Jordan, Comer threaten Garland with contempt over Hur materials

  • by:
  • Source: The Hill
  • 03/25/2024
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) are threatening to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress if he does not hand over materials pertaining to special counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into President Biden’s handling of classified documents.

The threat — as written in a letter to Garland on Monday that was obtained by The Hill — comes nearly one month after Jordan and Comer, along with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.), issued the attorney general a subpoena asking for information related to Hur’s probe, including transcripts, notes, and video and audio files.

Jordan and Comer on Monday said Garland handed over an “insufficient production” of materials, and warned they may move forward with contempt proceedings if he does not provide the rest of the information by April 8.

“The Committees expect you to produce all responsive materials no later than 12:00 p.m. on April 8, 2024. If you fail to do so, the Committees will consider taking further action, such as the invocation of contempt of Congress proceedings,” the pair wrote.

The GOP chairs said they are still waiting for audio recordings of Hur’s interviews with Biden, and the transcript and audio recordings of the special counsel’s interviews with Mark Zwonitzer, the ghostwriter for Biden’s memoir. The Justice Department provided a transcript of Hur’s interview with Biden earlier this month.

“The February 27 subpoenas create a legal obligation on you to produce this material,” they wrote.

The letter notes that the Justice Department informed the committees earlier this month that it was conducting an “interagency review” for classified and confidential information.
The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.

Hur earlier this month appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, where he defended his report on Biden’s handling of classified documents and explained how he landed on his conclusions.

Hur found that Biden “willfully” retained classified documents but stopped short of filing charges against the president, sparking opposition from Republicans. He also prompted backlash from Democrats by describing Biden as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

A redacted transcript of Hur’s two-day interview with Biden leaked the morning of the special counsel’s testimony, hours ahead of his appearance before the Judiciary Committee. The pages of conversation showed that the president fumbled over some details — including when he had to be reminded of the year his son died — but was engaged throughout and joked with the special counsel and his staff at some points.

Jordan and Comer accused the Justice Department and White House of releasing the transcript “for political purposes” and “before the Department completed its ‘interagency review’ process.”

House Republicans have been investigating Biden’s handling of classified documents for months. Last week, Jordan issued Zwonitzer a subpoena.

Hur’s report includes three examples of when Biden read parts of his notebook to Zwonitzer that referenced classified information.

This article was originally published by The Hill.


© 2024, Privacy Policy