House GOP seeks special counsel’s Biden interviews

Washington — House Republicans are requesting recordings and transcripts of special counsel Robert Hur’s interviews with President Biden after a lengthy report criticized his handling of classified documents. 

Hur’s report, released last week, did not charge Mr. Biden with a crime, but said he “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.” 

In a letter to the Justice Department on Monday, the Republican chairmen of the House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means Committees requested transcripts, audio and video recordings and any other records related to Hur’s Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 interviews with Mr. Biden. 

They also asked for all materials related to the interview with the ghostwriter of Mr. Biden’s memoir, Mark Zwonitzer, with whom the special counsel accused the president of sharing government secrets and documents related to a 2015 call with Ukraine’s prime minister. 

The committees’ chairmen — Kentucky Rep. James Comer, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Missouri Rep. Jason Smith — said the materials are relevant to the impeachment investigation into Mr. Biden. The committees have been trying to show for months that Mr. Biden was enriched by his family’s foreign business dealings in China and Ukraine and accepted bribes, but they have so far uncovered no wrongdoing by the president. 

The lawmakers said Mr. Biden’s handling of classified documents is part of their investigation and Hur’s report would help in determining “whether sufficient grounds exist to draft articles of impeachment.” 

“Given the seriousness of these matters, the committees are prepared to compel the production of this material if necessary,” the letter said, requesting the materials be proved to them by Feb. 19. 

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The president’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer, in an interview with “Face the Nation” also acknowledged — and pointed out the White House had also said — that there are transcripts of the interview with the special counsel and said that “there are discussions underway — because it’s a classified document — about what could or whether will be or when released.” 

Catherine Herridge, Robert Legare and Richard Escobedo contributed reporting. 

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