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Attorney General Merrick Garland to defy congressional subpoenas on Biden's handling of classified materials

Fri Jun 07 2024
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Quick Hit:

Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced he will defy GOP congressional subpoenas seeking access to recordings from the investigation into President Biden’s handling of classified materials, citing concerns over future law enforcement cooperation.

Key Details:

  • Garland claims the subpoenas are an attempt to access sensitive information that could harm future investigations.
  • Republican leaders threatened to hold Garland in contempt to gain access to the audio recordings.
  • The recordings relate to Special Counsel Robert K. Hur’s investigation into Biden’s handling of classified materials.

Diving Deeper:

Attorney General Merrick Garland has declared his intention to defy subpoenas issued by Congressional Republicans, who are demanding access to audio recordings from the investigation into President Biden’s handling of classified materials. Speaking before the House Judiciary Committee, Garland described the subpoenas as illegitimate and warned that releasing the recordings could undermine future law enforcement efforts.

The controversy centers around the investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert K. Hur, which probed President Biden’s management of classified documents. Although the White House has provided transcripts of Biden's interviews, Republicans argue that the actual audio recordings are necessary to fully understand the context, especially given Hur’s characterization of Biden as an "elderly man with a poor memory."

Garland has requested that President Biden assert executive privilege over the recordings to prevent their release, arguing that making them public could discourage officials from cooperating in future investigations. Garland accused Republicans of seeking the recordings for political purposes, which he believes could damage the integrity of ongoing and future investigations.

In response, Republicans have accused Garland of weaponizing the Department of Justice, pointing to the recent indictments of former President Donald Trump and his conviction on 34 felony counts by a Manhattan jury as evidence of partisan bias.

During his testimony, Garland remained resolute, asserting that he would not be intimidated by threats of contempt. “I view contempt as a serious matter. But I will not jeopardize the ability of our prosecutors and agents to do their jobs effectively in future investigations. I will not be intimidated. And the Justice Department will not be intimidated. We will continue to do our jobs free from political influence. And we will not back down from defending democracy,” Garland stated.

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