Republicans Moving Ahead With Effort To Hold Merrick Garland in Contempt

The United States Department of Justice, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

( – A GOP-led House Judiciary Committee will reportedly vote next week to determine if Attorney General Merrick Garland should face contempt charges because he refused to hand over audio recordings of special counsel Robert Hur’s interview with President Joe Biden. The House panel is set to cast their votes on May 16. If they choose to advance it, the resolution will head to the full House.

The decision to have the vote stems from Garland’s refusal to turn over the tapes twice, most recently on April 25. The Department of Justice explained in a letter that it was concerned about the recordings being misused. The DOJ also expressed its belief that the GOP lacks proper justification for the release of the audio.

The House GOP has argued in its requests for the recordings that they would give valuable nuance and context that isn’t captured in the text transcripts.

Advocating for the recordings to be released, the committee’s chairs, Republican Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and James Comer (Kentucky) wrote to Garland stating the audio would be “unique and invaluable” as they captured the tone of voice, pacing, “inflections, verbal nuance, and other idiosyncrasies.”

According to Republicans, they want to hear how Hur concluded that Biden shouldn’t face prosecution for his mishandling of classified documents. Hur indicated in his findings that he believed Biden would be viewed in court as a “sympathetic, well-intentioned elderly man” who has an ailing memory in any legal proceedings.

If Garland faced a contempt vote in the House that ultimately passed, it would generate a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington D.C., which would need to determine if it wanted to prosecute the head of the Department of Justice. 

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