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House Republicans Warn of Punishment for Garland’s Refusal to Share Biden Tapes

House Republicans Threaten to Hold Garland in Contempt for Refusing to Turn Over Special Counsel’s Tapes of Biden

House Republicans are issuing a stern warning to Attorney General Merrick Garland, threatening to hold him in contempt if the Justice Department does not fully comply with subpoenas for materials related to special counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into classified documents.

In a letter addressed to Garland on Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer underscored that contempt proceedings are on the horizon if the Justice Department persists in withholding materials from Hur’s probe. The letter highlights the Department’s refusal to furnish audio recordings of Hur’s interviews with President Biden and the transcript and audio recordings of interviews with Mark Zwonitzer, a key figure in the investigation.

Despite the Department’s initial provision of letters exchanged between Biden’s legal team and the DOJ on March 7, in response to the subpoena, House Republicans pressed for more comprehensive disclosure on March 11, just a day prior to Hur’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee. However, the Justice Department indicated that a review of the materials was still pending.

House Republicans Warn of Punishment for Garland's Refusal to Share Biden Tapes

House Republicans Warn of Punishment for Garland’s Refusal to Share Biden Tapes (Credits: MSN)

Shortly before Hur’s testimony, the Justice Department did provide transcripts of Biden’s interviews to the committee. However, several media outlets had already reported on these transcripts prior to their official receipt by the committees.

The letter emphasizes the legal obligation placed on the Justice Department by the February 27 subpoenas to produce the requested material. It sets a deadline of April 8, 2024, for the submission of all responsive materials, warning of potential further action, including the invocation of contempt of Congress proceedings, should the Department fail to comply.

Jordan issued a separate subpoena on Friday targeting Mark Zwonitzer, Biden’s ghostwriter, for audio recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted for his book, “Promise Me Dad.” Zwonitzer had deleted certain recordings from his laptop after Hur assumed the role of special counsel, though these were later recovered by FBI analysts.

Rep. James Comer

Rep. James Comer (Credits: San Diego Union-Tribune)

Hur’s final report, released the previous month, did not recommend charges against Biden but raised questions about the president’s cognitive abilities. Transcripts of Hur’s interviews with Biden appeared to corroborate details from the report, including instances of Biden forgetting key details.

Hur testified that there had been attempts by the White House to influence the characterization of Biden’s age in his report before its publication. Garland, meanwhile, has dismissed criticism suggesting he should have intervened to alter the report’s language.

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