House Rejects Measure to Fine AG Garland Over Hur–Biden Tapes

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna had sought to fine the attorney general $10,000 for every day he failed to comply with a subpoena for the Hur–Biden tapes.

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives on July 11 rejected an “inherent contempt” resolution that would have fined Attorney General Merrick Garland $10,000 for every day he fails to comply with a subpoena to provide tapes of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) on July 10 forced a vote on the measure. On Thursday, it failed in a 204–210 vote. Four Republicans joined all Democrats in voting down the measure.

The vote was held a month after House Republicans voted to hold Mr. Garland in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with the subpoena. The White House has invoked executive privilege over the tapes. Responding to the contempt referral, Mr. Garland said the House “turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon.”
After the Justice Department (DOJ) declined to take up the contempt referral, House Republicans filed a lawsuit to seek access to the tapes.

Ms. Luna framed the measure as an issue of legislative equality with the executive branch.

“In order for the House of Representatives to do its job, we must have access to the information that will allow us to make informed decisions on behalf of our constituents,” the Florida congresswoman said on the House floor on July 10.

The DOJ has said that Congress has already received the transcripts of the interviews and does not need the audio.

House Republicans have maintained that they need the tapes to verify the transcript’s accuracy and to confirm that Mr. Hur’s observation was justified.

Mr. Hur in his report declining to recommend charges against the president over his handling of classified material had cited an assessment that President Biden would present to a jury as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

The White House and Democrats have accused Republicans of wanting the audio tapes for partisan purposes.

During floor remarks, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who led the debate for Democrats, said that the transcripts of the interviews had already been turned over, making the subpoena for audio recordings redundant.

“Let’s be real. Republicans want to get these recordings because they think the RNC [Republican National Committee] can use them in attack ads,” he said.

The DOJ has also argued that providing the tapes would deter future presidents from cooperating with similar investigations.

The method used for the resolution, known as inherent contempt, is a power within Congress’s purview but which hasn’t been used since the early 20th century.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said during a July 9 press conference ahead of the vote that he will vote for the resolution, though he would prefer to go through the courts.

Several moderate Republicans also expressed support for going through the courts.

Initially, Ms. Luna’s resolution would have had the House sergeant-at-arms arrest Mr. Garland and bring him to the House floor. However, she later toned the measure down to a $10,000 per day fine.

The Epoch Times reached out to the Justice Department for comment.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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