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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Rep. Luna moves to hold Garland in inherent contempt, have him arrested

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., wants to see Attorney General Merrick Garland arrested and put on trial. She said she plans to bring forward an inherent contempt resolution against Garland during the week of June 23. 

Garland was held in criminal contempt of Congress for failing to hand over the audio recording of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur. However, the Department of Justice declined to prosecute.

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If an inherent contempt resolution is approved, Congress would enforce the subpoena itself, rather than asking the Justice Department to bring charges. The House Sergeant at Arms would be instructed to arrest and bring Garland to the House floor for questioning and a committee investigation. The investigation could lead to incarceration.

According to a statement from Luna, Attorney General Garland is calling moderate Republicans and encouraging them to vote against the resolution. 

“This is the very definition of corruption,” Luna said. “He believes he is above the law and can tell elected members of Congress what to do. My message to Garland is straightforward: release the tapes to Congress and let us listen to them.” 

However, Luna is also trying to influence members’ votes.

“The executive branch will continue to withhold information from Congress if there are no consequences for their actions,” she wrote in a letter to her colleagues obtained by Fox News. “It’s imperative that Congress uses its inherent contempt powers and instructs the Sergeant at Arms to bring Attorney General Garland to the House for questioning and compel him to produce the requested evidence.” 

Garland declined to hand the tapes over because President Biden asserted executive privilege.

There are multiple Supreme Court decisions affirming Congress’ ability to issue and enforce subpoenas.

In Anderson v. Dunn, the court ruled Congress must have the power to hold people in contempt to avoid indignity and interruption and in McGrain v. Daugherty, the court ruled that the power to investigate and enforce the request for information is essential to the legislative function. 

The last time someone was held in inherent contempt of Congress was 1935. But it has been considered since then, including in 2020 when Democrats suggested passing an inherent contempt resolution so they could enforce subpoenas issued to members of the Trump administration who refused to turn over documents and information.

The proposal was in response to an appeals court ruling that Congress needs to pass a law regarding subpoena enforcement before the court can compel someone to comply. That never came to fruition. 

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Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna wants to see Attorney General Merrick Garland arrested and put on trial. 

Garland was held in contempt of Congress for failing to hand over the audio recording of President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. 

But the Department of Justice declined to prosecute Garland. 

Now, Luna says she’ll bring forward an inherent contempt resolution. 

That’s when Congress arrests the accused person on its own, rather than relying on the Justice Department to bring charges. If Garland were to be held in inherent contempt, the House Sergeant at Arms would be instructed to arrest him and bring him to the House floor for questioning from the Speaker and a committee investigation. It can lead to incarceration. Luna says she’s going to bring the inherent contempt motion up for a vote this week. 

According to a statement from Luna, Attorney General Garland is calling moderate Republicans and encouraging them to vote against the inherent contempt resolution. 

She added: “This is the very definition of corruption. He believes he is above the law and can tell elected members of Congress what to do. My message to Garland is straightforward: release the tapes to Congress and let us listen to them.” 

But Luna is also trying to influence members’ votes. 

She wrote in a letter to her colleagues: The executive branch will continue to withhold information from Congress  if there are no consequences for their actions. It’s imperative that Congress uses its inherent contempt powers and instructs the Sergeant at Arms to bring Attorney General Garland to the House for questioning and compel him to produce the requested evidence. 

Garland declined to hand the tapes over because President Biden asserted executive privilege over them. 

There are multiple Supreme Court decisions affirming Congress’ ability to issue subpoenas and enforce them. In Anderson v. Dunn the court ruled Congress must have the power to hold people in contempt to avoid indignity and interruption and in McGrain v. Daughterty the court ruled that the power to investigate and enforce the request for information is essential to the legislative function. 

The last time someone was held in inherent contempt of Congress was 1935. But it’s been considered since then, 

including in 2020 when Democrats suggested passing an inherent contempt resolution so they could enforce subpoenas issued to members of the Trump administration who refused to turn over documents and information. 

 

It was in response to an appeals court ruling that Congress needs to pass a law regarding subpoena enforcement before the court can compel someone to comply. That never came to fruition. To find out if Congresswoman Lunas is approved, download the Straight Arrow News App.