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Attempt to hold Garland in inherent contempt of Congress fails with four Republicans joining Democrats

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An attempt to hold Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress failed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday after four Republicans joined every Democrat to table the motion.

A motion to refer a resolution by Republican Representative Anna Paulina Luna of Florida to the House Rules Committee to hold Garland in inherent contempt of Congress.

Luna’s resolution would have held Garland in “inherent contempt,” which would have required him to pay $10,000.

Representative Anna Paulina of Florida had attempted to hold Garland in “inherent contempt” of Congress after the House had voted to hold him in contempt of Congress in June. The House accused Garland of contempt after he defied a subpoena to turn over audio tapes of President Joe Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur.

But the Justice Department said it would not prosecure Garland after the vote.

In turn, Luna said she would file a motion to hold Garland in “inherent contempt,” arguing that the he could be punished for defying a subpoena despite the Justice Department’s decision.

“If an American is presented with a lawful subpoena, he or she is expected that they comply or face the consequences of their defiance,” she said. “Why should the attorney general of the United States be held to a different standard. No one is above the law.”

Luna’s resolution argued that opted to make her resolution privileged, which triggered an immediate vote.

But Democrats roundly mocked the resolution.

“This is a stupid resolution,” Representative Jim McGovern, the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee, said on the floor. “Republican leadership knows this is a stupid resolution. Their own members know this is a stupid resolution. But they’re beholden to the craziest MAGA members in their conference.”

McGovern it to the fact that multiple Republicans, including Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and many former members of the Trump administration all defied congressional subpoenas.

“All ordered to testify and what did they do? They ran and hid,” he said. “It’s like a national pastime for Republicans. Golf, fishing and ignoring subpoenas. Golf, fishing and ignoring subpoenas.”

That triggered the House attempting to strike McGovern’s words from the record.

House Minority Whip Katherine Clark said the resolution was a waste of time.

“We’ve already taken up way too much of the House’s time, of the American people’s time,” she said. “Let’s get back to doing the work they sent us here to do.”

The move comes as the House continues to try and obtain the audio recordings between Biden and Hur as part of the special counsel investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents from his time as senator and vice president at his private residence and a think tank affiliated with him.

The special counsel declined to prosecute Biden, but the report said that he had failed to recall when his son Beau Biden had died and that he would be perceived by a jury as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.

House Speaker Mike Johnson said that he would sue to obtain the recordings afterward.


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