DOJ says it can’t release Biden’s special counsel interview for fear of ‘deepfakes,’ legal scholar slams filing as ‘legally absurd’

The Department of Justice declared that it cannot release the audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur for fear of artificial intelligence and “deepfake” manipulations. However, a legal scholar blasted the DOJ filing as “legally absurd” and “dangerous.”

The Justice Department defended not releasing the special counsel interview with Biden in a 49-page filing that was released on Friday, according to Politico.

“The passage of time and advancements in audio, artificial intelligence, and ‘deepfake’ technologies only amplify concerns about malicious manipulation of audio files,” the filing read.

The Justice Department stated, “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.”

Politico noted that the administration was utilizing different methods to try to “squash multiple legal battles brought under the Freedom of Information Act that seek the recordings.”

Bradley Weinsheimer, an associate deputy attorney general at the DOJ, proclaimed in an affidavit disclosed on Friday night that releasing the audio would be a “substantial risk” and “result in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

“If the audio recording is released, the public would know that the audio recording of the interview is available and malicious actors could create an audio deepfake in which a fake voice of President Biden can be programmed to say anything that the creator of the deepfake wishes,” Weinsheimer argued. “That deepfake could be passed off as an authentic copy of the recording and widely disseminated.”

Weinsheimer said releasing the interview through a FOIA request “would be unprecedented and exceedingly harmful” because Biden is an “uncharged individual.”

Regarding the thousands of hours of Biden audio widely and easily available, Weinsheimer contended that the release of the special counsel interview “would make it far more likely that malicious actors could pass off a deepfake as the authentic recording.”

He also claimed that releasing the interview audio “would do very little to advance the public’s understanding of Special Counsel Hur’s activities given the substantial amount of information already in the public record.”

‘The filing is logically and legally absurd. It is also dangerous.’

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley slammed the filing as “logically and legally absurd. It is also dangerous.”

“The argument ignores that, if an audiotape is released, it is harder to pass off a fake as genuine,” Turley rebutted. “As it stands, actors can claim tapes as leaked or derived from other sources. In the absence of an official tape, such arguments can be difficult to refute.”

The legal expert continued, “The fact that this spurious argument is being made by Merrick Garland’s Justice Department is another disappointing sign that he has abandoned his pledge to remain apolitical in office. This litigation is clearly designed for one overriding purpose: to delay any release until after the election when it cannot harm the president.”

Hur’s 388-page report found that Biden willfully retained classified documents obtained when he was vice president. However, the special counsel did not bring charges against President Biden because of diminished cognitive abilities and he was described as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

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