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House GOP Sues Garland For Audio Of Biden’s Special Counsel Interview

House Republicans have filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Merrick Garland, seeking access to the audio recording of President Joe Biden‘s interview with a special counsel. The lawsuit, filed by the House Judiciary Committee, is the latest move in an ongoing conflict between Republicans and the Justice Department.

The audio in question is from an interview conducted during a special counsel investigation into whether Biden, as a private citizen, willfully retained and shared highly classified information. The special counsel, Robert Hur, concluded in his February report that while there was evidence of such actions, criminal charges were not warranted.

The White House has blocked the release of the audio recording to Congress, citing executive privilege. In response, House Republicans voted to hold Garland in contempt of Congress, making him the third attorney general in U.S. history to receive such a designation. However, the Justice Department declined to prosecute the contempt referral, maintaining its longstanding position not to prosecute officials who assert a president’s claim of executive privilege.

The outcome of the lawsuit remains uncertain, as courts have not frequently ruled on matters of executive privilege. However, in a 1974 case involving President Richard Nixon‘s refusal to release Oval Office recordings, the Supreme Court ruled that executive privilege is not absolute and that the need for transparency can outweigh the need for confidentiality in decision-making.

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