GOP sues Garland to attain audio from Biden

By LUKE BROADWATER | THE NEW YORK TIMES

WASHINGTON >> House Republicans on Monday filed a federal lawsuit against Attorney General Merrick Garland, asking a judge to force him to hand over audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with the special counsel who raised questions about his age and memory.

The suit, filed on behalf of the House Judiciary Committee in the U.S. District Court in Washington, seeks recordings of interviews that the special counsel, Robert Hur, conducted with Biden and Mark Zwonitzer, a ghostwriter, while investigating the president’s handling of classified materials.

In a report in February, Hur recommended no criminal charges, but his description of Biden as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” and one who had “diminished faculties in advancing age” supercharged concerns about how fit Biden, now 81, is for his job.

The House Republicans’ lawsuit came just days after Biden’s halting performance in a televised presidential debate against former President Donald Trump — in which he gave unclear answers, repeatedly appeared to lose his train of thought and struggled to deliver his campaign message — prompted fresh questions about whether he should continue his run.

The Justice Department has provided the Judiciary Committee with transcripts of the interviews, but not the audio. Garland has resisted turning over the recordings, contending that releasing the audio could set a precedent that endangers the confidentiality of other law enforcement investigations.

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