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GOP Plan Empowers House Sergeant-At-Arms to Detain Attorney General

 June 17, 2024

In a bold legislative move, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna has proposed a resolution that could escalate to the detention of Attorney General Merrick Garland by the House sergeant-at-arms.

This resolution responds to Garland's continued defiance of congressional subpoenas tied to an investigation involving classified documents and President Joe Biden, The Daily Wire reported.

Rep. Luna discussed her resolution on Fox News, highlighting the use of inherent contempt powers of Congress to enforce accountability on the Attorney General.

She expressed concerns over the Department of Justice's refusal to prosecute Garland, prompting her to advocate for more direct action through Congress.

Understanding Luna's Resolution and Its Implications

The resolution would empower the House sergeant-at-arms to take Garland into custody if he fails to comply with subpoenas demanding audio recordings. Specifically, these recordings pertain to interviews conducted as part of the classified documents investigation.

Moreover, Speaker Mike Johnson, supporting Luna's initiative, has announced plans to pursue legal action following the DOJ's decision not to charge Garland. This decision, furthermore, stems from President Biden's claim of executive privilege, which purportedly protects the audio recordings from being disclosed.

DOJ's Stance on Executive Privilege and Future Investigations

The Department of Justice has defended its stance by arguing that releasing the audio recordings could compromise future investigations. They cite executive privilege as a basis for not complying with the subpoenas.

Meanwhile, House Republicans, including Speaker Johnson, are adamant about obtaining the recordings. They argue that having access to the audio, not just the transcripts, is crucial for thorough oversight of the administration.

Political Motivations and Partisan Responses

Democrats have criticized the resolution as a political maneuver, suggesting it is intended to disrupt rather than uphold justice. They argue that the GOP's pursuit of the audio recordings is excessive, given that transcripts are already available.

Rep. Luna, however, dismisses these criticisms, emphasizing the necessity of direct congressional action. She believes relying solely on judicial processes might delay or prevent effective oversight.

Luna Advocates for Strong Congressional Action

"What that allows Congress to do is be the punitive arm and hold Garland accountable by using the sergeant at arms to essentially go and get him, as well as the tapes, bring him to the well of the House," stated Luna.

She further noted the urgency of the situation, suggesting that if the DOJ does not move to indict Garland by a specific deadline, she will press for a vote to hold him in inherent contempt of Congress. This would compel him to produce the recordings or face detention.

The Resolution's Path to the House Floor

Luna is optimistic about the resolution's prospects, stating, "That vote will be coming to the floor. And, hopefully, we will be able to bring some accountability." She also expressed skepticism about the efficacy of judicial intervention, which she fears could stall the process.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has criticized the use of congressional subpoenas as partisan tools, suggesting that such tactics undermine the legitimacy of congressional authority.

Looking Ahead: What's Next for the Resolution

As the deadline approaches, the political landscape is tense with anticipation. The resolution, if passed, could set a significant precedent for how Congress can use its inherent contempt powers in future oversight and investigation disputes.

This resolution is not only a potential turning point in the Biden administration's ongoing legal and political battles but also a test of the balance of power between the executive branch and Congress.

Conclusion: A Pivotal Moment in Congressional Oversight

In conclusion, Rep. Luna's resolution represents a crucial moment for congressional authority and its ability to enforce oversight on the executive branch.

The outcome of this resolution could significantly affect the dynamics between Congress and the Department of Justice, setting a precedent for future interactions. If enacted, it could redefine the extent to which Congress can exert its powers in cases of non-compliance by executive officials.