Biden’s Department of Justice Says AG Merrick Garland Immune from Prosecution for Contempt of Congress

Attorney Gen. Garland Speaks At The Nat'l Legal Aid & Defender Association's Commemoration Of 60th
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President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice issued a memo Wednesday declaring that Attorney General Merrick Garland is protected from prosecution for contempt of Congress because of Biden’s use of executive privilege.

The memo’s release conveniently came hours before the House of Representatives took the long-anticipated step of voting to hold Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with Congressional subpoenas for records related to Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation of President Joe Biden’s willful mishandling of classified information.

Republicans wanted the audio tapes of Hur’s interview with Biden, insisting written transcripts provided by Garland were insufficient after Hur revealed that Biden experienced mental lapses and “poor memory” when interviewed.

The House Committees on Oversight and Accountability and Judiciary issued subpoenas to Garland on February 27, 2024 for records including audio recordings Garland insisted on withholding.

Despite the subpoenas, Garland refused to turn over the records.

The Biden administration continued working to blunt Congress’s constitutional oversight power. Before the Judiciary and Oversight Committees marked up their contempt resolutions on May 16, Biden asserted executive privilege over the recordings.

Weeks later, the House voted 216 to 207 to hold Garland in contempt of Congress, with only one Republican opposing the resolution.

Given the department’s memo, Biden administration prosecutors are almost certain to ignore the contempt of Congress, which is essentially a recommendation to U.S. attorneys.

“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 memo asserts.

Republicans didn’t buy it.

Garland’s refusal to release the audio recordings “raises serious questions about President Biden’s mental fitness to function as President,” Rep. Gary Palmer said in a statement pushing back against popular Democrat justifications for withholding the audio recordings.

“The White House vehemently denied Special Counsel Hur’s depiction of President Biden as a ‘sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,’” he continued. “Considering the investigation into Biden’s mishandling of classified documents is closed, Biden does not face any legal jeopardy. Also, the fact that the written, unredacted transcript has been released, it makes no sense that AG Garland is willing to be charged in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with the subpoena and release the recording of the interview.”

“Garland’s willingness to have his record tarnished by being held in contempt of Congress only increases speculation and concern about President Biden’s mental ability to effectively carry out his duties as President.”

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.


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