Lawmakers Looking To Hold Merrick Garland in Contempt

Lawmakers Looking To Hold Merrick Garland in Contempt

( – House Republicans have been heavily at odds with multiple Biden administration officials. In February, they voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, an effort that failed once it reached the Senate. They’re still actively trying to investigate President Joe Biden and his ties to his son’s business dealings. As part of that probe, they’re looking to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt.

The latest attempt centers on Biden’s interviews with Special Counsel Robert Hur as part of the investigation into his handling of classified business documents. Once Hur revealed that the president had suffered from some mental lapses, GOP members turned their focus that way. They currently have the transcript, which the Department of Justice (DOJ) provided, but have been adamant that they need the audio recording as well.

The Justice Department has, so far, refused to turn over the files. The agency says House Republicans haven’t justified their need for the audio recording and, in turn, accused them of wanting the material to “serve political purposes that should have no role in the treatment of law enforcement files.”

The GOP argues that they need the file because they believe Hur used two factors — Biden’s lack of memory and his age — to decide not to bring charges against the president. The recordings, they say, could provide more detail, such as tone inflection, pauses in speech, and verbal context, something they can’t get from the written transcript.

Since the DOJ has refused to turn over the audio files, the House is looking to hold Garland in contempt. They’re accusing him of “hinder[ing] the House’s ability to adequately conduct oversight” and “imped[ing] the Committees’ impeachment inquiry.” The House Judiciary Committee is reportedly planning to hold a markup meeting next week. If they vote to advance the resolution, it will end up in front of the full House.

Lawmakers have only held two attorneys general in contempt of Congress, Obama’s AG Eric Holder in 2012 and Trump’s DOJ head Bill Barr. In both instances, the Justice Department declined to take further action nor did their respective presidents.

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