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House Republicans Schedule Markup to Consider Resolution Recommending That AG Garland Be Found in Contempt of Congress

House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.)  announced Monday that the Committee will hold a markup later this week to consider  a resolution recommending that Attorney General Merrick Garland be found in contempt of Congress.

The announcement came after Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee released a report recommending that the House of Representatives cite AG Garland for Contempt of Congress for defying a lawful subpoena.

“The House Committees on Oversight and Accountability and Judiciary issued subpoenas to Attorney General Garland on February 27, 2024 for records, including transcripts, notes, video, and audio files, related to Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation of President Joe Biden’s willful mishandling of classified information,” Oversight Republicans said in a press release, Monday. “Attorney General Garland has refused to provide the audio files of President Biden’s interview with the Special Counsel.”

“The House Oversight and Judiciary Committees issued lawful subpoenas to Attorney General Garland for the audio recordings of President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Hur, yet he continues to defy our subpoenas,” Comer stated, adding that the audio recordings are important to their investigation of Biden’s “willful retention of classified documents and his fitness to be President of the United States.”

The Judiciary Committee’s 16-page report notes that Special Counsel Hur found that Biden, while Vice President, had “strong motivations” to flout the rules for properly handling classified materials.

In particular, Special Counsel Hur observed that “months before leaving office” as vice president, President Biden decided to write a book for “an advance of $8 million.” The classified materials retained by President Biden were an “invaluable resource that he consulted liberally” while writing his book so that he could give his ghostwriter “raw material . . . detailing meetings and events that would be of interest to prospective readers and buyers of his book.”

Additionally, Special Counsel Hur observed that President Biden viewed the classified materials “as an irreplaceable contemporaneous record of some of the most important moments of his vice presidency[,]” which “was valuable to him for many reasons, including to help defend his record and buttress his legacy as a world leader.” Despite this evidence, Special Counsel Hur ultimately concluded that no criminal charges were warranted.

The report goes on to note that Biden “vehemently denied” the findings in Hur’s report and blasted Hur’s characterization Biden’s poor memory as “gratuitous.”

During a House Judiciary hearing on March 12, Hur admitted that Biden had been less than truthful about his findings, when pressed by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)

Joe Biden had said during his “trainwreck” presser on February 8, “I did not share classified information, I did not share it. I guarantee I did not.”

“That’s not true, is it?” Gaetz asked Hur in March.

“That is inconsistent with the findings based on the evidence in my report,” Hur responded.

“It’s a lie,” Gaetz shot back. “That’s what regular people would say, right?”

Laughing, Hur responded, “yeah.”

During his testimony before the Committee,  Hur stated that, “[t]he evidence and the President himself put his memory squarely at issue.”

In his report,  Hur noted that his interview with Biden, as well as Biden’s discussions with his ghostwriter Mark Zwonitzer, had indicated that his “memory was significantly limited” and he “struggle[ed] to remember events and strain[ed] at times to read and relay his own [handwriting].”

Hur also observed that Biden “did not remember when he was vice president,” “for[got] when his [vice presidential] term ended,” and “did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.”

During the press conference in February, Biden had angrily lashed out at the special counsel’s embarrassing conclusion that he was too mentally incapacitated to prosecute.

“There is even reference that I don’t remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that? Frankly, when I was asked the question I thought to myself, it wasn’t any of their damn business!” Biden had fumed indignantly.

The transcript of his interview however makes clear that Biden had either lied or couldn’t remember what was said. Biden himself brought up the death of his son Beau several times during the interview, including when failed to remember the year he died.

According to the House Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department has continued to “withhold key material responsive to the subpoenas from the Judiciary and Oversight Committees—specifically the audio recordings of Special Counsel Hur’s interviews with President Biden and Zwonitzer.”

The report notes that the DOJ has not invoked constitutional or legal privilege to support withholding this material.

“There must be consequences for refusing to comply with lawful congressional subpoenas and we will move to hold Attorney General Garland in contempt of Congress,” Comer declared.

The Committee on Oversight and Accountability Markup is scheduled for Thursday, May 16, 2024, at 11:00am ET. The markup will be livestreamed online here.

 

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 13: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at an Election Threats Task Force meeting at the Justice Department on May 13, 2024 in Washington, DC. Garland, who launched the task force three years ago after a steep increase in violent threats to election workers, says, "If you threaten to harm or kill an election worker, volunteer or official, the Justice Department will find you and we will hold you accountable." (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)