BREAKING: Bid to Hold Merrick Garland in Inherent Contempt Fails in House

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The House of Representatives attempted an unusual maneuver to put some teeth into its efforts to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt on Thursday but ultimately came up short. 

The House initially held Garland in contempt in June for refusing to turn over the audio tapes from Special Counsel Robert Hur’s interviews with President Joe Biden in relation to his improper retention and handling of classified documents. Following that largely party-line vote (Republican Rep. Dave Joyce (OH) opposed the measure, stating he felt it further politicized the justice system in an effort to score political points), the matter was referred to the Department of Justice (headed by Garland), which promptly announced it would not be prosecuting the AG. 

BREAKING: House of Representatives Votes to Hold AG Merrick Garland
in Contempt of Congress

Department of Justice to Speaker Johnson: No Prosecution of Merrick Garland
for Contempt of Congress

Following the DOJ snub, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) vowed to take the matter to court. And Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) vowed to take up the resolution for “inherent contempt of Congress” that she had introduced in anticipation of the DOJ’s recalcitrance. 

After DOJ Declines to Prosecute Garland, House Vows to Take Biden Audio Issue to Court

Anna Paulina Luna Plans to Take Action Against Merrick Garland’s
Refusal to Hand Over Hur Tapes

Luna’s resolution was taken up by the House Thursday morning but failed, with 12 Republicans not voting and four voting in opposition to it: the aforementioned Joyce, Mike Turner (OH), Tom McClintock (CA), and John Duarte (CA).

House Democrats and some Republicans joined together to block Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s bid to fine Attorney General Merrick Garland $10,000 per day until he released audio tapes of President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur.

Democrats failed to block the resolution from hitting the floor on Wednesday evening, setting up a vote on the measure for Thursday.

Luna has for weeks threatened to force a vote on holding Garland in “inherent contempt” and appealed to both Republicans and Democrats to support the effort, citing concerns about Biden’s mental acuity spurred by his disastrous performance in the CNN Presidential Debate.

Her initial bill would have directed the House sergeant-at-arms to arrest Garland in order for the chamber to hold its own trial. It’s a little-known procedure, not invoked since the 1930s, that has never been used on a Cabinet official.

As noted, the initial measure would have had Garland arrested and subject to a House trial. Luna modified the measure to fine Garland rather than having him arrested. Still, the Republican holdouts kept it from passing. 

Prior to the vote, Luna noted an eery parallel between Garland’s actions and Watergate:

Ironic no one in the media is drawing parallels between what Garland is doing and Watergate is insane and deliberate. Turning over edited transcripts of tapes and not the actual recordings was at the heart of the Nixon impeachment. Nixon’s AG resigned when ordered to defy a congressional subpoena requiring the turnover of tapes. Times have changed!

With the storm clouds gathering over Joe Biden’s presidency, one wonders if his is on course to end in similar fashion as Nixon’s, regardless of whether Garland is ultimately held accountable. 

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