House to hold Merrick Garland contempt vote Wednesday

House GOP meets on Garland contempt vote


House Republicans consider Garland contempt vote

02:02

Washington — House Majority Leader Steve Scalise confirmed the House will vote Wednesday on holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress, escalating a battle over audio recordings related to President Biden’s handling of classified documents. 

The Justice Department has defied subpoenas from the Republican-led House Judiciary and Oversight committees, who have demanded that Garland turn over audio recordings of the special counsel Robert Hur’s interview with the president and his ghostwriter as part of their impeachment inquiry. 

Hur, who was appointed by Garland, interviewed Mr. Biden in October 2023 as part of his investigation into the president’s handling of classified documents after he served as vice president. 

After the president asserted executive privilege over the recording in May, the committees voted along party-lines to recommend Garland be held in contempt

Congress has transcripts of the interviews, but Republicans say the audio recordings are needed because the transcripts may have been altered. 

“If the audio doesn’t match the transcript, then what are the differences and why?” Scalise said Tuesday, “That’s what we need to find out as part of our inquiry.” 

The Justice Department said disclosure of the recordings could have a chilling effect on witness cooperation in future high-profile investigations. 

If the resolution passes, it would direct the House speaker to refer the case to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for potential criminal prosecution.  

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