Republicans fail to pass bill holding AG Garland in contempt and fine him over Biden audiotapes

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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives connected Thursday rejected a solution to clasp Attorney General Merrick Garland successful "inherent contempt" for failing to move complete nan audiotapes of President Joe Biden’s question and reply pinch typical counsel Robert Hur.

The “privileged” resolution, written by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, a Florida Republican and Donald Trump ally, had called for nan House to impose a $10,000 regular fine connected Garland for each time he fails to manus complete nan audiotapes.

The inherent contempt process has successful nan past progressive nan House sergeant-at-arms taking a personification into custody and bringing them to beryllium tried connected nan House floor, but it hasn't been utilized that measurement in much than a period successful nan House. Luna’s solution only directed Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to enforce nan regular fine, though it was unclear really precisely he would enforce it and nan matter could person ended up successful court.

It did not telephone for Garland to beryllium taken into custody.

Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla.,Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., astatine a news convention successful nan U.S. Capitol connected June 26.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

The ballot was 204-210. Four Republicans voted pinch each Democrats successful rejecting nan resolution, while different 12 Republicans were absent.

Republicans person sought audio of Biden's question and reply pinch Hur, who was appointed by Garland to lead nan investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents from his days successful nan Senate and arsenic vice president. While he said Biden’s practices “present superior risks to nationalist security,” Hur did not bring charges against nan president, successful part, because Biden could represent himself arsenic an “elderly man pinch a mediocre memory” who would beryllium sympathetic to a jury.

The Justice Department successful March released redacted written transcripts of nan president’s five-hour question and reply pinch Hur connected Oct. 8 and 9, 2023. But Luna and different Republicans opportunity they want to perceive to nan Biden audio themselves to guarantee that nan transcripts were not manipulated.

The White House has claimed executive privilege successful refusing to manus complete nan audiotapes, and Biden’s Democratic friends connected Capitol Hill person said nan written transcripts are sufficient.

Thursday's inherent contempt ballot comes 1 period aft nan House voted 216-207 to hold Garland successful contempt of Congress complete nan audiotapes, but DOJ said it would decline to prosecute nan leader of nan rule enforcement agency.

On Wednesday night, Democrats first tried to "table" aliases termination Luna's solution but that effort failed. Democrats past made a mobility to mention nan solution to nan Rules Committee to hold nan process, but that, too, failed, starring to nan afloat House ballot Thursday.

Scott Wong

Scott Wong is simply a elder legislature newsman for NBC News.

Kyle Stewart

Kyle Stewart is simply a section shaper covering Congress for NBC News.


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