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Garland could be held in contempt as Biden asserts executive privilege over Hur recording

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House Republicans are moving to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur. The move came after the president asserted executive privilege over the recordings.

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Counselor to the president Edward Siskel informed the House Judiciary and Oversight committees of the president’s decision in a letter Thursday, May 15. That notice came hours before the committees’ meetings to move the contempt resolution to the House floor. 

“The President has a duty to safeguard the integrity and independence of Executive Branch law enforcement functions and protect them from undue partisan interference that could weaken those functions in the future,” Siskel wrote.

The Republican chairmen received the transcript of Hur’s interview with President Biden. Additionally, they received Hur’s full report into the president’s handling of classified documents found at his home and personal office. The chairmen still want the audio recordings. 

“This last minute invocation does not change the fact that the attorney general has not complied with our subpoena,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said. 

“Clearly President Biden and his advisors fear releasing the audio recordings of his interview because it will again reaffirm to the American people that President Biden’s mental state is in decline,” Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement. “The House Oversight Committee requires these recordings as part of our investigation of President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.”

Democrats contend the audio recordings are unnecessary because the Department of Justice (DOJ) cooperated with the committees. According to Democrats, the DOJ handed over 92,000 documents and made dozens of witnesses available for interviews. 

“Chairman Jordan claims that he needs these records to understand the pauses, pace, and tone of the conversation,” Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said during a hearing on the contempt resolution. “This is absurd and clearly pretextual, and in any event, does not outweigh the substantial concerns expressed by the president and the department.”

After the contempt resolution moves out of the committees, it still needs to be approved by the full House. There is not a vote scheduled yet. 

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[RAY BOGAN]

House Republicans are moving to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the audio recordings of President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur.  The move comes despite the President asserting executive privilege over the recordings. 

Counselor to the President Edward Siskel informed the Judiciary and Oversight committees of the president’s decision in a letter Thursday morning, just hours ahead of committees’ meetings to move the contempt resolutions to the House floor. 

Siskel wrote, “The President has a duty to safeguard the integrity and independence of Executive Branch law enforcement functions and protect them from undue partisan interference that could weaken those functions in the future.”

The Republican Chairmen have received the transcript of Robert Hur’s interview with President Biden and Hur’s full report into the President’s handling of classified information at his home and personal office. They still want the audio recordings. 

[REP. JIM JORDAN]

This last minute invocation does not change the fact that the attorney general has not complied with our subpoena.

[RAY BOGAN]

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement:

“Clearly President Biden and his advisors fear releasing the audio recordings of his interview because it will again reaffirm to the American people that President Biden’s mental state is in decline. The House Oversight Committee requires these recordings as part of our investigation of President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.”

Democrats contend the audio recording is unnecessary because the DOJ has been cooperative with the committees. Democrats say the DOJ has handed over 92,000 documents and made dozens of witnesses available for interviews. 

[REP. JERRY NADLER]

Chairman Jordan claims that he needs these records to understand the pauses, pace, and tone of the conversation. This is absurd and clearly pretextual, and in any event, does not outweigh the substantial concerns expressed by the President and the Department.

[RAY BOGAN]

After the contempt resolution moves out of the committees, it still needs to be approved by the full House in a yet to be scheduled vote.