Comer and Jordan Threaten to Hold AG Garland in Contempt Over Refusal to Turn Over Hur Materials

When Special Counsel Robert Hur issued his report regarding his investigation into President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents in early February, it set off a firestorm. Many on the right were frustrated with the decision not to prosecute and the failure to hold Biden accountable for actions seemingly on par with those for which former President Donald Trump had Mar-a-Lago raided and is facing criminal indictment in Florida. Many on the left were incensed at Hur’s characterization of Biden’s declining mental faculties. Virtually no one was happy (which, frankly, probably means Hur did his job). 

In response, the House Oversight Committee requested the Department of Justice to provide access to the classified documents at issue “to determine if they were used to help the Bidens’ influence-peddling schemes.” The committee, along with Judiciary and Ways and Means, also requested the DOJ to turn over transcripts and recordings of Hur’s interviews with Biden. On February 27, Oversight and Judiciary issued subpoenas to the DOJ for Hur’s interview records, including transcripts, notes, video, and audio files. 


House Oversight Committee Demands Access to Biden Classified Documents Uncovered by Hur Investigation

BREAKING: Oversight Committee Puts Feb 19 Deadline on Demand for Special Counsel Hur’s Biden Transcripts

House Committees Subpoena Records of Biden’s Hur Interview, Now Team Joe Is in a Deep Bind

In response to the subpoenas, the DOJ turned over only partial records. So now the committees are threatening to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt. On Monday, the committees issued a letter to Garland recapping the chronology of requests and the DOJ’s noncompliance with the subpoenas. 

The full letter may be read here, but some of the highlights are included below (emphasis added). 

However, on March 7, 2024, the subpoena’s return date, the Department provided the Committees with an insufficient production that only included letters exchanged between President Biden’s legal counsel and the Department, along with an offer to review two classified documents in camera.

On March 12, 2024, between 7:43 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.—a little more than two hours before Special Counsel Hur’s scheduled testimony—the Department produced to the Committees two redacted transcripts of Special Counsel Hur’s interviews with President Biden. The Department failed to produce the audio recordings of the interviews, which the Committees specifically prioritized in our March 9 letter.
According to news reports, several news outlets received and reviewed the transcripts of Special Counsel Hur’s interviews with President Biden before they were produced to the Committees, despite the Department’s representation that it had only completed the “interagency review” of the transcripts the morning of March 12 shortly before it produced the transcripts to the Committees. Because the Department and the White House were presumably the only two entities with copies of the transcripts before the Committees received them, we can only assume that, for political purposes, the Department and White House provided the transcripts to news outlets before the Department completed its “interagency review” process. If that is not the case, we can only assume that the Department misled the Committees about the timing of its completion of such process.

The committees gave the DOJ until noon on April 8 to comply with the subpoenas, ending the letter by noting that “If you fail to do so, the Committees will consider taking further action, such as the invocation of contempt of Congress proceedings.” 

Will the DOJ comply? Or call the committees’ bluff? Stay tuned…

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