Home » House GOP Holds Garland in Contempt: A Stand for Accountability in the Biden Era

House GOP Holds Garland in Contempt: A Stand for Accountability in the Biden Era

by Richard A Reagan

The House of Representatives has voted to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress, escalating ongoing tensions between the Republican-controlled House and the Biden administration.

The resolution, which passed on Wednesday by a 216 to 207 vote, has referred Garland for criminal charges within his own Department of Justice (DOJ).

This contentious decision stems from Garland’s refusal to provide audio recordings from Special Counsel Robert Hur’s interview with President Joe Biden concerning his handling of classified documents.

While Hur concluded that no criminal charges were warranted against Biden, he noted the president’s portrayal as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” raising questions about Biden’s fitness for office and the transparency of the investigation.

In the aftermath of the vote, Attorney General Garland criticized the House’s actions as a misuse of serious congressional authority for partisan purposes. “It is deeply disappointing that this House of Representatives has turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon,” Garland stated.

The controversy centers on the GOP’s claim that the audio tapes are crucial for understanding the context of Biden’s statements during the interview, suggesting that they could provide insights into the president’s state of mind and the DOJ’s handling of the investigation. 

Democrats, on the other hand, argue that the request for the recordings is a politically motivated effort to damage the president’s reputation and misuse DOJ resources.

Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), the lone Republican dissenter in the vote, expressed his concerns about further politicizing the judiciary.

“As a former prosecutor, I cannot in good conscience support a resolution that would further politicize our judicial system to score political points,” Joyce remarked, advocating for Congress to prioritize governance over partisan battles.

This vote was preceded by decisions from two House committees—the Judiciary Committee and the Oversight Committee—which both endorsed the contempt resolution against Garland after heated debates.

The committees’ actions followed President Biden’s unsuccessful attempt to invoke executive privilege over the recordings, indicating the administration’s concern over the potential impact of their release.

As the House pushes forward with its wider impeachment inquiry into President Biden, alleging misuse of political position to benefit his family, this latest development marks a significant escalation in the confrontation between congressional Republicans and the Biden administration. 

Despite the heated rhetoric and serious allegations, it remains highly unlikely that the DOJ will act on the House’s referral.

This has led to frustration among Republicans, who view the DOJ as overly partisan. “I’m not optimistic, because I think the DOJ has proven themselves very partisan and not honest brokers of how they apply the law,” commented Rep. Rich McCormick (R-GA).

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