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Spineless Republicans Fail Again: Rep. Luna Softens Approach, Proposes Mere $10K Daily Fine for Garland Instead of Immediate Arrest

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Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fl) has pivoted from her initial hardline stance against US Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The House had previously voted 216 to 207 to hold Garland in contempt for failing to hand over the Robert Hur audio tape of his interview with President Joe Biden. The lone Republican siding with Democrats was Rep. David Joyce from Ohio.

After promising to direct the House sergeant-at-arms to take Garland into custody, Luna has proposed a daily fine of $10,000 until Garland complies with their subpoena.

On Wednesday, Rep. Luna warned Garland that he has until Friday morning to turn over tapes or be taken into custody.

“Why should the attorney general, who is supposed to be head of all law enforcement authorities, be any different? Garland still has time to comply with this request. We are asking that he bring the tapes to the house and let us listen to them, but in the event that he does not, we will press forward with calling the privilege motion on Inherent Contempt to the floor on Friday morning,” Rep. Luna said in a press conference.

On Friday, instead of bringing a privilege motion on inherent contempt to the floor, Rep. Luna introduced a resolution to impose a daily fine of $10,000 on Garland until he complies.

A source familiar with the situation revealed that she agreed to postpone the move after discussing it with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La). Luna later confirmed on X that she plans to call for the vote next week, Fox News reported.

Rep. Luna wrote:

“The vote for inherent contempt against Attorney General Merrick Garland will be brought to the floor this upcoming session week with full support from Speaker Mike Johnson. This version of inherent contempt will become standard practice for those who seek to undermine Congress as an equal branch of government.

It is with great honor and privilege that my colleagues helped us all accomplish this and restore balance to the branches of government.

Thank you, Speaker Mike Johnson and Representatives Rich McCormick, Mark Alford, Harriet Hageman, Dan Crenshaw, Max Miller, Russel Fry, Derrick Van Orden, Ben Cline, and Tim Burchett.

Garland must answer for his blatant disrespect for Congress and the rule of law. Our Founding Fathers would not have tolerated the behavior exhibited by the attorney general, the Department of Justice, and the president of the United States. This tool was established knowing that one day, Congress might need to check the other branches of government.”

The Hill reported that Luna’s new resolution comes as she faces GOP pushback to her proposal to arrest and detain Garland. It is also not entirely clear how the House could force Garland to pay the fines now suggested by Luna.

According to the resolution filed on Friday:

Finding that Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the United States, is in contempt of the House of Representatives for disobeying a certain subpoena.

Whereas, on February 27, 2024, Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the United States, was duly served with a subpoena to produce a narrow and specific set of materials possessed by the Department of Justice and related to Special Counsel Robert K. Hur’s investigation of President Joe Biden’s ‘‘willful’’ mishandling of classified documents to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Oversight and Accountability of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC;

Whereas Attorney General Garland has, in disobedience of such subpoena, failed to produce the set of materials; and;

Whereas the set of materials possessed by the Department of Justice is material and necessary in order that the House of Representatives may properly execute the functions imposed on it and may obtain information necessary as a basis for such legislative and other action as the House of Representatives may deem necessary and proper: Now, therefore be it

Resolved, That—

(1) Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the United States, is found in contempt of the House of Representatives for disobeying the February 27, 2024, subpoena; and

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