July 21st, 2024

House files a lawsuit against Attorney General Garland over access to audio of Biden interview

By Farnoush Amiri, The Associated Press on July 1, 2024.

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, Thursday, June 27, 2024. The Justice Department has charged nearly 200 people in a sweeping crackdown on health care fraud schemes nationwide with false claims topping $2.7 billion. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans on Monday filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Merrick Garland for the audio recording of President Joe Biden’s interview with a special counsel, asking the courts to enforce their subpoena and reject the White House’s effort to withhold the materials from Congress.

The lawsuit filed by the House Judiciary Committee marks Republicans’ latest broadside against the Justice Department as partisan conflict over the rule of law animates the 2024 presidential campaign. The legal action comes weeks after the White House blocked Garland from releasing the audio recording to Congress by asserting executive privilege.

Republicans in the House responded by voting to make Garland the third attorney general in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress. But the Justice Department refused to take up the contempt referral, citing the agency’s “longstanding position and uniform practice” to not prosecute officials who don’t comply with subpoenas because of a president’s claim of executive privilege.

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