Connect with us

Biden Administration

House votes to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress

Published

on

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interviews with former special counsel Robert Hur. These interviews were part of Hur’s investigation into Biden’s handling of classified material, which concluded without charges being brought against the President.

The vote, which was 216 to 207, saw one Republican, Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio, join Democrats in opposing the resolution. This marks a significant development in a protracted dispute between House Republicans and the executive branch, which escalated after President Biden asserted executive privilege over the recordings.

In a statement following the vote, Garland expressed disappointment, stating, “This House of Representatives has turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon,” and emphasized the need to protect the Justice Department’s investigations and uphold the separation of powers.

With the contempt resolution passed, House Speaker Mike Johnson will certify the report to the United States attorney for the District of Columbia. This certification mandates the US attorney to present the matter to a grand jury, though the Justice Department will ultimately decide whether to prosecute.

This action against Garland builds on Republican allegations that the Justice Department has been weaponized against conservatives, particularly following former President Donald Trump’s conviction in New York for falsifying business records. House Republicans argue that the audio recordings are essential for their impeachment inquiry into President Biden, which has faced challenges and remains uncertain in its outcome.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise expressed confidence in securing the necessary votes for the contempt resolution, despite some internal concerns among Republicans about the move. Ultimately, the vote proceeded as planned.

Garland, in an op-ed, maintained his stance against what he described as “baseless, personal and dangerous” attacks, reinforcing his commitment to the Justice Department’s integrity.

The conflict over the audio recordings began when Republican-led committees subpoenaed the Justice Department for transcripts, documents, and audio files related to Hur’s investigation. While the department provided transcripts and other materials, it withheld the audio recordings, citing privacy concerns and the potential impact on future cooperation from witnesses.

Republicans argue that the audio recordings offer critical information that transcripts alone cannot provide, particularly in understanding the nuances of Biden’s responses regarding his handling of classified information. They contend that the Justice Department must fully comply with their subpoenas to enable thorough oversight.

House Oversight Chairman James Comer emphasized the necessity of complete compliance with congressional subpoenas, asserting that the executive branch is not above legislative scrutiny.

The Biden administration has questioned the Republicans’ motives, suggesting that the demand for the audio recordings is politically driven. White House Counsel Edward Siskel accused Republicans of intending to distort the recordings for partisan purposes, while DOJ Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte argued that the transcripts should suffice for the committees’ inquiries.

The special counsel report, which highlighted Biden’s age and memory, has become a point of contention as Republicans use these aspects to challenge the President ahead of the upcoming election.

In response to the contempt vote, Democrats criticized their Republican colleagues for what they view as an unwarranted pursuit. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland stated that there was no legitimate basis for holding Garland in contempt, while Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York accused Republicans of acting in service of Trump’s interests rather than justice.

As this issue continues to unfold, it underscores the ongoing tension between the legislative and executive branches, particularly in matters involving high-stakes political investigations.

Biden Administration

Former Obama-Biden Advisor Claims “The First Amendment Is Out of Control,” Hinders Government Action

Published

on

In a controversial opinion piece published recently, Tim Wu, an advisor to both the Obama and Biden administrations, argued that the First Amendment is becoming a significant obstacle to effective governance. The essay, titled “The First Amendment is Out of Control,” has sparked widespread debate and criticism.

Wu’s argument centers on the assertion that the First Amendment, designed to protect free speech, is now being exploited by powerful entities, including Big Tech companies, to resist regulation and oversight. He cites recent Supreme Court rulings regarding Texas and Florida laws aimed at regulating social media platforms as examples of this exploitation.

According to Wu, the collaboration between the government and major social media platforms is often hindered by the First Amendment, which is used as a defense to protect free speech in digital public forums. He suggests that this constitutional protection is being misused to prevent necessary government action aimed at safeguarding citizens.

Critics, however, argue that Wu’s perspective misinterprets the fundamental purpose of the First Amendment. They contend that the amendment’s role is precisely to protect citizens from government overreach and censorship, ensuring that free speech remains a cornerstone of democracy. The idea that the First Amendment is an obstacle rather than a protector is seen by many as a dangerous and misguided interpretation.

Furthermore, Wu’s essay touches on the issue of banning platforms like TikTok and implementing age verification laws, such as California’s Age-Appropriate Design Code. He suggests that the First Amendment stands in the way of these actions, which he believes are necessary for national security and protecting minors online. Critics counter that these measures, if implemented, could set precedents for broader and potentially harmful censorship practices.

Wu’s reference to the First Amendment as a “suicide pact,” borrowing language from a 1949 dissenting opinion in the Terminiello v. City of Chicago case, underscores the dramatic tone of his argument. He suggests that the amendment, while intended to safeguard freedoms, can also be interpreted in ways that undermine societal safety and security.

In conclusion, Tim Wu’s essay has reignited the debate over the balance between free speech and governmental regulation. While Wu argues that the First Amendment’s current application hinders effective governance and protection of citizens, his critics maintain that the amendment is essential for safeguarding democratic principles and preventing government overreach. As this debate continues, the interpretation and application of the First Amendment remain at the forefront of discussions about free speech and public safety in the digital age.

SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

Continue Reading

Biden Administration

DHS and FBI Issue Warning About Large Fourth of July Events as ‘Attractive’ Targets for

Published

on

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning on Wednesday regarding potential threats to large Fourth of July celebrations. According to an internal bulletin obtained by ABC News, these events are considered “attractive” targets for lone offenders and small groups with malicious intentions.

The bulletin emphasizes the risk posed by individuals and small groups who might exploit the gatherings for terrorism or other harmful activities. The warning comes as the nation prepares for Independence Day festivities, which traditionally draw large crowds to public spaces.

The FBI and DHS are urging local law enforcement and event organizers to increase vigilance and security measures. The agencies highlight the importance of public awareness and cooperation, encouraging individuals to report any suspicious activities immediately.

Continue Reading

Biden Administration

Biden is 7 Times More Popular with Ukrainians than Trump, Poll Reveals

Published

on

In a recent poll conducted by The Counteroffensive/Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, President Joe Biden emerges as significantly more popular among Ukrainians compared to former President Donald Trump. This inaugural poll offers insights into Ukrainian sentiment towards American leadership during their ongoing conflict with Russia.

According to The Hill, a striking 46.7 percent of Ukrainian respondents expressed a preference for President Biden as the leader they believe would better support Ukraine’s war effort. In contrast, only 6.5 percent of those polled favored Trump in this regard.

Continue Reading

Trending