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DOJ Won't Charge AG Garland In Biden Tapes Dispute

The Justice Department declined to pursue a criminal case against Attorney General Merrick Garland after House Republicans voted to hold him in contempt for defying a congressional subpoena for audiotapes of President Biden. Prosecutors said Garland enjoys a legal shield from prosecution because Biden asserted executive privilege over the tapes. That’s in line with how DOJ handled two episodes where congressional majorities advanced contempt resolutions against Garland predecessors Eric Holder and Bill Barr, reports NPR. DOJ said it "will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute he Attorney General," assistant attorney general Carlos Uriarte told Speaker Mike Johnson.

The recordings feature hours of interviews between Biden and a special counsel investigating how classified information came to be found at Biden’s home and academic office. Prosecutor Robert Hur ended the probe with no charges, saying that jurors could view Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.” The Republican-led House Judiciary and Oversight Committees demanded the audiotapes of the Biden interviews. The Justice Department handed over written transcripts and correspondence with Biden’s lawyers. Hur testified before lawmakers for five hours. Garland said releasing the tapes could impede cooperation with sensitive investigations of the White House in the future and said there was no “legitimate” legislative reason for Congress to request them. The Heritage Foundation and several media organizations have filed a lawsuit to gain access to the Biden audiotapes.


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