Merrick Garland Held in Contempt of Congress for Withholding Biden Interview Records

The House of Representative voted on Wednesday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio recordings of Joe Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur.

The tapes: Garland refused to comply with two subpoenas that demanded tapes of Hur’s interview with Biden and Biden’s ghostwriter, Mark Zwonitzer, during investigations into Biden’s handling of classified documents as a senator (see “Biden Found Guilty, but Not Charged”).

The Department of Justice (doj) gave investigators transcripts of the interviews but withheld audio recordings, claiming their release could impede future investigations and that Biden had executive privilege over the tapes.

Investigators say that releasing the transcripts nullified that privilege and the audio would give necessary context to the investigation.

Party-line vote: In the vote on Wednesday, 216 Republicans voted against 206 Democrats and 1 Republican to hold Garland in contempt of Congress. One Republican and seven Democrats abstained from the vote.

The resolution means the House is recommending that Garland be prosecuted.

We can’t allow the Department of Justice, an executive branch agency, to hide information from Congress. We have important oversight responsibilities, and that is what is being pursued here.
—Mike Johnson, House speaker

Will it work? If prosecuted, Garland could face up to a year in prison and $100,000 in fines.

The caveat is the Justice Department would be responsible for charging Garland, and it is unlikely to prosecute its own leader.

A 57-page memo by the doj’s Office of Legal Counsel obtained by The Hill states:

Because the committees have the transcripts of the special counsel’s interviews, the needs the committees have articulated for the recordings are plainly insufficient to overcome a privilege claim grounded in these important separation of powers concerns. The audio recording will not reveal any information relevant to the committees’ stated needs that is not available in the transcripts.

Republicans still hope the vote will help them acquire the audio files.

Weaponizing the DOJ: In his book America Under Attack, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains that during Barack Obama’s administration, the president weaponized intelligence departments like the doj to attack political opponents and carry out his personal agenda. These departments are immersed in corruption.

To learn more, request a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s book.