Site last updated: Friday, July 12, 2024

Log In

Reset Password
MENU
Butler County's great daily newspaper

Justice Department won’t prosecute Garland for contempt, says refusal to provide audio wasn’t crime

Attorney General Merrick Garland answers a question from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, while testifying during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Department of Justice, June 4, 2024, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House is expected to vote on a resolution holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview in his classified documents case. The contempt action represents House Republicans’ latest and strongest rebuke of the Justice Department and of Garland’s leadership. Associated Press File Photo

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department says Attorney General Merrick Garland will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress after refusing to turn over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview in his classified documents case because his actions “did not constitute a crime.”

A Justice Department official said that in a letter to Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday after the House voted to hold Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio.

On the last day to comply with the Republicans’ subpoena for the audio, the White House blocked the release by invoking executive privilege. It said that Republicans in Congress only wanted the recordings “to chop them up” and use them for political purposes.

Administrations of both major political parties have long held the position that officials who assert a president’s claim of executive privilege can’t be prosecuted for contempt of Congress, a Justice Department official told Republicans last month.

The 216-207 vote fell along party lines, with Republicans coalescing behind the contempt effort despite reservations among some of the party’s more centrist members. Only one Republican, Rep. David Joyce of Ohio, voted against it.

Garland is the third attorney general to be held in contempt of Congress. But it was expected that the Justice Department,which Garland oversees, would not prosecute him.

More in National News

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required
TODAY'S PHOTOS