Rep. Luna Deploys Rare Maneuver That Could Lead To Merrick Garland’s Arrest


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U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) will force a vote to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress by using a rare legal maneuver that will require a House vote.

The move comes after Garland dismissed a previous vote in which lawmakers found him in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over audio recordings of President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. Republicans have demanded to hear the tapes and believe they contain evidence of Biden’s mental decline after the White House admitted that the transcripts of the interview had been edited before release.

Garland asserted executive privilege — a defense not granted to former Trump White House officials Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro — while Garland’s own department published a memo explaining that he cannot be prosecuted.

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After Garland’s dismissal of congressional contempt proceedings, Rep. Luna stated that she has no choice but to force a vote on inherent contempt.

“For Congress to legislate effectively, we must have access to the information that will enable us to make informed decisions,” Luna wrote in a letter to her colleagues on Monday. “When Congress is denied this crucial information, we are left to navigate complex issues in the dark.”

After Garland refused to hand over the tapes, the House voted to hold him in contempt by a vote of 216 to 207. After Garland’s DOJ published the memo claiming he could not be prosecuted, Rep. Luna vowed to explore other options, including the possibility of an inherent contempt vote.

The rare legal maneuver, which was established in 1957, would allow the House Sergeant-at-Arms to detain anyone defying a Congressional subpoena, bypassing the executive branch and the DOJ.

If adopted, Luna’s resolution would compel the sergeant-at-arms to bring “Garland to the House for questioning and compel him to produce the requested evidence.”

It is unclear whether Luna’s resolution will find enough support in the House, however. According to a report from Breitbart News, the Biden Administration is calling Republicans and pressuring them to oppose the resolution. The move follows a successful pressure campaign earlier this year when several Republicans voted against a measure that would require intelligence agencies to obtain a warrant before spying on Americans.

“This is the very definition of corruption,” Luna said in a statement. “[Garland] believes he is above the law and can tell elected members of Congress what to do. My message to Garland is straightforward: release the tapes to Congress and let us listen to them.”

The ongoing showdown with Garland comes as former White House Chief Advisor Steve Bannon is set to report to federal prison for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena. Bannon was subpoenaed by Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 Committee, which defied more than 100 years of congressional precedent by refusing to allow the opposition party to appoint members.

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Scoop Diggins