Justice Department Won’t Charge Merrick Garland For Contempt | EUROtoday

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WASHINGTON ― The Justice Department stated Friday it wouldn’t prosecute U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for not giving lawmakers audio of President Joe Biden’s interview with a particular counsel.

House Republicans authorized a contempt of Congress quotation towards Garland for allegedly defying their subpoena, however the division stated in a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Friday that Garland’s response to the subpoena “did not constitute a crime.”

Garland had given Republicans a transcript of Biden’s interview with former particular counsel Robert Hur, in addition to different paperwork Republicans requested for, however he stated handing over the audio would damage regulation enforcement by making individuals much less more likely to cooperate with future investigations.

Republicans stated they wanted the recording to confirm the transcript, which some lawmakers dubiously claimed might have been edited so as to shield Biden from felony legal responsibility.

Garland appointed Hur final 12 months to analyze Biden’s retention of labeled paperwork after he left the vice presidency in 2017, basically organising a parallel probe of the investigation into former president Donald Trump’s hoarding of paperwork after leaving the White House in 2021.

Hur decided in a report this 12 months that he wouldn’t have a powerful case towards Biden, partly due to authorized arguments the president may make and partly as a result of he would come off to a jury as a “elderly man with a poor memory.”

The transcript confirmed aides serving to Biden place sure life occasions in chronological order; the White House has stated Republicans solely need the audio for assault adverts. If somebody edited the transcript to guard Biden from questions on his reminiscence, they didn’t do an excellent job.

(Trump, for his half, didn’t cooperate with investigators like Biden did and is accused of obstruction of justice on prime of fees for willful retention of nationwide protection data.)

The refusal by the Justice Department to prosecute its personal chief govt didn’t come as a shock, since Biden had asserted govt privilege over the Hur recording to protect it from public dissemination.

“The longstanding position of the Department is that we will not prosecute an official for contempt of Congress for declining to provide subpoenaed information subject to a presidential assertion of executive privilege,” Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte stated in his letter to Speaker Johnson, citing a number of previous refusals to prosecute govt department officers for not giving Congress materials coated by govt privilege.

Republicans demanded the Hur materials as a part of their impeachment inquiry towards Biden, which has principally targeted on whether or not he participated in his son’s abroad enterprise offers. That investigation seems unlikely to end in an impeachment vote, however this week’s contempt vote towards Garland could also be one thing of a comfort to Republicans who need high-profile battle with the Biden administration.

On Thursday, a day after the contempt vote, the National Republican Congressional Committee revealed a digital commercial saying Democrats who voted towards the contempt decision have been making an attempt to guard Biden from voter considerations about his age ― not from a doctored transcript.

“Extreme House Democrats voted to block Americans from hearing secret audio files showing the truth about Biden’s mental fitness,” the advert’s narrator says.