including those of George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Separately, Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte told Mr Comer and Mr Jordan that the GOP plan to hold Mr Garland in contempt of Congress would not have any legal validity.

He cited “the longstanding position of the executive branch held by administrations of both parties that an official who asserts the President’s claim of executive privilege cannot be prosecuted for criminal contempt of Congress”.

Still, it is expected that Republicans will nonetheless claim that the decision

Read more on independent.co.uk