Skip to Content

Jim Jordan requests materials and interview from Biden’s ghostwriter

By Annie Grayer, CNN

(CNN) — House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan sent a letter to President Joe Biden’s ghostwriter asking for information and an interview after special counsel Robert Hur reported that Biden shared some classified information with him in 2017, according to a letter first obtained by CNN.

Jordan asked Mark Zwonitzer to turn over his audio recording of any interviews or conversations with Biden for his memoirs “Promise Me, Dad” and “Promises to Keep,” as well as all documents, communications and contracts related to his ghostwriting work that he shared with the special counsel.

Jordan said he wants the materials by February 23. He also requested that Zwonitzer appear for a transcribed interview.

“In light of Special Counsel Hur’s investigation and report, the Committee requires materials and information currently in your possession,” Jordan wrote.

According to Hur’s report, in 2017 – after leaving the vice president’s office – Biden worked with a ghostwriter for his memoir and told the writer in a recorded conversation that he had “just found all the classified stuff downstairs,” which investigators believed referred to the home he was renting in Virginia.

Investigators believed the evidence suggested Biden was referring to classified documents about the Afghanistan troop surge in 2009 – which FBI agents later found in his garage in Delaware.

Hur’s report said the “best case for charges” would rely on Biden possessing classified documents in 2017, since it was after he had left the vice presidency and before he became president in 2021. But, Hur ultimately did not present any charges.

In a news conference following the release of the report, the president said of the allegations of sharing classified information with his ghostwriter, “I did not share classified information, I did not share it.”

The report said, “several defenses are likely to create reasonable doubt as to such charges.”

“For example, Mr. Biden could have found the classified Afghanistan documents at his Virginia home in 2017 and then forgotten about them soon after. This could convince some reasonable jurors that he did not retain them willfully,” the report said.

The report also said that the fact that Biden never talked about the documents again in the “dozens of hours” of recorded conversations with his ghostwriter, paired with how the documents were found in Biden’s garage – in a damaged box surrounded by “household detritus” – could suggest Biden had forgotten about them.

“In addition, Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017, and in his interview with our office in 2023,” the report said. “And his cooperation with our investigation, including by reporting to the government that the Afghanistan documents were in his Delaware garage, will likely convince some jurors that he made an innocent mistake, rather than acting willfully – that is, with intent to break the law – as the statute requires.”

Hur also said Biden’s conversations with his ghostwriter “from 2017 are often painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.”

Prosecutors ultimately did not charge Zwonitzer with obstruction of justice after learning the ghostwriter deleted audio recordings he had that were of “significant evidentiary value.” The FBI was able to mostly recover the deleted files after Zwonitzer turned over his computer and external hard drive, according to the report.

CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content