BY Benjamin ClarkJune 13, 2024
1 month ago
BY 
 | June 13, 2024
1 month ago

Anna Paulina Luna Vows To Initiate Vote On Garland's Arrest If DOJ Fails To Act

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., has declared her intentions to force a consequential vote aimed at arresting Attorney General Merrick Garland under the rarely used "inherent contempt" powers of Congress.

According to Fox News, Rep. Luna's move comes as a response to the Department of Justice's inaction on a criminal contempt resolution concerning Garland, backed by the current GOP House leadership.

The seeds of this confrontation were planted following Attorney General Garland's refusal to submit audio recordings of interviews conducted by Special Counsel Robert Hur with President Biden.

The GOP asserts these recordings are crucial for accountability and transparency, reflecting a broader concern about perceived partisanship within the Department of Justice.

A Historical Approach in Modern Politics

Rep. Luna, on Wednesday, circulated a detailed letter among her colleagues outlining the nature and necessity of invoking inherent contempt, a measure last used in the early 1900s.

If invoked, This congressional power could result in Garland's arrest by the House sergeant at arms, bypassing typical legal channels.

"Inherent contempt of Congress hasn't been exercised since the early 1900s. And before that, it was a fairly usual practice," Rep. Luna noted during the discussion, highlighting the historical precedence of this measure, once a common tool to enforce congressional subpoenas.

The Path to a Controversial Vote

The mechanics of processing this resolution involve an initial passing of a typical contempt resolution by the full House. This standard procedure would refer Garland to his own Department of Justice for potential criminal charges, a course Rep. Luna and her supporters find insufficient given the circumstances.

Luna stated:

As of right now, we fully intend to bring it. I don't really have much faith in the Department of Justice. And I don't think the American people do either. But we are trying to bring back a level playing field and show that, you know, there should be accountability all the way up to the top.

Support and Political Strategy

In the backdrop, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., holds a slim majority, possessing only a two-vote edge, which necessitates precise and strategic legislative actions.

This political landscape complicates Luna's aggressive legislative push, making broad support within the party critical to her success.

Luna’s strategy also includes adhering to the planned schedule set by House leadership. "I'm going to wait for the vote to happen the way leadership wants it to happen with the criminal contempt. And then after that, that'll start the clock on our stuff," she detailed, signifying a willingness to align her actions with broader Republican strategies in the House.

A Claim of Injustice and Inaction

Further explaining her stance, Luna argues the necessity of such drastic measures stems from a growing public perception of a two-tiered justice system.

She believes explaining inherent contempt and its implications can sway public opinion towards favoring her proposed actions.

"If the DOJ won't do their jobs, we're going to do it for them," she declared, encapsulating the frustration and impetus behind seeking such an unprecedented congressional action in contemporary times.

This resolution, set to be moved following a planned vote on Wednesday afternoon, marks a critical moment in a deepening divide between congressional Republicans and the Department of Justice. It encapsulates ongoing debates over accountability and transparency at the highest levels of government.

Conclusion

As Rep. Luna pushes forward with her ambitious and historic move, the coming days will be crucial in determining whether her call for inherent contempt gains the necessary traction within Congress. With the House's thin majority, every step and vote counts, potentially setting a formidable precedent in the powers of Congress to enforce its subpoenas and hold high office bearers to account.

Written by: Benjamin Clark

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