“Reading things on paper and hearing things are two very different things,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), a House Judiciary Committee member who is running for governor, said during an appearance on Breitbart News Saturday, discussing President Biden’s use of executive privilege to block the release of the audio of his interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

Special counsel Robert K. Hur watches a video of President Joe Biden during the House Judiciary Committee hearing about his report on Biden’s retention of classified materials as a private citizen on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images).

“The DOJ [Department of Justice] gave us the transcripts … but they also leaked it to the press. And that’s going to be important later; it shows a pattern at DOJ. Then we asked for the tapes. We subpoenaed the tapes because it’s just like anything else: whatever the best evidence available is what we’re entitled to,” he said, explaining that “audio is better evidence than a transcript.”

“That’s just, I mean, if you, if you have the choice between hearing something in somebody’s own words or you see it written on paper, you want to hear it in their own words,” he explained, noting that “right before the content markup and at the very last minute, the White House exerted executive privilege on the tape.”

“Now, they have waived executive privilege on this information when they leaked it to the press. The DOJ’s answer is it will be a chilling effect for investigations. … I always view contempt as a way to get the information you’re trying to get. And I believe that Merrick Garland probably doesn’t want to be held in contempt of Congress. So after you hold him in contempt of committee, I think there would have been a real chance to get the audio. I think the White House knew that as well. And that’s why they invoked executive privilege at the last minute. I think we win this case. I think there’s case law on point that says they don’t have a valid claim. The question is, is how long does it take?” he asked.

Attorney General Merrick Garland (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP, File)

Armstrong explained that it would be one thing if a prosecutor said it is department policy to not prosecute a sitting president, “but that’s not what he said.”

“He said he didn’t think he could get a conviction because Joe Biden’s mental state would be very sympathetic to a jury,” he stated, emphasizing that “reading things on paper and hearing things are two very different things.”

“And I think they know that, and I mean, their argument…I mean, this is just oversight that we’re entitled to, and they keep saying … that we’re not and there’s no legal or factual basis, although they apparently have a real political reason that they are terrified of releasing it,” he warned, adding that the report “probably speaks for itself.”


Breitbart · Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) – May 18, 2024

Armstrong said he hopes that the entire House holds Merrick Garland in contempt as well.

“We are the only person that holds — or the group — that holds the executive branch accountable. That is what oversight of Congress is designed for. And if we go down the road where we just say the Justice Department determines what evidence we get to hold them accountable outside of just this case — which is so, I mean, bad for the American people to begin with — just how that would work in the separation of powers long term is a terrible idea,” he said, adding that the White House has really put Merrick Garland in a box.”

RELATED — AG Garland Claims Subpoena Was Not a “Legitimate Request” for Recordings Biden Blocked from Release

Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.