House Oversight Committee unveils blistering contempt report against AG Garland over Biden tapes

Congressional Republicans inched nearer to holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt Tuesday because the House Oversight Committee dropped a scathing report against him.

Garland’s Justice Department bucked a February subpoena demanding audio recordings of former particular counsel Robert Hur’s interviews with President Biden and ghostwriter Mark Zwonitzer.

Now that they’ve launched the 17-page report recommending Garland be held in contempt, the panel is planning to advance each the report and contempt decision on Thursday.

“The Attorney General has further invoked no constitutional or legal privilege relieving his obligation to fully respond to the Committees’ subpoenas,” the report concluded.

Merrick Garland
Merrick Garland has weathered criticism from the left for being gradual to prosecute Donald Trump and assaults from the fitting for being too aggressive. AP

“Garland’s willful refusal to comply with the Committees’ subpoenas constitutes contempt of Congress and warrants referral to the appropriate United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution as prescribed by law.”

Should the Committee prevail of their efforts, it would mark the primary time a US lawyer common has confronted such an admonishment since Eric Holder, who was held in contempt of Congress in 2012 for refusing to cough up paperwork associated to Operation Fast and Furious.

Given that the Justice Department itself is tasked with implementing contempt of Congress expenses, which might carry stiff penalties of as much as $100,000 in fines and a yr behind bars, Holder was by no means formally charged.

Last month, underneath Garland’s watch, the DOJ blew by the subpoena deadline with out forking over the tapes arguing that the committee “already received the extraordinary accommodation of the transcripts.”

James Comer
James Comer has demanded entry to the Robert Hur tapes, however the DOJ fears they’d be used to attain political factors. AP

“To go further by producing the audio files would compound the likelihood that future prosecutors will be unable to secure this level of cooperation,” a DOJ official wrote to the panel final month.

“They might have a harder time obtaining consent to an interview at all.”

Republican investigators have been eager on acquiring the greater than 5 hours of audio recorded from Biden’s conversations with Hur final fall to higher verify his cognitive state and additional research the president’s dealing with of categorised paperwork.

Hur, a Trump-appointed US lawyer for the District of Maryland, in the end opted to not press expenses against Biden over his dealing with of categorised paperwork and revealed his findings in a 388-page bombshell report launched in February.

Robert Hur
Robert Hur defended his report earlier than Congress again in March. Josh Morgan / USA TODAY NETWORK

His report famous that there was proof that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials,” however his workforce concluded there wasn’t sufficient to show it “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

One issue Hur cited was issues a jury may understand Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

“Special Counsel Hur’s report makes clear, despite its conclusion that criminal charges are not warranted, that President Biden willfully and unlawfully retained classified materials while he was a private citizen,” the Oversight report stated.

Hur testified earlier than the House Judiciary Committee to elucidate his findings in March.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump was charged with 40 counts associated to his dealing with of categorised paperwork. Steven Hirsch

The Post contacted the Justice Department for remark.

Former White House commerce adviser Peter Navarro turned the primary former prime administration official to face jail time resulting from a contempt of Congress cost. He started his four-month sentence in March.

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