Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 25, 2024

Could Merrick Garland Face Arrest? Conservative Representative Proposes Bold Plan

Rep. Luna has introduced an 'inherent contempt resolution' to detain Attorney General Merrick Garland over his refusal to provide audio recordings of President Biden's special counsel interview.

Daily Mail reported that the Department of Justice recently declared it would not act on the House's already passed criminal contempt resolution against Garland. This led Luna to explore and pursue the rare 'inherent contempt' mechanism while recovering from childbirth.

Uncommon House Procedure Could Have Major Implications

Congresswoman Luna, who had been on bed rest due to her recent childbirth, discovered an obscure House procedure known as 'inherent contempt.' Earlier this month, the House held Merrick Garland in criminal contempt for not releasing Biden's special counsel interview audio. The DOJ's unwillingness to pursue prosecution has pushed Luna to further explore the inherent contempt resolution.

If the resolution is passed, Garland could face trial in the House and potentially be detained by the House Sergeant-at-Arms. The last occasion inherent contempt was used dates back to 1934 when Washington Lawyer William MacCracken was imprisoned for ten days.

Specific Concerns and Broader Implications

Rep. Luna argues that the DOJ is shielding President Biden, suggesting a lack of transparency and accountability in the current administration. She insists that the House needs these answers to ensure the integrity of governmental actions. Luna stated:

Garland is currently running cover — at the risk of making himself essentially a criminal via Biden — for Biden's objective to stay in office at all costs, even though it's very evident that they're hiding something from the American people.

She also expressed concerns about the accuracy of the transcripts provided by the DOJ regarding Biden's interviews. Luna resumed work by sending a letter to her colleagues advocating for a 'yes' vote. She underscored Congress's need to retain its power to enforce subpoenas without relying on another department.

Congress Weighs the Privileged Resolution

The inherent contempt resolution is categorized as 'privileged,' thus bypassing regular procedural hurdles and moving it forward for a vote swiftly. This action underscores the gravity and urgency of Luna’s accusations.

Luna has met with Speaker Mike Johnson to discuss her resolution. While Johnson prefers handling the dispute through the courts, Luna remains steadfast in her approach. She emphasized the potential consequences of diminishing the House's power to enforce subpoenas.

“The Department of Justice and the attorney general cannot decide whether a congressional subpoena is enforced,” Luna explained, warning that this could lead to the House losing significant legislative power.

Narrow Majority Creates Uncertainty

The House Republicans hold a narrow majority, which means nearly all GOP votes are needed for Luna's resolution to pass. The previous criminal contempt vote saw nearly united Republican support, save for Representative Dave Joyce of Ohio, who feared politicizing the justice system.

“Our demands for information from the executive branch would be futile if enforcement relies on a separate department,” Luna argued. As House Republicans continue their efforts to investigate President Biden, Luna's determination to utilize 'inherent contempt' speaks to the increasingly strained relationship between Congress and the Department of Justice.

Future Steps and Potential Impact

Luna's efforts are part of a broader GOP initiative, evidenced by subpoenas issued for Biden's interviews with special counsel Robert Hur and ghostwriter Mark Zwonitzer. The Republicans' distrust over the provided transcripts underscores the need for transparency.

In conclusion, Rep. Luna's attempt to use 'inherent contempt' to hold Attorney General Garland accountable has profound implications on congressional power dynamics. Her proactive approach, bolstered by new motherhood, reveals a drive to uncover truths and maintain integrity within government actions.

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