DOJ claims it can't release Biden-Hur interview due to threat of AI deepfakes


The Justice Department cannot release audio from President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur due to the threat of potential deepfakes, the DOJ argued in a Friday court filing.

The filing came as part of a legal challenge against Biden’s efforts to exercise executive privilege over the recording to keep it from the public. The DOJ acknowledged in its Friday filing that there is already enough public audio available to create AI deepfakes of both Biden and Hur, but it said releasing the true recording would make it more difficult to disprove any false versions.

“The passage of time and advancements in audio, artificial intelligence, and ‘deep fake’ technologies only amplify concerns about malicious manipulation of audio files. If the audio recording is released here, it is easy to foresee that it could be improperly altered, and that the altered file could be passed off as an authentic recording and widely distributed,” the department wrote.

Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer wrote in the filing that releasing the tape would “make it far more likely that malicious actors could pass off a deepfake as the authentic recording.”

BIDEN ASSERTS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OVER RECORDINGS FROM CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS PROBE

The Justice Department cannot release audio from President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur due to the threat of potential deepfakes, the DOJ says. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden’s administration is facing a myriad of efforts from conservative legal groups and House Republicans to force the release of the audio. The DOJ has already released a transcript of the interview, which revealed multiple embarrassing moments for the president.

BIDEN, NOT SPECIAL COUNSEL HUR, BROUGHT UP SON’S DEATH IN QUESTIONING

Biden met with Hur for about five hours last year, when he was grilled about his handling of the classified documents.

Hur’s report, released earlier this year, declared Biden to be a forgetful, but well-meaning elderly man. The report highlighted several instances where Biden could not recall key details about his life, including when he served as vice president and the year of his son Beau Biden’s death.

Robert Hur and Joe Biden

The DNC paid lawyers representing President Biden as he was under investigation over his possession of classified documents by Special Counsel Robert Hur.  (Getty Images)

Biden was outraged at the report and subsequently got caught in a number of false statements regarding his interview. For instance, he claimed that Hur brought up the topic of Beau’s death, despite the transcript showing that Biden had broached the topic.

HUNTER BIDEN IS IN COURT IN DELAWARE. HERE’S WHAT HE DOESN’T WANT THE JURY TO HEAR

“President Biden is apparently afraid for the citizens of this country and everyone to hear those tapes,” House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said after Biden exerted privilege over the recording. “They obviously confirm what the special counsel has found, and would likely cause, I suppose, in his estimation, such alarm with the American people that the president is using all of his power to suppress their release.”

President Biden

Biden was outraged that Hur’s report depicted him as mentally incompetent and elderly. (Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Some Republicans have speculated that the transcript of the interview may not line up with the audio, saying it may have been edited to prevent embarrassing Biden. Weinsheimer rejected those claims in Friday’s filing, saying only minor adjustments were made to the transcript, such as removing repeated words and filler words.



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