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Merrick Garland Thinks He's Judge Dredd, Ignores Contempt Vote Over Biden 'Dementia' Tapes

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024 - 05:00 PM

Attorney General Merrick Garland, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by Barack Obama following the death of Antonin Scalia (only to be blocked by Senate Republicans), issued a defiant statement after being held in contempt of Congress on Wednesday by the GOP-controlled House for refusing to turn over interview tapes from a DOJ probe of President Biden's mishandling of classified documents that would obviously show Biden in full-blown dementia mode.

"Today’s vote disregards the constitutional separation of powers, the Justice Department’s need to protect its investigations, and the substantial amount of information we have provided to the Committees," wrote Garland following the vote which made him the third attorney general in US history and fourth sitting cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress.

The Biden administration has already claimed executive privilege over the tapes, while the DOJ - which altered the transcripts of Biden's interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur to mask the president's cognitive decline - has suggested that releasing the tapes would allow a bad actor to create deepfakes that could subvert democracy, or some such malarkey.

Meanwhile, an internal DOJ memo argues that Garland cannot be prosecuted for contempt given Biden's executive privilege over said tapes.

The 57-page memo from the department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) says that no administration official has been prosecuted for failing to comply with a subpoena when the president has claimed executive privilege.

"For nearly seven decades and across presidential administrations of both parties, the Executive Branch has taken the position that the criminal contempt of Congress statute … does not apply to Executive Branch officials who do not comply with a congressional subpoena based on a presidential assertion of executive privilege," reads the memo. "Consistent with this longstanding position, no U.S. Attorney has pursued criminal contempt charges against an Executive Branch official asserting the President’s claim of executive privilege."

In response to the executive privilege claim, House Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer (R-KY) said that "The president has waived any executive privilege over these audio recordings by releasing a transcript of the entire interview to the public," however the OLC refuted that statement in the memo, writing "Because the committees have the transcripts of the special counsel’s interviews, the needs the committees have articulated for the recordings are plainly insufficient to overcome a privilege claim grounded in these important separation of powers concerns."

"The audio recording will not reveal any information relevant to the committees’ stated needs that is not available in the transcripts."

Sure, except that the transcripts were altered.

In recent weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported that Biden is off his cracker behind closed doors, while TIME magazine's Massimo Calabresi couldn't give a straight answer over serious cognitive decline exhibited during an interview.

Meanwhile...

Under federal law, contempt is a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to one year in prison and $100,000 - which Garland's DOJ used the full force of the US government to punish former Trump advisers Steve Bannon - who's about to report to prison for defying a Congressional subpoena (unless Matt Gaetz and pals can intervene), and Peter Navaro - who's now serving time for telling the J6 Committee to pound sand.

Meanwhile, those on the higher tiered justice system include former Attorneys General William Barr and Eric Holder - both of whom were held in contempt of Congress for similar reasons, and neither of whom faced criminal charges.

In short:

 

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