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Deleted Biden Interview Recordings Raise Concerns Amid Investigation

 June 15, 2024

Mark Zwonitzer, the ghostwriter for President Joe Biden's memoir, raised eyebrows after admitting to federal investigators that he deleted audio recordings of his interviews with Biden.

The ghostwriter's confession came after he learned of a special counsel's criminal investigation into Biden's handling of classified information, as the Daily Wire reports.

Details of Special Counsel Investigation

Former special counsel Robert Hur ultimately decided not to recommend prosecution of Zwonitzer or Biden, citing various reasons including Biden's mental fitness and lack of malicious intent.

The investigation began when Zwonitzer deleted the recordings of his conversations with Biden.

Zwonitzer's concerns primarily centered around potential leaks or hacks that could expose these recordings. However, Zwonitzer did preserve transcripts of Biden's statements, ensuring that the content was not entirely lost.

Fears of Leaks and Hacks

The writer expressed deep concern about the possibility of the recordings being compromised. "I was very concerned about the possibility of being hacked," he claimed. He reiterated, "I was very concerned about the possibility of this audio spread all over the place."

Despite his fears, Zwonitzer acknowledged that he was aware of the investigation but did not explicitly confirm that his actions were intended to protect Biden. Federal investigators questioned him about his motivations, to which he responded, "I’m not going to say how much of the percentage it was of my motivation. I was aware that there was an investigation."

Responses to Deletion and Investigation

Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed shock when Biden admitted to having classified material in his house. Despite Zwonitzer's actions, no one connected to Biden had contacted him regarding the investigation.

Hur decided against recommending prosecution of Zwonitzer due to several factors, including his cooperation and plausible reasons for deleting the recordings.

Hur noted, “Zwonitzer willingly provided significant cooperation to the investigation without seeking or receiving any protections or assurances.”

Adding to this, Hur stated, “He was forthright in describing his conduct and working with investigators to obtain all relevant evidence in his possession.”

Biden’s Mental Fitness Considered

The investigation report highlighted Biden's cognitive limitations as a significant reason for not pursuing charges against him. "Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017 [with whom he shared classified materials], and in his interview with our office in 2023," the report stated.

Prosecutors emphasized the difficulty of securing a conviction for a felony that required proof of willfulness, especially given Biden's condition. They noted, "We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."

Decision Against Prosecution

Considering all aspects, Hur decided it would be challenging to convince a jury to convict Biden of a serious felony, given his age and mental state.

The report concluded, "Jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt" and it would be "difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness."

Conclusion

Mark Zwonitzer’s decision to delete audio recordings of his interviews with President Joe Biden has sparked significant controversy, especially in light of the ongoing criminal investigation into Biden’s handling of classified information.

The special counsel's decision not to prosecute either Zwonitzer or Biden was influenced by multiple factors, including Biden’s mental fitness and the non-malicious nature of both parties' actions.

Despite the lack of prosecution, the scenario has raised concerns about the security and integrity of presidential records.