Jake Tapper Tells Dan Goldman There’s ‘No Basis’ For Biden DOJ To Withhold Hur Tapes

CNN’s Jake Tapper told Democratic Rep. Dan Goldman of New York on Wednesday that there is no legitimate reason for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withhold the audio of President Joe Biden’s interviews with special counsel Robert Hur.

Republican lawmakers have demanded the audio recordings of the interviews, but the DOJ has only turned over the transcript, with the House on Wednesday voting to hold Merrick Garland in contempt as a result of the refusal. Tapper on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” asserted there’s “really no basis” for the DOJ not to turn them over to Congress, but Goldman said it would have a “very chilling impact” to do so.

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“Three of the last five attorneys general have been found in contempt of Congress,” Tapper said. “Eric Holder didn’t turn over information relating to the ‘Fast and Furious’ mishap, that sting operation. Attorney General Bill Barr was held in contempt of Congress by a Democratic Congress for not turning over information, the unredacted Mueller report and now Attorney General Merrick Garland for not turning over the audio.”

“A citizen who doesn’t have a dog in the fight might say, ‘it seems to me as though the legislative branch is trying to do oversight of the executive branch and the executive branch keeps giving … whoever’s in charge of Congress, the executive branch consistently gives the finger to the House. I assume you don‘t see it that way, but there is a consistency in these three contempt of Congress votes,” Tapper added.

 

Goldman said the only consistency is holding attorney generals in contempt of Congress, but that the “circumstances are very different.”

“There was no basis for Bill Barr to withhold the unredacted report from Congress. He could identify none if it were an issue of classified or secret information,” Goldman added before Tapper cut him off, saying, “But there’s really no basis for the Justice Department to not give the audio recordings to Congress either.”

Hur’s report published in February outlined Biden’s handling of classified documents, with the special counsel choosing not to pursue charges against the president. However, Hur noted that Biden appeared to forget when his vice presidency term began and ended as well as when his son, Beau Biden, passed away.

“The basis is that it would have a very chilling impact on any future cooperation of witnesses who would know they would be recorded and would know that it potentially could be disclosed,” Goldman said. “And who knows what’s in a specific recording? We know what the substance is because we have the transcript and so there are legitimate investigative reasons why the Department of Justice would not want to turn over and the Congress has to have a legitimate reason to request this material. There is no legitimate reason that anyone has identified on the Republican side why they need the audio recording in addition to the transcript.”

If Biden were to appear in front of a jury, he would present himself as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Hur’s report suggested.

Democratic Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett on Wednesday suggested the Republican Party’s sole goal with pushing for the public release of the tapes is to mislead Americans about Biden.

“The only thing that they would want to do with this audio is to basically misconstrue and pretend as if what people are reading is actually not what happened,” she said. “And that is a real concern. If we had a party that lived up to being the ethical people that we were elected to be, then I don‘t think that there would be a big concern, but we know that they cannot be trusted with anything that can be manipulated.”


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