AG Garland Found in Contempt of Congress; Can the U.S. House of Representatives Do More?

By Mike Huckabee Published on June 17, 2024

Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland has been acting as if he were above the law and now is shocked to see he’s beneath our contempt.

The latter distinction is official now, as on Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to find him in contempt of Congress for his refusal to hand over the audio of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s interviews with President Joe Biden. The transcripts were provided, but the DOJ has had to admit in recent days that some editing had been done on them — something that is normally NEVER done on official transcripts of interviews.

These are the interviews that caused Hur to conclude Biden, if prosecuted, would come across as a frail old man with a poor memory. So just how poor is the memory of the President of the United States? And just how much editing did they do on his answers? We can’t know without the audio.

The vote was 216-207, a straight party-line vote with the exception of one Republican who inexplicably voted with the Democrats. That congressman, for all those looking ahead to the fall election, is Rep. John Joyce of Ohio, who cited his former role as a prosecutor as his reason. I hope he was a better prosecutor than Garland is.

Transparency and Accountability

Speaker Mike Johnson was out in front on this, saying in a statement, “This decision was not made lightly, but is essential to ensure transparency and accountability within the Special Counsel’s office.”

Here’s his full statement.

Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, released a statement as well, saying, “Congress cannot serve as a necessary check on the presidency if the executive branch is free to defy duly authorized, legal subpoenas.”

So, just how poor is the memory of the President of the United States? And just how much editing did they do on his answers? We can’t know without the audio.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, posted his own compelling list of reasons why Congress needs the transcripts, which are “best evidence” of what took place. “It is up to Congress,” he then said, “not the executive branch, to determine what materials it needs to conduct its own investigations.” Also: “Any claim of executive privilege was waived when the executive branch released the transcript of the interview to the press.”

The DOJ created a 57-page internal memo saying that since Biden had exerted executive privilege over the audio, Garland was immune from prosecution. (What is on this audio??) According to Comer, Biden waived executive privilege with the release of the transcript of the same interview. And, as Rep. Gary Palmer said, Garland’s refusal to release the audio “raises serious questions about President Biden’s mental fitness to function as president … Garland’s willingness to have his record tarnished by being held in contempt of Congress only increases speculation and concern about President Biden’s mental ability to effectively carry out his duties as president.”

Garland Punches Back

Garland, who had already written an op-ed in The Washington Post calling those who have a problem with the DOJ “conspiracy theorists” and “bullies,” posted Wednesday about his deep disappointment at Congress turning a “serious congressional authority” into a “partisan weapon,” saying, “I will always stand up for this Department, its employees, and its vital mission to defend our democracy.”

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Mr. Attorney General, if you really don’t know who has turned his office into a partisan weapon, look in the mirror. Also, if you genuinely wanted to (sigh) “defend our democracy,” you would give the voters of this country the information they deserve so they can make informed decisions.

Here’s the full story at Townhall.

You no doubt recall that during the Obama administration, AG Eric Holder was also held in contempt of Congress, and it was a big nothing. Nothing happened. A criminal referral sent to the DOJ obviously is a joke when the criminal is the head of the DOJ. And as Politico reports, the decision on whether or not Garland would face charges would be made by none other than Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves. That’s about as much of a guarantee as anyone gets in this life that Garland will not face charges from the DOJ.

Another Option: Inherent Contempt

But this Congress could exercise another option called “inherent contempt of Congress” which would allow them to exercise their authority to have their own Sergeant-at-Arms arrest Garland. This takes a separate vote; we don’t yet know if they have the votes or are even contemplating it. But without taking it that far, the vote to hold Garland in contempt is essentially ceremonial, as it was for Holder. That sort of useless gesture is really getting old.

For more on inherent contempt, here’s a report we just found and admittedly haven’t studied yet. The pertinent chapter would be “Enforcement of a Criminal or Inherent Contempt Resolution Against an Executive Branch Official,” starting on page 34.

Does Speaker Johnson have the guts to push for charges of inherent contempt against Garland? That would pleasantly surprise a lot of people. Doing so would involve trying him on the floor of Congress, followed by arresting and detaining him until he complies with the subpoena (or the end of the congressional session). The last time this was done was in the 1930s.

Of course, we could just play along with the joke and let the DOJ keep investigating and clearing itself. That’s what they did in the question of communications between Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office and DOJ official Matthew Colangelo, who went to work for Bragg specifically to prosecute President Trump. Surprise — no evidence of collusion was found.

But that’s not what it looks like to the House Judiciary Committee, after they launched an investigation in April. And they’re still waiting for relevant documents from the DOJ. Full story here.


Mike Huckabee is a former governor of Arkansas and longtime conservative commentator on issues in culture and current events. A New York Times bestselling author, he hosts the weekly talk show Huckabee on TBN.

Originally published at Reprinted with permission.

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