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Press Release Published: Jun 12, 2024

Comer: Attorney General Merrick Garland Must Be Held in Contempt of Congress for Defying Lawful Subpoenas

WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) delivered remarks on the House floor in support of a resolution to hold U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for defying lawful subpoenas requiring the Department of Justice to produce the audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. Chairman Comer pointed out how the Justice Department is taking every step to insulate President Biden from accountability—whether it is hiding the audio recordings of his interview or attempting to give Hunter Biden a sweetheart plea deal to shield Joe Biden from facing any accountability for his role in his family’s influence peddling schemes.

Below are Chairman Comer’s remarks as prepared for delivery.

I rise in support of the Resolution.

This is not a complicated matter. The Oversight and Judiciary Committees issued duly authorized, legal subpoenas to Attorney General Garland for a certain set of documents, including the audio recordings of Special Counsel Hur’s interview with President Biden. The Attorney General has refused to produce these audio recordings. 

Unlike what my Democratic colleagues keep claiming, this is not just Republicans who need these recordings for their oversight duties. Media outlets—including the AP, CBS, CNN, NBC, and Washington Post, among others—have filed suit to get these audio recordings as well.

Because the media, like everyone else, knows there is no substitute for a recording of an interview. Not a transcript. Not a summary. Not the Attorney General’s judgment that Congress doesn’t need it.

The Oversight Committee’s investigation of these classified documents has already revealed that the White House’s official timeline of events regarding these classified materials left out important details.

For instance, White House employees were entering the Penn Biden Center and moving documents months before the “discovery” of the classified materials by President Biden’s personal attorneys in November of 2022.

One of those employees was former White House Counsel, Dana Remus. We issued a subpoena for Ms. Remus’s deposition, but the White House has blocked Ms. Remus from speaking to the Oversight Committee.

The White House has also blocked other White House employees who visited the Penn Biden Center before November of 2022 from speaking to us. 

What is the Biden Administration trying to hide?

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s refusal to produce this evidence establishes a clear pattern of obstruction by DOJ to cover up President Biden’s wrongdoing.

President Biden has lied to the American people about his mishandling of classified documents. 

He has repeatedly denied not knowing about or being involved in his family’s influence peddling schemes, which the Oversight Committee can now show has raked in $18 million from foreign individuals and entities for Biden family members, including the President himself. He also met with nearly all his family’s foreign associates.

President Biden’s Department of Justice appears to be taking every step to insulate him from the consequences—whether it’s hiding these audio recordings or attempting to give Hunter Biden a sweetheart plea deal to shield Joe Biden from facing any accountability for his role in his family’s influence peddling schemes. That is unacceptable. 

The House of Representatives cannot serve as a necessary check on the presidency if the executive branch is free to ignore the House’s subpoenas. 

I urge my colleagues to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. 

Read More:WSJ Editorial Board: Biden Makes a Bogus Executive Privilege Claim