President Biden Shields AG Garland from GOP’s Contempt Charge

President Joe Biden has thwarted House Republicans' attempts to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress by invoking executive privilege over tapes linked to special counsel Robert Hur's investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents. This action, according to Biden, is crucial to protecting the Department of Justice and its investigative operations.

White House Counsel Edward Siskel informed the House Oversight and Judiciary Committee Chairmen of Biden's decision in a letter. The letter highlighted Biden’s determination to preserve the Department of Justice's integrity, effectiveness, and independence. Siskel also noted Biden’s cooperation with the special counsel and the lawmakers conducting the investigation.

Although Biden did not claim executive privilege over Hur’s report, the White House acknowledged efforts to persuade Hur not to include evaluations of Biden’s mental acuity in the report. This step was considered necessary to prevent potential harm to future investigations and protect sensitive law enforcement information from being disclosed.

Siskel criticized the House Republicans' attempt to push a resolution holding Garland in contempt for not releasing the tapes, arguing that the proceeding undermines the Department of Justice’s independence and impartiality—principles President Biden is committed to upholding.

Attorney General Garland had requested Biden to assert executive privilege over the tapes, stressing the negative impact their release could have on future investigations. Garland reaffirmed his commitment to shielding the Department of Justice and its personnel from political actions.

By upholding executive privilege over the tapes, President Biden aims to safeguard the Department of Justice and its essential investigations, reflecting his steadfast dedication to maintaining the integrity and independence of the Department of Justice.

Written by Staff Reports

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