DOJ admits to altering Biden interview transcript

 June 4, 2024

The Justice Department has admitted to altering the transcript of Joe Biden's interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur, even as the DOJ fights against the release of the audio recording of their conversation. 

In a court filing submitted late at night on Friday, the DOJ described the changes as "minor," but without the audio recording, it is impossible to judge how significant the changes were.

Biden transcript altered

A coalition of conservative organizations and media outlets, including Judicial Watch, the Heritage Foundation, and CNN, have fought to release the audio recording.

The DOJ has resisted, citing vague concerns with artificial intelligence "deepfakes," among other pretexts.

“They don’t want to release this audio at all,” said Mike Howell, executive director of Heritage Foundation's oversight project. “They are doing the kitchen sink approach and they are absolutely freaked out they don’t have any good legal argument to stand on.”

The DOJ has argued the already public transcript is sufficient. But in a new court filing, the DOJ said the transcript is "accurate" except for "exceedingly minor" changes.

These "minor" omissions include "the use of filler words (such as 'um' or 'uh') when speaking that are not always reflected on the transcripts, or when words may have been repeated when spoken (such as 'I, I' or 'and, and') but sometimes was only listed a single time in the transcripts."

Against transparency

While the DOJ describes these changes as "minor," the deleted words may, of course, convey important information about Biden's mental state during the interview.

“Wow. Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit forced the Biden team to admit what everyone suspected – that the transcript is not accurate and was changed in a way to help Biden,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

The public transcript shows that Biden was confused about intimate details of his own life, including when his son Beau died from cancer.

Biden later accused Hur of dredging up the tragedy when, in fact, it was Biden who did so.

In his February report, Special Counsel Hur found that Biden "willfully retained" top secret information, but Hur declined to charge Biden in part by citing his age and "poor memory."

Hur confirmed that the White House demanded that he change his unflattering description of Biden's memory in the report, which he refused to do.

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