House Votes To Hold Attorney General Merrick Garland In Contempt For Refusal To Turn Over Biden Audio Recording

AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough

(Townhall) Although there had been some concerns as to if such a vote would come to pass, the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for his refusal to hand over the audio of interviews that Special Counsel Robert Hur conducted with President Joe Biden.

The vote came down to 216-207. With their particularly narrow majority, Republicans could afford to lose only two of their own, as all Democrats voted against the measure. They lost one, Rep. John Joyce of Ohio, who cited his role as a former prosecutor for voting “no.”

The vote is surely a win for House Republicans, especially Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) with both releasing statements shortly after the vote.

House Republicans, including Johnson, also spoke earlier about the need to hold Garland in contempt as a way to hold him accountable.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), who was another member who spoke at that press briefing, posted a list of reasons why Garland must be held in contempt.

“The audio recording is the best evidence of what was said during the interview,” Jordan began, especially given what the transcript cannot capture, with many other points touching upon the limitations of the transcript.

In addition to holding Garland accountable, there’s also concerns about what the Department of Justice (DOJ) is trying to hide by not releasing the audio. Hur did not absolve Biden, but rather revealed back in February he felt that the president was too old and had too much of a poor memory to charge him with a crime. Jordan’s list of reasons references such a point, which Republicans have been bringing up ever since Hur’s report was released.

There’s another crucial point from Hur, though, which is that he based his decision on more than what was in the transcript. As Hur told the Judiciary Committee, he “did take into account not just the words from the cold record of the transcript, but the entire manner in living color, in real-time, of how the President presented himself.”

Further, Jordan points out, that Biden himself has disputed the findings and that there is a factual dispute “only adds to the Committee’s need to hear the audio recordings itself.”

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