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Garland rips 'unfounded' effort to hold him in contempt after Biden asserts executive privilege over Hur audio

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday slammed "unprecedented, frankly unfounded attacks on the Justice Department," defending President Biden's decision to assert executive privilege to block subpoenas for audio of Biden's interview with special counsel Robert Hur regarding classified documents found in his possession.

On his way to an FBI memorial for fallen agents, Garland briefly took questions from reporters before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee and the Judiciary Committee were each expected to hold a hearing to recommend that the full House refers the attorney general to the Justice Department for the contempt charges over the department's refusal to hand over the audio.

"In your professional capacity, you suggested to the president to invoke executive privilege. He invoked executive privilege. It protects you both personally. Is that a conflict of interest?" one reporter asked.

"The Justice Department is a fundamental institution of our democracy. People depend on us to ensure our investigations and our prosecutions are conducted according to the facts and the law and without political influence," Garland said in response. "We have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the committees get responses to their legitimate requests, but this is not one."


"To the contrary, this is one that would harm our ability in the future to successfully pursue sensitive investigations," he continued. "There have been a series of unprecedented, frankly unfounded attacks on the Justice Department. This request, this effort to use contempt as a method of obtaining our sensitive law enforcement files is just the most recent

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