Justice Department Declines To Prosecute AG Merrick Garland In Move To Protect Joe Biden

 June 14, 2024

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), late on Friday, announced its decision not to prosecute Attorney General Merrick Garland for contempt of Congress, as unveiled in a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson.

The National Pulse reported that the DOJ backed its resolution based on Presidential executive privilege, establishing Garland's refusal to submit subpoenaed audio recordings involving President Joe Biden as compliant with legal precedent.

House Republicans had passed a contempt resolution against Attorney General Merrick Garland, citing his non-compliance in providing subpoenaed recordings from interviews overseen by special counsel Robert Hur.

These recordings remain undisclosed, framing a conflict steeped in executive privilege assertions.

Authored by Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte, the DOJ's correspondence argued that the lack of prosecution was rooted in long-established Executive Branch norms. Of course, these arguments don't hold up considering that multiple Trump advisors are in prison for contempt of Congress charges.

The difference is that the Department of Justice is clearly politically biased and will do everything in its power to protect the Biden administration.

Historical Precedents Play Crucial Role In DOJ Decision

Uriarte detailed in his letter the historical approach of the DOJ, indicating that "the longstanding position of the Department is that we will not prosecute an official for contempt of Congress for declining to provide subpoenaed information subject to a presidential assertion of executive privilege."

He further elaborated that both Democrat and Republican administrations have heralded this view, adding, "Across administrations of both political parties, we have consistently adhered to the position that ‘the contempt of Congress statute was not intended to apply and could not constitutionally be applied to an Executive Branch official who asserts the President’s claim of executive privilege.'"

This clear bipartisan agreement underscores a uniform application of such legal doctrines, assuring a standardization of executive actions in response to legislative challenges.

In his defense, Attorney General Merrick Garland has articulated concerns about the potential repercussions of releasing the audio recordings, stressing that such actions could "chill cooperation with the department in future investigations." He suggested that the publicity of these records could affect the candor of witnesses in ongoing or future probes.

Moreover, Garland argued that exposing witnesses to public Congressional scrutiny via audio releases might alter their testimonial integrity.

He expressed apprehension over the possible impact on the willingness of individuals to participate freely in law enforcement interviews, thus affecting the overall efficacy of the investigative process.

The DOJ's letter made a conclusive statement regarding the legality of Garland's actions, affirming that his responses to Congressional subpoenas did not rise to the level of criminality. "The Department has determined that the responses by Attorney General Garland to the subpoenas issued by the Committees did not constitute a crime," the letter outlined, emphasizing the legal rationale behind not pursuing criminal charges against Garland.

This declaration further stated that the DOJ "will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the Attorney General."

Thus, the decision effectively removes any immediate legal threat to Garland, allowing him to continue his duties devoid of the burden of potential prosecution.


In conclusion, the DOJ’s choice not to prosecute Attorney General Merrick traces the roots back to historical precedents that have uniformly upheld such executive privileges irrespective of the political affiliation of the incumbent administration, this decision reinforces the protected boundaries between the executive and legislative branches.

Future dealings between these branches, however, may yet test the resilience and interpretations of these established legal boundaries.

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