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DOJ won’t hand over Biden’s audio interview with special counsel Hur

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The Justice Department is refusing to provide House Republicans the audio recording of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur. House Republicans subpoenaed the Justice Department for the audio recording and threatened Attorney General Merrick Garland with contempt of congress proceedings if the DOJ decided not to hand over the audio of the Biden interview.

In a statement posted late Monday afternoon to X, Representative Comer called for the Biden administration to release the audio of the Hur conversation, saying, “It’s curious the Biden Administration is refusing to release the audio of President Biden’s interview with the Special Counsel after releasing the transcript. Why shouldn’t the American people be able to hear the actual audio of his answers.”

National Review reports The DOJ wrote a letter Monday to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio.) and Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R., Ky.) explaining its decision not to turn over the audio recordings.

“Indeed, by the Committees’ own measure, the Department has met your stated informational needs. The Department has produced the two classified documents you requested, the transcripts of the Special Counsel Office interviews of the President and of Mark Zwonitzer that you requested, and the correspondence regarding the Special Counsel’s report that you requested,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte, according to a copy of the letter obtained by National Review.

“The Department is concerned that the Committees’ particular focus on continuing to demand information that is cumulative of information we already gave you—what the President and Mr. Hur’s team said in the interview—indicates that the Committees’ interests may not be in receiving information in service of legitimate oversight or investigatory functions, but to serve political purposes that should have no role in the treatment of law enforcement files,” the letter adds.

Uriarte demands the committees do not actually need the audio recording and expressed concerns that turning over the audio could dissuade future witnesses from cooperating in similar investigations moving forward.

The DOJ is giving Republican lawmakers the transcript of Hur’s interview with ghostwriter Mark Zwonitzer, an individual mentioned throughout Hur’s final report on Biden’s handling of classified information. Jordan subpoenaed Zwonitzer in March for the ghostwriter’s interviews with Joe Biden for his book Promise Me, Dad published after his vice presidency, according to National Review.

Zwonitzer eventually cooperated with Hur’s investigation and turned over the relevant files in his possession after he allegedly deleted audio files following Hur’s appointment as special counsel.

Hur’s investigation found evidence Biden “willfully” retained classified information, but the special counsel did not recommend criminal charges against the sitting president. The observations Hur made about Biden’s advanced age brought fresh scrutiny to Biden, 82, and his mental acuities.

Additionally, Hur testified last month before the Judiciary Committee and defended his remarks on Biden’s advanced age as being necessary to determine whether Biden should face criminal charges. The White House requested Hur soften the report’s language on Biden’s age before it was published, Hur confirmed. The Biden administration also sought to influence media coverage of Hur’s report and its findings on how Biden handled classified information.

 

 

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Elections

GOP bill proposes extra measures to ensure noncitizens are unable to vote in federal elections

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GOP members of both the U.S. House and Senate introduced a bill to add safeguards to ensure that non U.S. citizens who are already prohibited from voting in federal elections, do not do so. The bill seeks to amend the National Voter Registration Act to require documentary proof of United States citizenship to register to vote.

The Center Square reports that It would require states to obtain proof of citizenship – in person – when registering an individual to vote. Applicants would have to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote in person, when applying for a motor vehicle license, and when applying to vote by mail. The bill lists accepted citizenship documentation and requirements for voter registration agencies.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, led a coalition of 49 Republicans to introduce the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act in the U.S. House. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, with several cosponsors, introduced the same bill in the Senate.

Citing the border crisis and the greatest number of foreign nationals illegally entering the country in U.S. history, the measure’s supporters expressed alarm that instead of being deported, many are being registered to vote.

“There is currently an unprecedented and a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said. “And that is the threat of non-citizens and illegal aliens voting in our elections. In the last five and a half months or so, I’ve been to over 101 cities doing events all around the country in more than half the states. The first or second question that I’m asked in every public forum is about election security. Americans are deeply concerned about this. And it doesn’t matter where you live or whether you’re in a blue state or a red state, everyone’s concerned.”

Johnson blamed President Joe Biden and his administration’s policies for for what he described as widespread concern about election integrity.

“… we now have so many non-citizens in the country that if only one out of 100 of those voted, they would cast hundreds of thousands of votes,” the speaker added. “And since our elections are so razor thin in these days that we’re in, just a few precincts in a few states decide the makeup of Congress and who is elected to the White House. This is a dangerously high number, and it’s a great concern to millions and millions of Americans. It could obviously change the outcome of our elections, and this is not an empty threat or concern.”

It is already a federal crime for non-citizens to vote in a federal election. Despite this, Johnson said, “no current mechanism to ensure only those registering or voting are actually citizens. … If a nefarious actor wants to intervene in our elections, all they have to do is check a box on a form and sign their name. That’s it. That’s all that’s required. And there’s a very small chance that illegal would get caught [because] states do not have the election infrastructure in place to confirm what they’ve said.”

Johnson said noncitizens “can simply go to their local welfare office or the DMV and register to vote there,” adding that “states are currently prohibited from asking someone to prove that they’re a citizen when they use the federal voter registration form.”

He also gave examples of “a growing number of localities” that are “blurring the lines for non-citizens by allowing them to vote in municipal local elections.

“You might not know this, but non-citizens are voting,” he warned Americans. “Democrats have expressed a desire to turn on citizens and voters. That’s what this open border has been all about.”

Roy said the proposed SAVE Act “would thwart Democrat efforts to cement one-party rule by upholding and strengthening current law that permits only U.S. citizens to vote in Federal elections.”

Lee said the bill should “pass right away” and unanimously in both houses of Congress. “The only reason to oppose this … would be if you want noncitizens to vote.”

It also would create a new program requiring the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to share information with state registration systems. States would be required to identify noncitizens attempting to register to vote by accessing data in DHS’ Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program and the SSA’s Social Security Number Verification Service. The information would be compared with data from state agencies that supply state identification cards or driver’s licenses.

The bill also would require states to remove non-citizens from existing voter rolls and increases federal penalties for those who register non-citizens to vote in federal elections.

 

 

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