Two House committees will kick off contempt proceedings against Attorney General Merrick Garland on May 16.

Despite subpoenas compelling his cooperation, Mr. Garland has refused to provide House impeachment investigators with the recordings of special counsel Robert Hur’s interviews with President Joe Biden over his handling of classified documents.

As a result, members of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Accountability committees will begin marking up two different resolutions to hold him in contempt of Congress on Thursday at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively.

“The House Oversight and Judiciary Committees issued lawful subpoenas to Attorney General Garland for the audio recordings of President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Hur, yet he continues to defy our subpoenas,” Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said in a May 13 statement.

“These audio recordings are important to our investigation of President Biden’s willful retention of classified documents and his fitness to be President of the United States. There must be consequences for refusing to comply with lawful congressional subpoenas and we will move to hold Attorney General Garland in contempt of Congress.”

The chairman’s announcement coincided with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) release of a report recommending contempt proceedings against Mr. Garland for his noncompliance.

While the Justice Department has provided investigators with transcripts of the solicited recordings, the department has yet to turn over the recordings themselves.

In refusing to produce the tapes, Mr. Garland “invoked no constitutional or legal privilege” negating his obligation to fully comply with the subpoenas, Mr. Jordan noted in his report.

“Attorney General Garland’s willful refusal to comply with the Committees’ subpoenas constitutes contempt of Congress and warrants referral to the appropriate United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution as prescribed by law,” he wrote.

But on that, not all members of the committees agree.

“This contempt markup has more to do with helping the Trump campaign than any legitimate disagreement with the DOJ,” the Judiciary Democrats wrote on social media.

Likewise, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), a member of the Oversight and Accountability Committee, derided the move as an attempt to distract from what he described as Republicans’ failed “impeachment sham.”

Other Proceedings

Many House Republicans have long held that President Biden should be impeached for alleged bribery and influence peddling, but an ongoing impeachment inquiry has stalled, particularly after a key witness was indicted by federal prosecutors over alleged lying about the Bidens engaging in a bribery scheme in Ukraine.

The chamber did manage to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in February over his handling of the southern border, but the trial was quickly dismissed by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Mr. Comer has floated the idea of sending a criminal referral to the Justice Department instead of proceeding with a vote on impeachment of the president.

“What does real accountability look like? Does it look like impeaching Joe Biden in the House and then the Senate tabling it like they’re going to do with the Merrick Garland impeachment? Or does it mean providing real criminal referrals to the Department of Justice? I think the latter,” he said in March.

Holding Mr. Garland in contempt would work much the same way. If approved by the full House, a referral would be made to the Justice Department, though it is unclear whether House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) would bring the measure to the floor.

Asked about it at a May 15 press conference, the speaker said he hadn’t “paid any attention to that at all.” He did, however, go on to assert his belief that the Justice Department had been weaponized against the political opponents of the Biden administration “for political revenge”—a charge strongly denied by the Biden administration and Democrats.

The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Jackson Richman and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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