Laws and Justice

House Votes to Kill Resolution Holding Attorney General Garland in Contempt of Congress

Main image to the post House Votes to Kill Resolution Holding Attorney General Garland in Contempt of Congress

House Votes to Kill Resolution Holding Attorney General Garland in Contempt

The House of Representatives voted to kill a resolution that would have held Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. The resolution, introduced by Republican Representative Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, was defeated by a vote of 220-204.

The resolution was an attempt to force Garland to comply with a congressional subpoena to turn over audio tapes of President Joe Biden's interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. The Justice Department had previously announced that it would not prosecute Garland for defying the subpoena.

Luna argued that Garland should be held in contempt despite the Justice Department's decision, saying that "no one is above the law." However, Democrats argued that the resolution was a waste of time and that the House should focus on other issues.

The vote to kill the resolution was largely along party lines, with all but four Republicans voting against it. The four Republicans who voted with Democrats were Mike Turner and David Joyce of Ohio, and John Duarte and Tom McClintock of California.

The failure of the resolution means that Garland will not be held in contempt of Congress. However, the House could still vote to hold him in contempt in the future.

Additional Information

criminal, civil, and inherent contempt.

Inherent contempt has not been used in decades and gives Congress the authority to impose sanctions on people violating a contempt of Congress resolution.

Luna's resolution would have held Garland in "inherent contempt" - meaning it would have required him to pay $10,000 per day that he did not comply with the congressional subpoena.

The House accused Garland of contempt after he defied a subpoena to turn over audio tapes of President Joe Biden's interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur.

The Justice Department said it would not prosecute Garland after the vote.

Luna said she would file a motion to hold Garland in "inherent contempt," arguing that he could be punished for defying a subpoena despite the Justice Department's decision.

The move comes as the House continues to try and obtain the audio recordings between Biden and Hur as part of the special counsel investigation into Biden's handling of classified documents.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09