House GOP to Vote on Contempt for AG Garland Over Biden Recording

House Republicans plan to vote soon to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for not providing the audio recording of special counsel Robert K. Hur’s interview with President Biden. The recording reportedly shows that the 81-year-old president had a weak memory during the interview. The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on the contempt charge on Thursday, as per a draft report that was reviewed.

Lawmakers on the panel have criticized Garland for not complying with their requests for information and subpoenas related to the case, particularly the recording of Hur’s interviews with Mr. Biden, which occurred over two days last October. Hur cited the audio recordings as the reason for not charging Mr. Biden over the mishandling of classified documents, stating that the president came across as “a sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.”

This development comes after the Justice Department filed a court document to oppose a lawsuit by CNN and two conservative groups seeking the release of the recordings of Mr. Biden’s interviews with Mr. Hur. The department argued that the interview recordings are exempt from public record laws, and releasing them would harm law enforcement efforts and the fair administration of justice.

Furthermore, Mr. Garland has also refused to provide the audio recording of Mr. Hur’s interview with Mark Zwonitzer, the ghostwriter for Mr. Biden’s 2017 memoir, “Promise Me, Dad.” Hur’s report alleged that Mr. Biden shared classified information with Mr. Zwonitzer and Mr. Zwonitzer deleted some of his audio recordings of his interviews with Mr. Biden upon learning of Hur’s involvement in the case.

The lawmakers are making the case for holding Mr. Garland in contempt, arguing that his refusal to share the recordings and other documents is hindering the House Republican impeachment inquiry into the president. They claim that the department has not invoked any constitutional or legal privilege to withhold the material. Additionally, they argue that the audio recordings would provide important verbal and nonverbal context not found in the transcripts.


In addition to the audio recordings, lawmakers are seeking copies of classified documents found in Mr. Biden’s possession that detail his interactions with the Ukrainian government while he was vice president. This includes talking points for a call with the Ukrainian Prime Minister and the transcript of the call. The Republicans claim that the retention of these documents raises questions about whether Mr. Biden purposely took them when he left office to benefit his family.

The Justice Department has allowed House Republicans to view the two documents related to the Ukraine call in a secure setting but has refused to provide copies. The department has not yet responded to a request for comment on the upcoming contempt vote.

Written by Staff Reports

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