GOP Proposal Could Allow House Sergeant-At-Arms to Detain Garland

On a recent Sunday, House Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna spoke about using ‌inherent contempt ⁢of Congress against Attorney ⁤General Merrick Garland for not releasing audio pertaining to the ⁢probe into classified documents associated with President Joe Biden. During an interview⁤ with Fox News host Maria ⁢Bartiromo, Rep. Luna outlined a resolution which, if passed, ‍would authorize the House sergeant-at-arms ⁤to​ detain Garland if he continues to ignore congressional subpoenas. This move would enable Congress to act as a punitive⁣ body to enforce accountability. ‌The discussion gains further context as Speaker Mike Johnson signaled possible⁣ legal‌ action after the Department of Justice announced​ it wouldn’t prosecute Garland following his ⁣contempt of Congress citation. This was after President⁤ Biden invoked executive privilege over the recordings. Rep. Luna has tempered‍ expectations regarding the resolution’s success but promotes it as a robust measure to ⁢uphold congressional authority.

A House Republican spoke on Sunday about employing inherent contempt of Congress to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland “accountable” for refusing to share audio from the classified documents probe against President Joe Biden.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo about her resolution that, if enacted, could lead to the House sergeant-at-arms taking Garland into custody if the attorney general continues to defy congressional subpoenas.

“What that allows Congress to do is really be the punitive arm and really hold Garland accountable by using the sergeant at arms to essentially go and get him, as well as the tapes, bring him to the well of the House,” Luna said.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has vowed to bring the fight to court after the Department of Justice said it would refuse to prosecute Garland for contempt of Congress because Biden asserted executive privilege over the tapes.

Luna isn’t getting her hopes up and pitched her resolution as a more viable option for House Republicans to “really be a check and balance” against the Department of Justice (DOJ) with a move that “hasn’t been done since the early 1900s.”

She added, “That vote will be coming to the floor. And, hopefully, we will be able to bring some accountability. I know that, if this goes to courts, as Johnson has stated, that’s really going to get stuck there. It’s not going to do anything.”

The GOP-led House seeks tapes of special counsel Robert Hur’s two-day interview with Biden and discussion with Biden’s ghostwriter, Mark Zwonitzer, after the release of a report describing the president as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”

House Republicans obtained transcripts, but they said they still needed the audio to conduct oversight and pushed forward with contempt of Congress proceedings. Democrats claim the actions of their GOP colleagues are tainted by politics.

The DOJ claims sharing the audio would impede future investigations and insisted Garland is shielded from prosecution because of executive privilege. Garland had said the House turned “a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon.”

Luna previously said in a post to X that if the DOJ has not indicted Garland by June 25, she will “call a vote to hold him in inherent contempt of Congress, and he will be forced to produce the recordings or be held by the Sergeant at Arms.”

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