House Republicans Move Forward with Holding AG Garland in Contempt over Biden Recordings

By Steve Neavling

House Republicans plan to vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over an audio recording of an interview with President Biden that is part of the special counsel’s investigation of classified documents, The Hill reports.

Although the chairmen of the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Accountability committees have a transcript of Biden’s interview, they are demanding access to the audio files. 

And despite the recordings having little, if anything, to do with the impeachment investigation into Biden, House Republicans are seeking the audio and two Ukraine-related documents found in Biden’s home.

The Justice Department responded last month that the request for the information was based on “political purposes that should have no role” in deciding which federal law enforcement files are shared. 

“It seems that the more information you receive, the less satisfied you are, and the less justification you have for contempt, the more you rush towards it,” Carlos Uriarte, head of legislative affairs for the Justice Department, wrote to the chairmen last month.

House Republicans countered that the audio files contain “revealing verbal cues” and that “a subject’s pauses and inflections can provide context or evidence of whether a subject is evasive or suffers from a ‘poor memory.’

“The Department’s unsupported speculation about the Committees’ motives in insisting that you produce the audio recordings has no bearing on your legal obligation to produce the subpoenaed materials,” they wrote last month.

If the contempt vote is approved next week, it would advance to the full House. 

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