GOP Congresswoman Pushes To Force Vote That Could Lead To Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Arrest

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Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) said she intends to call for an “inherent contempt” vote against Attorney General Merrick Garland over his refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena to hand over audio tapes of Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

“Press conference about to start. We will hold Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress. No one is above the law,” Luna said.

Luna said Garland has until Friday to comply with the congressional subpoena for the audio tapes or else “we will press forward with calling the privilege motion on inherent contempt to the floor,” Fox News reports.

Per Fox News:

If the motion is successful, fellow House Republicans will direct House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to call up the Sergeant-at-Arms, “of which they do have the authority under this inherent contempt motion to bring him into custody,” Luna said. “I also want to make it clear, though, that this is of Garland’s choosing. Again, no one is above the law. And if he chooses to go down this path, then we will.”

“It is also important to note that if we, as a Congress, do not have the ability to enforce our investigative ability, that we are essentially going to be ignored and undercut and essentially handicapped by all other branches, which would make us not a co-equal branch of government,” Luna said.

Inherent contempt differs from the criminal contempt resolution passed on June 12. The latter referred Garland to his own department for criminal charges.

The Department of Justice said it would not prosecute Garland because he was acting on Biden’s own executive privilege claims over the interview tapes.

“We will NOT stand by while the DOJ and Merrick Garland pretend to be above the law. We will hold them accountable. I want to thank my colleagues for joining me today in this resolution,” Luna said.

“We are here today because of the double standard that exists within the justice system. As you know, on February 27, the Oversight Committee, as well as the House Judiciary, had sent a subpoena to Attorney General Garland, of which we received no response, and after referring him for criminal contempt within 48 hours or less, the Department of Justice refused to prosecute. Inherent contempt is clearly within our Article One authority, and Congress does have the power to investigate all legislative powers,” Luna said during the press conference.

“Investigations are part of our legislative process, and people that interfere with these processes should be held accountable. Inherent Contempt was first used in 1795, and this was further upheld in a Supreme Court decision in 1927 and McGrain versus Doherty, which stated that Congress does indeed have this authority,” she continued.

“Garland still has time to comply with this request. We are asking that he bring the tapes to the house and let us listen to them, but in the event that he does not, we will press forward with calling the privilege motion on inherent contempt to the floor on Friday morning,” she added.


From the New York Post:

Earlier this month, Congress voted 216-207 to hold Garland in contempt for his refusal to furnish the tapes.

Typically, contempt of Congress is punishable by fines of up to around $100,000 and jail time of about a year. But the Justice Department, which is tasked with enforcing that, announced it wouldn’t prosecute its leader.

“While that response was expected, it set a dangerous precedent,” Luna wrote. “The executive branch will continue to withhold information from Congress if there are no consequences.”

At issue are GOP efforts to get their hands on audio of Hur’s interviews during his probe of Biden’s handling of classified information. Hur ultimately declined to pursue charges against the president.

Hur argued that any such case against Biden would likely be doomed because a jury would probably perceive the president as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

The Justice Department turned over transcripts of the interviews but spurned House Republican subpoenas issued in February for audio of the over five hours of questioning of the president, citing executive privilege and concerns that such a disclosure could imperil cooperation in the future.

Republicans have argued that the tapes could provide important context that the transcripts lack and give key insights into Biden’s fitness for office.

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