Updated Feb 27, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House Republicans subpoena DOJ for Biden special counsel records

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan wearing a white shirt and gold tie and House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer wearing a blue jacket, white shirt and red and blue striped tie, surrounded by reporters and colleagues in a House office building hallway.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan and House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

A pair of Republican-led House committees issued a subpoena to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday for records from special counsel Robert Hur's investigation of President Biden.

Why it matters: Republicans are eager to build on details from Hur's report about Biden's alleged memory lapses during his interview with the special counsel.

  • "The American people deserve access to the recordings of the Special Counsel's interview that led him to conclude that a jury would find Joe Biden 'sympathetic' given his age and 'poor memory,'" Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) said in a statement on Tuesday.

Driving the news: Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sent Garland a letter accusing the DOJ of responding too slowly to their Feb. 12 request for documents.

  • "The Department ... offered no timeframe by which it expected to make any productions or, indeed, any commitment that it would produce all of the material requested," the two committee chairs wrote.
  • Among the records Comer and Jordan want are any transcripts, video or audio from Hur's interview with Biden.

The backdrop: In a response to Comer and Jordan's Feb. 12 request, Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte wrote that "several of the materials ... require review for classification and protection of national defense information."

  • "The Department is committed to responding to the Committees' requests expeditiously," Uriarte added.

What's next: Hur is scheduled to testify to the Judiciary Committee on March 12.

  • Hur has reached out to former Justice Department colleagues to help him prepare for the testimony, Axios' Alex Thompson reported.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional background.

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