Tuesday 25 June 2024

House Could Vote On Measure Empowering House Sergeant-At-Arms To Detain Biden Official

 Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) is urging colleagues to support her resolution to empower the House sergeant-at-arms to detain Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The measure comes in response to Garland refusing to share audio from the classified documents probe against President Joe Biden in compliance with subpoenas.

Luna posted a photo to X on Monday showing a hand holding a stack of envelopes and stating that her team was delivering a letter to every other House Republican.

In the letter, which has been shared online, Luna said she plans to call up her resolution to hold Garland in inherent contempt of Congress in “the next few days.”

“The urgency of this situation cannot be overstated,” Luna wrote in the missive. “Our ability to legislate effectively and fulfill our constitutional duties is at stake.”

At issue are audio files of interviews with Biden and his ghostwriter, Mark Zwonitzer, conducted as part of special counsel Robert Hur’s classified documents investigation.

Hur’s team declined to recommend charges against Biden, who is running for re-election, but described him as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) refuses to prosecute Garland despite the House voting to hold him in contempt because Biden asserted executive privilege over the tapes.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has vowed to take legal action as the next step, but Luna is not waiting around to see whether a court battle will produce results.

Luna’s resolution, if enacted, could lead to the House sergeant-at-arms taking Garland into custody if the attorney general continues to defy the subpoenas.

It would be the first time one of the chambers of Congress has used its inherent contempt powers to hold someone since 1934 during the Hoover administration.

Lawmakers got transcripts of the interviews but Republicans say they need the audio for oversight purposes. Democrats claim their GOP colleagues are motivated by politics.

Fox News reported Garland reached out to moderate Republicans, pressing them to reject Luna’s effort. There may be an attempt to table the measure before it gets a final vote.

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) is the sole member of the House GOP who broke ranks and joined with Democrats in voting against holding Garland in contempt earlier this month.

“As a former prosecutor, I cannot in good conscience support a resolution that would further politicize our judicial system to score political points,” he said in a statement.

Joyce added, “The American people expect Congress to work for them, solve policy problems, and prioritize good governance. Enough is enough.”

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