Headline RoundupMay 16th, 2024

Biden Utilizes Executive Power Blocking Release of Interview Recordings

Summary from the AllSides News Team

President Joe Biden exercised executive privilege to block the release of video and audio recordings from his discussions with special counsel Robert K. Hur, following a request from Attorney General Merrick Garland.

For Context: The House Oversight and Accountability Committee was denied access to interview recordings from the special counsel investigation into Biden’s handling of classified materials. Garland could've been held in contempt of Congress for not releasing the recordings but was protected by Biden’s executive privilege. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has maintained since April that it would not honor House Republican subpoenas for the footage, saying the transcripts had already been released and honoring the subpoenas could open the door for political manipulation.

Key Quotes: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D. MD.) said “It’s delightfully absurd” to think that the recordings will differ from the transcripts. Mike Johnson (R-LA) said Biden “is apparently afraid for the citizens of this country and everyone to hear those tapes.”

How the Media Covered It: Outlets on the left were more likely to focus on the previously released transcripts. They also tended to highlight commentary from the DOJ that justifies and defends the decision to withhold the recordings. Outlets on the right, like Fox News (Right bias), were more likely to focus on Hur’s reasoning behind not recommending criminal charges and infer that Biden was “too cognitively impaired to be charged with a crime but could serve as president.”

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