Friday, July 19, 2024

House Votes to Hold Garland in Contempt for Cover-Up of Damning Biden Audio

'There have been a series of unprecedented and frankly unfounded attacks on the Justice Department. This request, this effort to use contempt as a method of obtaining our sensitive law enforcement files is just most recent...'

(Headline USA) The U.S. House of Representatives voted 208-208 Wednesday to pass a resolution holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview in his classified documents case.

The move comes just weeks after the White House blocked release of the recording to lawmakers following an earlier subpoena. Special counsel Robert Hur cited the interview as forming much of the basis for his decision not to criminally charge Biden, whom he deemed unfit to stand trial.

Hur spent a year investigating the president’s improper retention of classified documents, from his time as a senator and as vice president. The result was a 345-page report that questioned Biden’s age and mental competence but recommended no criminal charges for the 81-year-old.

With Democrats now campaigning heavily over the spurious show trial in a Manhattan kangaroo court that convicted presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump on 34 felony counts, the demand for greater clarity as to why Biden has eluded accountability may be even more amplified.

However, the corrupt DOJ claims it cannot permit transparency in this case because the public would not be capable of discerning the actual recording it released from a doctored copy, and there was no workaround solution that it could come up with to prevent manipulation by artificial intelligence.

Despite the outlandishness of the DOJ’s novel “executive privilege” claim, it remained uncertain prior to the vote that House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., could garner enough support on the floor to pass the contempt resolution.

Republicans have the slimmest of majorities, which meant that any bill that lacking Democratic support—like the contempt resolution—can quickly collapse if even a few Republicans defect.

Even if the resolution were to pass, it would likely be a strictly symbolic one as it would be the DOJ itself that would be handed the decision whether to prosecute. Two of Garland’s recent predecessors, Eric Holder and William Barr, have both been charged with contempt of Congress by Houses in which the other party had the majority.

Still, giving himself a free pass will pose another awkward moment for Garland in his dubious claims of equal application of the law after having charged Trump allies Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro for their refusal to heed subpoenas in the sham Jan. 6 committee. Both, like the DOJ, cited executive privilege.

The White House’s decision to exert executive privilege over the audio recording, shielding it from Congress, makes a criminal case against Garland more difficult, although the legal precedent that they themselves established with Trump has substantially eroded many of the protections that previous presidents enjoyed.

Garland has defended the Justice Department, claiming officials had gone to extraordinary lengths to provide information to the committees about Hur’s investigation, including a transcript of Biden’s interview with him that appeared to be selectively edited.

“There have been a series of unprecedented and frankly unfounded attacks on the Justice Department,” Garland complained in a press conference last month, while ignoring the underlying reason for those criticisms. “This request, this effort to use contempt as a method of obtaining our sensitive law enforcement files is just most recent.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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