Key GOP House Panels Advance Contempt Against Garland Over Biden Audio Files

( – House Republicans are dialing up the pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland over the administration’s attempts to hide key audio files of President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. GOP members of two House committees want to hear the tapes; Garland is citing privacy concerns to keep them suppressed. Now, the government’s top lawyer could face contempt proceedings.

Special Counsel Robert Hur’s Final Report

In February, Hur released a report into his investigation of President Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents after secret papers were found in multiple locations including Biden’s former office at a think tank and the unsecured garage of his private residence.

Hur found that Biden had “wilfully” kept classified material but didn’t bring charges because he thought Biden would win over a jury by playing the part of an “elderly man with a poor memory.” He noted that during his interview, Biden’s memory appeared to be “significantly limited.” The report was explosive, with many conservatives seizing on it as proof that the president isn’t mentally competent to hold office.

Republican efforts to impeach Biden haven’t gone anywhere so far, but two influential House committees –- Judiciary and Oversight –- haven’t given up. GOP members on both committees are now pushing for access to recordings of the Hur-Biden interview, probably in an attempt to work out just how limited the president’s mental capacities really are. Biden doesn’t want them to hear the recording, which may imply that he knows it doesn’t sound good.

Biden Invokes Executive Privilege

On May 15, Garland wrote to Biden, telling him the tapes “fall within the scope of executive privilege.” Biden immediately jumped on that. The next day, he invoked executive privilege to deny the release of the tapes.

The White House and Justice Department argue that the committees already have transcripts of the interview and don’t need the audio. That raises another interesting question: if the committees know what Biden said, why is the administration so determined to hide how he said it?

Garland has an answer; he says the committee members want to use the audio for “political purposes” — in other words, to portray Biden as a failing and incompetent old man. However, by refusing to comply with the House subpoena asking for the tapes, he’s put himself in the firing line.

On May 16, both committees approved a report recommending contempt of Congress proceedings against the AG. The report says, “The Constitution does not permit the executive branch to dictate to Congress how to proceed with an impeachment inquiry or to conduct its oversight.”

They’re also pointing out that transcripts of Biden’s words aren’t guaranteed to accurately record what he actually says, considering that he’s been known to read teleprompter cues out loud.

Garland is standing firm for now, but with both committees voting for the contempt motion, it could now go to a vote of the full House — and, with a narrow GOP majority, there’s a good chance of it passing.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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