Biden DOJ will not prosecute AG Merrick Garland after contempt of Congress vote

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News June 14, 2024

The Biden Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General Merrick Garland,  on Friday confirmed that it will not prosecute Garland for contempt of Congress.

In a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson, the DOJ argued that the contempt resolution passed by House Republicans does not preempt Joe Biden‘s assertion of executive privilege regarding audio records of two interviews he sat for with special counsel Robert Hur.

Garland was held in contempt for refusing to turn over the recordings to Congress.

“The longstanding position of the Department is that we will not prosecute an official for contempt of Congress for declining to provide subpoenaed information subject to a presidential assertion of executive privilege,” the letter, authored by Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte reads.

Uriarte adds: “Across administrations of both political parties, we have consistently adhered to the position that ‘the contempt of Congress statute was not intended to apply and could not constitutionally be applied to an Executive Branch official who asserts the President’s claim of executive privilege.’ ”

The precedent Uriarte cited was not extended to Peter Navarro or Steve Bannon, both sentenced to jail time due to a congressional contempt charge made by the hyper-partisan Jan. 6 Select Committee, which critics have charged fabricated information and mass-deleted evidence.

Meanwhile, Garland has publicly and dubiously argued that “releasing the audio would chill cooperation with the department in future investigations, and it could influence witnesses’ answers if they thought the audio of their law enforcement interviews would be broadcast to Congress and the public.”

The DOJ letter concludes: “…the Department has determined that the responses by Attorney General Garland to the subpoenas issued by the Committees did not constitute a crime, and accordingly… will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the Attorney General.”

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