Anna Paulina Luna to Force Vote Holding AG Garland in Inherent Contempt: ‘DOJ Is Not Above the Law’

Attorney General Merrick Garland listens to a question while testifying during a House Jud
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) will force a vote to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress in a rarely used maneuver which she says will require a House vote Friday.

Luna says Garland forced her hand after he brushed aside a previous contempt vote by the House after President Joe Biden’s loyal lieutenant refused to surrender evidence Republicans say would reveal Biden’s lack of fitness for office.

“For Congress to legislate effectively, we must have access to the information that will enable us to make informed decisions,” Luna wrote in a letter to her colleagues Monday. “When Congress is denied this crucial information, we are left to navigate complex issues in the dark.”


Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., takes her seat as the House Oversight and Accountability Committee holds an organizational meeting for the 118th Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House of Representatives voted June 12 to hold Attorney General Merrick 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.

Garland had provided written transcripts of Biden’s interview, but Republicans said those were insufficient due to Hur’s revelations that Biden experienced mental lapses and “poor memory” during his interview.

After Garland defied subpoenas specifically requesting audio recordings of the interview, an initial contempt vote easily cleared the House in a 216 to 207 vote.

But on the day of that vote, the Department of Justice argued in a memo that Garland would be protected from prosecution for contempt of Congress because Biden had strategically asserted executive privilege over the recordings on May 16, 2024, before the Judiciary and Oversight Committees marked up their contempt resolutions.

After Garland’s DOJ made clear it would ignore the House’s contempt vote, Luna vowed to explore alternatives, including an inherent contempt vote.

Inherent contempt was established by Congress in 1957 by law to enable the House Sergeant-at-Arms to detain anyone defying a congressional subpoena, bypassing the executive brand and DOJ.

Luna’s resolution would direct the House Sergeant-at-Arms to bring “Garland to the House for questioning and compel him to produce the requested evidence.”

Luna might struggle to receive the necessary support for her resolution. Although only one Republican, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), voted with Democrats earlier in June against holding Garland in contempt, that vote came after significant pressure from Republican leadership anxious to avoid a similar embarrassment to this year’s first attempt to impeach Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Three Republicans refused to impeach Mayorkas, one of which, former Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), since resigned to take a lucrative job in the private sector.

The Biden Administration will not roll over for this vote, according to Luna. She claims the Biden White House is calling Republicans pressuring them to oppose the resolution – similar to its successful pressure campaign earlier this year to block an amendment requiring intelligence agencies to obtain a warrant before spying on Americans.

“This is the very definition of corruption,” Luna said in a statement. “[Garland] believes he is above the law and can tell elected members of Congress what to do. My message to Garland is straightforward: release the tapes to Congress and let us listen to them.”

House Republicans’ flap with Garland comes as former Trump adviser Steve Bannon is days away from reporting to prison for defying a subpoena from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) January 6 Committee. Peter Navarro, another former Trump adviser, is currently serving a federal sentence for defying a subpoena from the committee.

In those cases, the Biden DOJ followed a Democrat-run House’s recommendations to pursue charges for subpoena defiance.

Pelosi’s January 6 Committee, an intensely partisan body since disbanded, remains the subject of Republican investigations.

Republicans are likely to continue hammering Garland regardless of the vote’s outcome.

“Why is Merrick Garland fighting so hard to keep these tapes hidden?,” Luna asked. “What is on those tapes that is making him act in a criminal manner to protect Joe Biden? Any other American would be in jail for what he is doing. This blatant abuse of power must be stopped. The American people deserve integrity in our institutions, not political corruption.”

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