House holds AG Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress

Merrick Garland

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The Republican-controlled House narrowly voted to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress.

It’s now up to the Justice Department to decide whether the contempt resolution becomes a court case.

The Justice Department refused to hand over the recordings from President Joe Biden’s special counsel interview about his handling of classified documents.

“The Attorney General doesn’t get to decide whether he hides the tape,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

The Justice Department released the transcript, but President Biden invoked executive privilege on the tapes blocking their release.

“We have a right to know if Robert Hur’s recommendation against prosecuting President Biden was warranted,” said Johnson.

Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, who led the push to hold Garland in contempt, argues the recordings are the best evidence.

“That’s why we have the contempt resolution. We’ve assumed this is going to wind up in court, but we think our case is strong,” said Jordan.

The vote effectively recommends the prosecution of Garland.

It is now up to the Justice Department to decide whether to turn the resolution into a case.

Some Republicans say they should challenge President Biden’s use of executive privilege in court to force Garland to turn over the recordings but Democrats, like California Congressman Pete Aguilar, say this is really just about one person, former president Donald Trump.

“They will do whatever he asks them to do. That’s been that’s been very clear,” said Aguilar.

Trump will return to Capitol Hill Thursday for the first time since the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol to meet with House and Senate Republicans

Garland became the third attorney general in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress. The other votes happened under the Trump and Obama administrations, but the Justice Department never took action.

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