But, Of Course: Justice Won't Prosecute Garland for Contempt

Attorney General Merrick Garland will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress because his refusal to turn over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview in his classified documents case “did not constitute a crime," the Justice Department said Friday.

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In a letter to Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Justice Department official cited the agency's “longstanding position and uniform practice” not to prosecute officials who don’t comply with subpoenas because of a president’s claim of executive privilege.

The Democratic president last month asserted executive privilege to block the release of the audio, which the White House says Republicans want only for political purposes. Republicans moved forward with the contempt effort anyway, voting Wednesday to punish Garland for refusing to provide the recording.

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte noted that the Justice Department under presidents of both political parities has declined to prosecute in similar circumstances when there has been a claim of executive privilege.

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