DOJ Will Not Prosecute Garland

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said this week that it would not prosecute U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland despite being held in criminal contempt by the House of Representatives. The decision came just days after former Trump administration adviser Steve Bannon appealed an order to report to prison for similar congressional contempt charges.

The DOJ’s announcement came just days after the House of Representatives voted to hold Garland in contempt for not complying with multiple subpoenas.

Members of the House sought to have Garland hand over the original tapes of the interview of President Joe Biden by special counsel Robert Hur in the classified documents investigation.

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte wrote to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) that the decision not to release the information came from President Joe Biden. Uriarte said that the president “asserted executive privilege” in the decision.

The House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees had been seeking the material since February. The House passed the contempt resolution by a margin of 216-207.

“That directive was based on a legal opinion from the Department of Justice (Department) advising that asserting privilege would be legally proper,” said a statement from the DOJ. “The President’s directive was issued after the Department produced materials responsive to all four requests in the Committee’s subpoenas. The Department provided Special Counsel Hur’s report without any additional redactions and facilitated his congressional testimony.”

House Republicans have expressed considerable concern about parts of the transcript of the interview. This included multiple instances where the president appeared to forget important elements of his life, including when his son Beau Biden died and the years he served as vice president.

Bannon, meanwhile, was ordered to prison for four months for not complying with a subpoena to testify before the House Jan. 6 Committee. Bannon has appealed the decision and asserts that he has done nothing wrong.

Bannon also stated that nothing, neither prison or any action by the government, would silence him.