House Oversight becomes second committee to pass Merrick Garland contempt of Congress resolution


The House Oversight Committee concluded a confrontational hourslong hearing Thursday night by advancing a resolution to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress.

The vote was 23-19 in favor of moving forward with holding Garland in contempt. The resolution was put forward against Garland for refusing to hand over audio recordings from special counsel Robert Hur’s interview with President Joe Biden related to his classified documents case.

Earlier in the day, the House Judiciary Committee voted to move forward with its own contempt resolution. Oversight was supposed to have their meeting in the morning as well, but they pushed it to 8 p.m. because several Republican committee members attended former President Donald Trump’s hush money criminal trial in New York.

That was a point of contention upon the start of the hearing Thursday night, with Democrats, such as Oversight Committee ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) upset about the nature of the delay, with the latter calling it “Oversight after Dark.”

The temperature of the hearing was raised after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) took a jab at Rep. Jasmine Crockett’s (D-TX) appearance, leading Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to demand an apology. MTG refused to give one, even attacking AOC’s intelligence as she spoke.

Reps. Jasmine Crockett and Marjorie Taylor Greene (AP)

The hearing reached a boiling point when Crockett’s time to speak came up, and she went after MTG’s appearance, prompting Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) to call her out of line and Crockett to start yelling and allude to MTG having “talk[ed] s***.” Chairman James Comer (R-KY) desperately tried to maintain order, but he could neither hear nor handle all of the various voices and comments going back and forth to put a stop to it.

The hearing eventually went to recess, before resuming, and eventually, about three hours after its start, the committee finished voting on the resolution that brought them all there.

The moves by the GOP-led House Oversight and Judiciary committees are part of a larger effort by Republicans to build an impeachment case against Biden over his handling of classified documents.

“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,”  Comer said in advance of the hearing.

“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,” he added, fortelling what was to come.

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