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Watch: Jim Jordan Uses Special Counsel Report to Repeatedly Hammer Merrick Garland on the House Floor

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan argued Wednesday that the House was justified in voting to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress.

In February, Jordan and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer subpoenaed the DOJ for both the transcripts and audio recordings of special counsel Robert Hur’s interviews with President Joe Biden regarding his retention of classified materials from his time as vice president and a U.S. senator from Delaware.

Garland turned over the transcripts but refused to release the audio recordings, and last month Biden asserted executive privilege in the matter.

The House voted Wednesday 216 to 207 to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress.

Last month, the attorney general told reporters, “We have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the committees get responses to their legitimate requests, but this is not one.”

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“To the contrary this is one that would harm our ability in the future to successfully pursue sensitive investigations,” he added.

Jordan said from the House floor ahead of the contempt vote, “The committees need the audio recordings to determine whether the Justice Department appropriately carried out justice by not prosecuting the president.”

“One former president’s being charged, Joe Biden is not being [charged], and we think we’re entitled — actually, we know we’re entitled — to all the evidence, and the best evidence,” he continued, in a reference to former President Donald Trump’s ongoing classified documents case.

Should Merrick Garland be held in contempt?

He noted the DOJ has already admitted in court documents to altering the transcripts, before they were released.

An official said that the department took out “filler words,” but asserted “the transcripts accurately capture the words spoken during the interview.”

“Despite the committees’ best efforts, the department has continued to withhold the audio recordings of those interviews without providing any constitutional or legal basis to do so,” Jordan said.

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On May 16, Biden asserted executive privilege over the audio recordings.

“It’s a move that the department said effectively shields Attorney General Merrick Garland from any criminal exposure,” ABC News reported at the time.

Jordan argued that Biden had a financial motive to retain the classified materials to put together an autobiography.

The lawmaker cited page 231 of Hur’s report, which states Biden “had strong motivations to do so and to ignore the rules for properly handling the classified information in his notebooks. He consulted the notebooks liberally during hours of discussions with his ghostwriter and viewed them as highly private and valued possessions with which he was unwilling to part.”

Jordan explained that Biden “had decided months before leaving office to write a book. A book for which he got paid $8 million.”

“But despite all this, special counsel Hur declined to prosecute — recommend prosecution — for President Biden, because Joe Biden is, quote, ‘a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,’’” Jordan said, reading from Hur’s report.

The chairman further spelled out in a social media post Wednesday why Congress needs the recordings.

“We cannot completely assess Special Counsel Hur’s recommendations and conclusions unless we have access to the audio recordings of the interview,” Jordan wrote.

“DOJ’s claims that law enforcement interests are at risk are especially weak here because the investigation is closed,” he also noted.

Politico reported, “It’s unlikely Garland will face charges — a decision that’s expected to be up to U.S. attorney Matthew Graves — particularly after Biden asserted executive privilege over the audio.”

Graves is the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. He is the lead prosecutor overseeing the Jan. 6 cases.

The DOJ did not accept the executive privilege claims made by former Trump White House aides Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon when they refused to comply with subpoenas issued by the Jan. 6 committee.

Graves’ office prosecuted both of them in Washington, D.C., and Navarro is currently serving a four-month jail sentence, while Bannon has been ordered to report to prison on July 1.


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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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