Following Contempt Vote, Merrick Garland Says House GOP Is Using 'Partisan Weapon' To Go After Him

Following the passage of the contempt resolution holding Attorney General Merrick Garland accountable for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena from the House Oversight Committee, the top Biden official argued that Hosue Republicans are weaponizing Congress' oversight authority of the executive branch as a "partisan weapon."

As previously reported by the DC Enquirer, the Department of Justice refused to hand over the interview tapes from special counsel Robert Hur's sit-down with President Joe Biden during his investigation into Biden's mishandling of classified documents last year. The contempt resolution, which passed 216 to 207 along party lines, directly responds to the White House's use of executive privilege to prevent the audio recordings from being released to the public.

Following the Wednesday vote, Garland said he will continue to stand for the DOJ to defend "our democracy." "It is deeply disappointing that this House of Representatives has turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon," he said. "Today's vote disregards the constitutional separation of powers, the Justice Department's need to protect its investigations, and the substantial amount of information we have provided to the Committees. I will always stand up for this Department, its employees, and its vital mission to defend our democracy."

While Garland attempted to argue that he was justified to not comply with the subpoena, House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY), who initially requested the recording from the DOJ, said in a statement, "Congress cannot serve as a necessary check on the presidency if the executive branch is free to defy duly authorized, legal subpoenas."

"House Republicans rightfully held Attorney General Merrick Garland accountable today for his failure to comply with lawful subpoenas issued by the Oversight and Judiciary Committees," he continued. "Attorney General Garland's refusal to produce the audio recordings of Special Counsel Hur's interview with President Biden still begs the question: what is the Biden Administration trying to hide?"

Comer explained that the administration's unwillingness to cooperate demonstrates a pattern of obstruction to prevent House investigators from holding the president accountable for potentially corrupt actions. "This is unacceptable, and the House of Representatives is now in a better position to deliver the transparency and accountability the American people demand and deserve," Comer added.

House Republicans' decision to hold Merrick Garland accountable is yet another example of the GOP attempting to fight back against a belligerent Biden administration that cares little about Congress' oversight role. President Joe Biden has refused to cooperate with House investigators, and the contempt resolution is a first step in ensuring that the American public gets the transparent answers they demand from the president.

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Frank

Unless the contempt vote is followed up with a meaningful punishment such as an "Arthur-Engoron-sized" fine or a hefty "J6-style" prison sentence, Garland will just continue to snub his nose at the House Oversight Committee.

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