House GOP leaders plan to whip Garland contempt vote

1 month ago 31

House GOP leaders will begin whipping their Republican members on holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt this week, according to two Republicans familiar with the matter, amid some skepticism they can get the near-unanimity required to pass it on the floor.

With Republicans expecting no help from Democrats, Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) is expected to begin gauging if they can keep intra-party opposition to near zero, according to the two Republicans, who spoke on condition of anonymity. One of those Republicans said the whip effort could begin as early as Wednesday.

Two contempt resolutions against Garland passed out of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on a partisan basis last week, leading to a highly contentious hearing in the latter panel last Thursday that involved name-calling and alleged drinking.

But the timing for the actual vote remains unclear. While the temperature check shows GOP leadership is moving quickly to determine internal standing on the matter, the second Republican said the vote is not expected this week. And the House is in recess next week for the Memorial Day holiday.

Republicans moved to hold Garland in contempt after the Justice Department declined to comply with GOP subpoenas that sought audio from former special counsel Robert Hur’s interviews with President Joe Biden. The DOJ previously turned over transcripts of the interview, but the Justice Department has pushed back against releasing the recordings, arguing that it risks deterring cooperation in future probes.

Even if the House manages to pass a contempt resolution against Garland, it's unlikely he'll face charges since Biden asserted executive privilege over the audio of the interview last week. Hur's report piqued Republican interest due to his saying that jurors could see Biden as "a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Republicans on both panels have also heavily hinted that they will sue for access to the tapes.

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