Anna Paulina Luna to force House vote to hold Merrick Garland in ‘inherent contempt’

The House could issue $10K daily fines until DOJ releases audio of Joe Biden's interview with Robert Hur.

U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna has followed through on forcing a vote to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in “inherent contempt.” That could mean the nation’s top cop faces $10,000 fines each day from Congress unless he complies with a subpoena.

“It is evident that there is a two-tiered justice system in this country. I, along with an overwhelming number of Americans, am tired of all talk and no action,” Luna said in a statement.

The St. Petersburg Republican intends to bring a contempt vote up on the floor Wednesday as a privileged resolution. That means the House must schedule a vote of the full House within 48 hours. A vote will likely take place before the current session of Congress is scheduled to end on Thursday.

“Everyday Americans are penalized when they do not comply with subpoenas. After seeing what has transpired over the last three weeks, I am convinced Merrick Garland is engaged in a cover-up that goes all the way to the White House and involves the House of Representatives.”

Congress hasn’t used its power to hold individuals in inherent contempt since 1935. But Congress has the power to compel individuals to comply with subpoenas. Luna initially wanted to employ the long dormant power to have the sergeant-at-arms for the House arrest Garland and physically force him to testify to Congress, but she has backed off that extreme measure in favor of daily fines.

Luna, a member of the House Oversight Committee, wants the Department of Justice to release recordings of interviews of President Joe Biden by Special Counsel Robert Hur. The White House in May exerted executive privilege to block public release of those materials.

Hur in February completed an investigation of whether Biden mishandled classified materials as Vice President. A report from Hur concluded no criminal charges were warranted, but included explosive assessments about Biden’s mental state, describing him as an “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.” Most notably, Hur said Biden did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.

Transcripts later released to Congress suggested some back and forth on those details, and Biden insisted after the report’s release that his “memory is fine.”

But Luna has pushed for the release of the audio itself, and suggested there was greater urgency since a debate performance that set alarms within political circles about Biden’s age and fitness.

“Inherent contempt is the ONLY mechanism that can be used to force compliance with subpoenas,” Luna said in her latest statement.

“The Hur tapes are not just an issue of national security, as it is evident Joe Biden is impaired, but has now become a criminal organized effort to usurp Congress as a co-equal branch of government. This resolution has been legally vetted to ensure it is constitutional and is backed by case law in the Supreme Court.”

Still, the push has faced resistance from House leadership, with disagreement reported in Washington largely over the politics of the Presidential Election. Axios reported this week that Speaker Mike Johnson has been happy to see Democratic infighting about Biden’s competency dominating headlines for the past two weeks.

Still, Johnson signaled he would support the measure if Luna forced a vote.

“If it’s brought to the floor, I’ll vote for it,” he told press.

But it remains unclear if the measure has the votes to pass. Many moderate Republicans may not support a contempt vote. But Luna has also started to woo Democrats openly calling for Biden to step aside to support her measure and force the audio of his conversation with Hur into full view.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • My Take

    July 10, 2024 at 12:38 pm

    Has she run out of flying saucers to chase?

    • Ocean Joe

      July 10, 2024 at 4:42 pm

      This one might help push Biden into retirement, so let her keep her tinfoil hat and proceed at full speed.

  • FLPatriot

    July 10, 2024 at 12:39 pm

    She looks like one dim bulb.

    • My Take

      July 10, 2024 at 12:49 pm

      The mediocre minds of MAGA?

      • My Pronoun Is?

        July 10, 2024 at 1:47 pm

        Look at you two. You have a problem with female politicians? Dim bulb eh. How about AOC, Maxine Waters, Cory Bush, Pramila Jayapal, Ilhan Omar. There’s some dim bulbs for you. But wait there is more.

  • Gabriel

    July 10, 2024 at 12:52 pm

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  • Elvis Pitts "THE BIG VOICE ON THE RIGHT" American

    July 10, 2024 at 1:01 pm

    Excellent timing Anna,
    The trial for Garland will come after Trump takes POTUS and there wont be a Democrat on the planet with any power to pardon or commute Garland’s Prison sentance for the next 24 years. Garland’s new prison wife, Big Bubba, will really appricate that. Garland I am sorry for you son, but you hitched your wagon to the Donkey when you should have hitched it to an Elephant.
    Elvis Pitts American

  • My Pronoun Is?

    July 10, 2024 at 1:39 pm

    Garland is against voter ID. I have to show an ID at work. I have to show an ID if I want to purchase liquor. I have to show an ID to get on an airlplane and cruise ship. I have to show ID to a police officer if they pull me over. I have to show ID if I am leaving the country and when I return. What is wrong with you Dimocrats?

  • ScienceBLVR

    July 10, 2024 at 3:04 pm

    Luna is my rep, sadly. Ask what’s she done for the Pinellas folks since her lifeless stint in Congress? I’d venture to say her representation displays her… what was the term?
    Oh yeah, ”inherent contempt” for the people she represents. I am so tired of her and the GOP’s, what was the statement? Oh yeah, criminally organized effort to usurp our rights to adequate representation. I am so disgusted with Luna.. What was her phrase? Oh yeah, she is all talk and no action”.

    • My Take

      July 10, 2024 at 5:18 pm

      She has put some effort into finding the space monsters.

  • LexT

    July 11, 2024 at 8:42 am

    Not sure why some people go to jail for contempt of Congress and Garland does not. I cannot think of any reasonable reason that the public can have the transcript, but not the audio of the interview. There just is not a reasonable reason not to FOIA the audio. Can anyone explain…

    • My Take

      July 11, 2024 at 4:46 pm

      Us vs. Them
      It’s pretty simple.
      It happens all the time.

Comments are closed.


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