Protecting His Mental Decline: Experts Say Biden’s ‘Executive Privilege Claim’ To Keep Audio Of Special Counsel Interview Hidden Is ‘Crude Politics’ Move

‘They are trying to manufacture a legal cover for something that’s strictly a political decision,’ said one expert

Fox News

(Fox News) President Biden’s assertion of executive privilege to avoid releasing audio recordings of his interviews with Special Counsel Robert Hur is raising eyebrows among some legal experts.

The White House on Thursday revealed that Biden asserted executive privilege over the audio recordings at the request of Attorney General Merrick Garland. During a media briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it was Garland’s suggestion that “law enforcement files like these need to be protected.”

“And so the president made his determination at the request of the attorney general,” Jean-Pierre told reporters. She referred further questions to the White House counsel’s office.

But some experts say that the use of executive privilege to protect the recordings is “extremely problematic” and “strictly a political decision.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland
House Republicans have pushed Attorney General Merrick Garland to release the tapes of the interviews and threatened to hold him in contempt of Congress if he didn’t. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Executive privilege is designed to respect constitutional separation of powers and to enable a president to engage in candid conversations with his top advisers in order to form judgments and reach decisions,” John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation and a former federal prosecutor told Fox News Digital.

“[It] is not designed to hide information that may prove to be embarrassing to a president or some other government official or operation,” Malcolm said. He noted that the transcript of the entire interview has already been released.

“Hence, there is no national security or deliberative process reason for not disclosing the recordings of the interview. The only conceivable reason why President Biden would want to prevent the recordings from being disclosed is because he is worried about the public will react to his demeanor and recall when answering Special Counsel Hur’s questions, especially since serious questions have already been raised about his mental acuity and his ability to serve effectively as our president,” he said.

“If he has some other, legitimate reason for withholding that information — and it is hard to fathom what that might be — he needs to say what it is,” Malcolm added.

Hur led the investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents following his departure as vice president under the Obama administration. Hur announced in February that he would not recommend criminal charges against Biden for possessing classified materials after his vice presidency, saying Biden is “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

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