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Rep. Luna Proposes Daily Fine for Garland over Biden-Hur Tapes

 July 2, 2024

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) is escalating a conflict with Attorney General Merrick Garland by threatening a $10,000 daily fine for not producing audio recordings of President Biden's interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur.

Her initiative is a part of a broader investigation by House Republicans into Biden's handling of classified materials and questions about his mental capability, as Fox News reports, and lawmakers are remaining firm in their attempts to secure the audio Garland has refused, as Fox News reports.

House Republicans Target Garland over Biden’s Tapes

Rep. Luna initially intended to call for a vote on Friday to hold Attorney General Garland in inherent contempt, which would result in a $10,000 per day fine until the audio tapes are released. However, after discussions with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Luna delayed the vote.

She announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, that she "intends to call up that vote next week."

Luna’s Resolution Targets AG for Non-compliance

Last Friday, Luna filed a new resolution aimed at holding Garland in inherent contempt for not providing the requested tapes.

She plans to declare the measure privileged when the House reconvenes on July 8, which will require the House to address it within two legislative days.

Biden’s Debate Performance Fuels Controversy

The controversy was further ignited by President Biden's performance in a debate against former President Trump on CNN last Thursday. Biden, who is 81, appeared fatigued and stumbled over several answers.

His hoarse voice and less sharp responses stood in stark contrast to his 2020 debate display, raising concerns among Republicans and some Democrats about his suitability for another term.

Previous Efforts to Obtain Audio Tapes

House Republicans had previously voted to hold Garland in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the tapes. The Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to prosecute Garland, asserting that the tapes are protected under President Biden's executive privilege.

President Biden has maintained that the full transcript of his interview is available and labeled the GOP's pursuit of the tapes as "nakedly partisan." Republicans argue that access to the audio tapes is critical in assessing Biden’s cognitive health.

Legal Actions Continue as Pressure Mounts

On Monday, the House GOP, led by Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), initiated a lawsuit against Garland to compel the release of the tapes.

Luna had previously informed her colleagues of her intention to force a vote on Garland's inherent contempt if the tapes were not handed over.

Inherent contempt, a measure last utilized in the 1930s, enables the House to detain individuals for a House-led trial, with the maneuver being upheld by the Supreme Court in 1935.

Garland Faces Daily Financial Penalties

The impending vote scheduled by Rep. Luna seeks to impose a daily fine on Garland, marking a significant escalation in the Republicans' scrutiny of President Biden. This tactic underscores Luna’s determination to exert continued pressure on the administration for greater transparency regarding the tapes.

The House’s decision to take up the measure within two legislative days following July 8 could indeed prompt quick and decisive action.

Bipartisan Reactions and Future Implications

The interaction between Rep. Luna and Speaker Johnson indicates a strategic approach by the Republicans in dealing with the issue. Johnson’s office has yet to provide further comment on the discussions.

As the situation develops, both sides of the political aisle are watching closely. Democrats are likely to view these actions as unprecedented and overly aggressive. Republicans, on the other hand, assert that it is a necessary step to ensure accountability and to assess the president’s fitness for office.


The impending proposal by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna to impose a $10,000 per day fine on Attorney General Merrick Garland marks a notable intensification in the ongoing examination of President Biden’s handling of classified documents and cognitive fitness.

This measure, propelled by Luna’s determination, will soon be addressed by the House and has already spurred a legal battle led by Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan.

As both parties brace for the potential ramifications, the resolution’s outcome could set a precedent in handling executive branch transparency and accountability.