House Votes To Hold Attorney General Merrick Garland In Contempt

Attorney General Garland Testifies Before House Judiciary Committee

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images News / Getty Images

The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday (June 12) to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio recordings of President Joe Biden's interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur.

While the Justice Department has turned over the transcript of the interview, Republican lawmakers have demanded the Justice Department turn over the audio recordings as well.

"We have to defend the Constitution; we have to defend the authority of Congress," House Speaker Mike Johnson said before the vote. "We can't allow the Department of Justice and an executive branch agency to hide information from Congress."

Garland issued a statement in response to the vote, saying it is "deeply disappointing that this House of Representatives has turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon."

"Today's vote disregards the constitutional separation of powers, the Justice Department's need to protect its investigations, and the substantial amount of information we have provided to the Committees," Garland said.

It is unlikely that the Department of Justice will prosecute Garland, as President Biden previously asserted executive privilege over the recordings to prevent lawmakers from obtaining them.

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