Faction of House Republicans Demand Arrest of Attorney General

The Republican-led House is demanding that Attorney General Merrick Garland be arrested for withholding the tapes of President Biden’s talks with special counsel Robert Hur. A Republican from Florida named Anna Paulina Luna is spearheading the effort to have Garland held in inherent contempt, a unique allegation that would enable Congress to arrest him and have him testify over the withholding of the audiotapes. 

She threatens to call for an immediate vote on his detention on Friday unless Garland complies with the House’s request for the tapes.

Following a recent vote by virtually all Republicans in the House to find Garland in contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with a subpoena for the tapes of Hur’s interview with Biden from October, Launa has decided to step up her efforts once again. 

In his account of the interviews, Hur cast doubt on the president’s mental capacity and centered on the possibility that he had mishandled secret papers. He said a jury would have sympathy for the president—whom he portrayed as a good-natured, forgetful elderly man—so he decided not to bring charges against Biden.

Republicans previously attempted to hold Garland accountable, but their efforts were in vain. The Justice Department refused to press charges against the agency director, citing an executive order from Biden as the reason. The House Sergeant-at-Arms, acting on House Speaker Mike Johnson’s orders, would arrest Garland and bring him before legislators to testify if the inherent contempt play was successful.

Opponents of the Republican Party think it’s more show than substance to invoke that authority, which was last exercised in 1934. The location of Garland’s detention remained unclear to Republican Representative John Duarte of California, who questioned the necessity of Republicans taking their feud with Garland to an extreme degree of intrinsic disdain, calling it a ploy to garner politicians “notoriety.”

The measure had the backing of Ohio Republican Rep. Max Miller, who had first-hand experience with a subpoena to testify before the special committee on January 6. 

Republican Johnson of Louisiana said that the Judiciary Committee will sue the Justice Department to get the recordings for its impeachment investigation, but he did not totally dismiss Luna’s effort.