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More on Biden's executive privilege over Robert Hur audio

You may recall that President Joe Biden previously sat down for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur regarding the investigation into the many classified documents that Biden improperly removed from the White House over the years. A transcript of that interview was grudgingly produced later, informing the public that charges would not be filed against Biden because he was supposedly unlikely to be convicted, being an “elderly man with a poor memory.” Something didn't seem right and the House sought the original audio recording of the interview, but the White House refused to allow it to be made public, with Biden making the stunning assertion of executive privilege based on "privacy" concerns to keep it hidden. Now, thanks to some digging by Judicial Watch, we may (possibly) know why that was done. According to a release from the Justice Department on Friday night, the transcript was altered with various words removed and significant "clean-up" work having been done to it.

Judicial Watch announced that the White House admitted in a federal court that the transcript of President Joe Biden’s testimony to Special Counsel Robert Hur is not accurate and is missing “filler words (such as ‘um’ or ‘uh’)” and words that “may have been repeated when spoken (such as ‘I, I’ or ‘and, and’)” which were sometimes “only listed a single time in the transcripts.” In its new filing the Biden Justice Department makes the extraordinary assertions of executive privilege and privacy to hide the Biden audio. The agency makes the unprecedented assertion that because “AI” could be used to alter Biden’s words the material should be kept secret.

 The Justice Department filing, filed around 11:00 p.m. last night (Friday), reads in part:

 13. After the interview, SCO [Special Counsel Office] created written transcripts of the audio recording with the assistance of a trained professional court reporter - one transcript for each day of the interview. I have read the entirety of the written transcripts of the interview. As I listened to the audio recording, I compared it to the transcripts of the audio recording and specifically listened for differences between the transcripts and audio recording. In a few instances, the transcripts indicate that some words from the audio recording are indiscernible. In listening to the audio recording and reviewing the transcripts, I agree that in those instances the words are indiscernible.

Transcripts of presidential records are not supposed to be altered. That is made clear in the Presidential Records Act. Of course, this is far from the first time we've seen the Biden administration playing fast and loose with those rules. We have regularly seen this White House "cleaning up" the transcripts of various speeches and press interviews that Joe Biden has done. Sometimes they simply change the words to reflect what Biden had "intended" to say. In other cases, his meandering utterances are simply recorded as "inaudible." Shockingly, Biden's team went even further, claiming that an audio recording could be "altered" using Artificial Intelligence. That's one of the dumbest claims we've heard coming out of this White House since virtually every appearance that he or any other official makes is potentially subject to the same type of hoax. 

But this situation is far more serious than any campaign speech or press conference. That interview was part of an official record related to an ongoing criminal investigation. It should have been transcribed verbatim and transmitted to the National Archive. This interview is of particular interest since it wound up being the basis for the DoJ failing to pursue charges against Biden while they chose to bring charges against former President Donald Trump for precisely the same alleged misdeeds. (Just as they said "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring charges against Hillary Clinton.)

So why would this transcript be altered in that fashion? That much should be obvious. It's the same reason that Biden is refusing to allow the recording to be made public. The removal of awkward pauses ("uh... um") and repeated words ("and... and") makes Biden sound less like a cognitive mess. If he started rambling and losing the thread in the middle of the unscripted interview, that would look even worse as he pursues his reelection bid. Having an audio tape floating around in the media could be politically toxic.

The reason I suggested that we "may (possibly) know" why this was done is that there could still be more to this story that's being concealed. If they were willing to alter the transcript in this fashion, why would they hesitate to delete other parts of the interview? Might Biden have said something truly self-incriminating? Could he have invented things out of whole cloth to avoid prosecution? Perhaps more likely, he might have simply lost the thread entirely at some point deep into the interview and begun rambling on about one of his relatives being eaten by cannibals. They couldn't have that sort of audio making the rounds ahead of his first debate with Donald Trump. But we may never know, because the Biden administration ignores the rules and laws and does as they please. The public will probably never have an accurate record of everything that was said and done during Joe Biden's presidency. 

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