Joe Biden has blocked the release of audio recordings of his interviews with the special counsel who investigated his handling of classified documents, Robert Hur. A group of Republicans in the United States House of Representatives had asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to make public these recordings, in which Biden allegedly shows a “significantly limited memory”, falls into a series of lapses and is confused with data relevant to his biography, such as the date his son Beau died.

In a letter sent Thursday to Republican House lawmakers James Comer and Jim Jordan, the White House confirmed that Biden had decided to assert his executive privilege over the recordings. Their argument is that the Republicans wanted to access them “to cut them off” and use them for political purposes.

“The absence of a legitimate need for the audio recordings exposes their likely purpose: to cut, distort, and use them for partisan political purposes,” a White House lawyer, Ed Siskel, wrote in the letter to Republicans. “Demanding such sensitive and constitutionally protected law enforcement materials from the Executive Branch because you want to manipulate them for possible political benefits is inappropriate,” Siskel added.

Biden’s decision affects an explosive report released in February by special counsel Hur, who oversaw the investigation into the president’s handling of classified materials found in his private residences and offices. The dozens of documents, which Biden took from the White House during his years as Barack Obama’s vice president, were found last year within the framework of an operation in which Biden “collaborated at all times” with justice, according to the special prosecutor.

His report did not conclude any responsibility for Biden, in part, because according to Hur it would have been difficult to convince a jury to indict a man “over eighty years old” who allegedly committed a crime that “requires a state of mind of voluntariness.” ”. “At trial, Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview, as a sympathetic, well-intentioned old man with a bad memory,” the prosecutor stated in his brief.

In the conclusions of the devastating report, prosecutor Hur pointed out that, in the two-day statement he made in October, the president demonstrated “serious limitations” of memory, since “he did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when he finished his term, and on the second day forgetting when he began it.” The report added that “his memory of him seemed hazy when describing the debate over Afghanistan, which was once so important to him.”

These statements were a political blow against the president, unpopular due to his advanced age, by portraying him as a worn-out octogenarian. Now the Republicans want to touch the wound and try at all costs to ensure that the recordings reach the American public. However, Biden has been able to avoid this by using executive privilege, which protects confidential communications related to official responsibilities.