Garland contempt resolution survives key hurdle, setting up House-wide vote

House Republicans’ contempt resolution against Attorney General Merrick Garland passed a key procedural hurdle Tuesday evening, setting up a chamber-wide vote.

GOP lawmakers are looking to hold Garland in contempt over his refusal to turn over audio recordings of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s interview with President Biden.

The resolution passed the House Rules Committee in a party-line vote after a contentious hearing where Republicans and Democrats clashed over Hur’s assertions about Biden, though the debate quickly devolved into back-and-forth comparing Biden and his son, Hunter, to the probes and prosecutions of former President Trump.

That opens it up to a House-wide “rule” vote to allow for debate and then a vote on final passage of the resolution.

The 388-page special counsel report cleared Biden of wrongdoing despite him having “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” from before he was president.

STATUESQUE REV. GRAHAM TRIBUTE COMES TO THE CAPITOL, BUT SHIES AWAY FROM THE LIMELIGHT

Hur said Biden came off “as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” and that “it would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him – by then a former president well into his eighties – of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”

Republicans seized on the report, arguing it’s proof Biden is not mentally fit to be president and accusing the Department of Justice (DOJ) of selective prosecution.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, called Hur’s description of Biden’s mental state “gratuitous,” which was challenged by House Rules Committee Chairman Michael Burgess, R-Texas.

PUPPIES AND RAINBOWS: HOW THE BIPARTISAN INVITATION TO THE LEADER OF ISRAEL THREATENS TO DIVIDE THE DEMOCRATS

“Why not then clear the air and make the actual audio of the interview available? Let the American people be the deciders here. Why hide that from them?” Burgess emphatically said.

Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., argued, “The reason that he recommended against prosecuting President Biden was not a gratuitous statement. It was the reason as to why he refused to recommend prosecution, and it was because Joe Biden is a quote, sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory. Mr. Hur was concerned that a jury would not be willing to convict.”

At one point, that committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said of the proceeding, “This is a distraction from the fact that the Republican nominee for president is a convicted felon. That’s what this is all about.”

He invoked the recent guilty verdict of Hunter Biden, the president’s son, on federal gun-related charges to refute Republican accusations of DOJ weaponization.

JOHNSON FLOATS DEFUNDING SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE AMID JACK SMITH’S TRUMP PROBE.

“The divide here is stunning. And it’s a great reminder that one political party remains committed to the rule of law and the other doesn’t. It’s that simple. Did Hunter Biden walk out of the courthouse this morning and slam the judge or the prosecutors? Did he claim some vast conspiracy to weaponize a legal system against him? No, he did not,” McGovern said. “How can any Republican in their right mind argue that the Biden administration is weaponizing the DOJ to hurt Republicans and to help Democrats? They just convicted the president’s own son.”

While the resolution is likely to pass along party lines, House GOP leaders have precious little room for error with their two-seat majority. The House-wide vote is expected on Wednesday.

Republicans’ pursuit of the Hur-Biden tapes is part of their wider impeachment inquiry into Biden over accusations he and his family profited off of his political status.

You might also like