DOJ Provides Republicans with Portions of Special Counsel Hur Report, Excluding Transcript

Credits: Reuters

The Department of Justice informed Republicans on Friday that it would provide documents from special counsel Robert Hur’s report on President Joe Biden’s handling of classified material.

However, the DOJ declined to release the transcript or audio of Hur’s interview with Biden, which Republicans had requested most urgently, especially after Hur described Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory” in his report.

Biden’s age has been a concern for voters, and Hur’s characterization was seen as damaging for the 81-year-old president and advantageous for Republicans and former President Donald Trump in their efforts to regain the White House.

House Republican (Credits: Bloomberg)

In letters to House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), the DOJ explained that it was withholding certain documents due to their need for review regarding the classification and protection of national defense information.

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte highlighted the department’s confidentiality interests in sensitive law enforcement and intelligence information.

Jordan’s spokesperson, Russell Dye, argued that there was no national security reason to withhold the documents, stating that their staff had the necessary clearances to review the contents of Biden’s interview.

Next steps for Republicans may include seeking court enforcement of the subpoena used to request the material. However, the Justice Department’s partial cooperation could weaken their case. Uriarte urged the House committees to seek to avoid conflict when cooperation exists.

Robert Hur and Biden (Credits: New York Post)

Hur’s report indicated that the DOJ would not charge Biden for breaking the law regarding the handling of classified material from his time as vice president. The report cited mitigating factors, including Biden’s portrayal as a sympathetic, forgetful individual to a jury.

Republicans had requested the transcript and other documents from Hur as part of their impeachment inquiry into Biden. They expressed concerns that Biden may have retained sensitive documents related to specific countries involving his family’s foreign business dealings.

Uriarte stated that the DOJ would allow lawmakers to examine the documents in a secure room. Despite various testimonies from State Department employees involved in Ukraine policy, Republicans have claimed that Biden urged Ukraine to fire a prosecutor because his son, Hunter Biden, was making millions from a Ukrainian gas company.

However, their best corroborating evidence, an FBI informant’s claim of bribery, was debunked when the Justice Department revealed the informant had lied.

The impeachment inquiry may continue its pursuit of the Hur transcript, even if Republicans ultimately settle for criminal referrals or legislation instead of articles of impeachment.