Johnson Caught in the Middle of GOP’s War with the Justice Dept.

( – Republicans within the House of Representatives are currently engaged in a standoff with the Justice Department, which could end with the House holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress.

The standoff started when the Justice Department disobeyed a congressional subpoena that would’ve required Garland to release an audio recording of an interview between President Joe Biden and special counsel Robert Hur. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) has become caught in the middle of the GOP’s war with the Justice Department and has criticized the Biden administration for withholding the interview.

House Republicans believe Johnson should become involved in the ongoing standoff due to his role as the House Speaker. Johnson’s involvement could give Republicans more authority in their effort to have the Justice Department release the interview audio. The Republicans within the House believe the Justice Department has violated the aforementioned congressional subpoena due to its bias favoring President Biden. Despite the accusations of political bias, Johnson remains mostly neutral in the ongoing standoff for several reasons.

Johnson said that the House Republicans are discussing the potential contempt of Congress charge against Garland and how that legal procedure could result in a chain reaction of additional charges against other legal officials. Johnson claims that the Republicans aren’t entirely committed to charging Garland with contempt of Congress, so he isn’t sure how to move forward. Despite Johnson’s hesitance, other Republicans believe the Justice Department must release the interview audio.

One such Republican is Representative Don Bacon (R-NE), who said he lacks the required information about the ongoing contempt push but still believes Americans should hear the interview audio. Representative David Joyce seemingly disagreed and said the House of Representatives should focus on passing policy rather than pursuing charges against Garland. Legal experts believe that even if the House successfully finds Garland in contempt, President Biden’s use of executive privilege would likely prevent any criminal consequences.

House Republicans want the interview audio as it allegedly contains audible proof of President Biden’s deteriorating mental state. The interview’s transcript featured multiple instances of President Biden seeming forgetful, including a brief exchange where he admitted he wasn’t sure what year his oldest son, Beau, died from cancer. Although the House Republicans are engaged in an ongoing effort to have the Justice Department release the audio, some legal experts believe it could take years before it reaches the general public.

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