'Nothing but hypocrisy': House GOP doubtful DOJ will charge Garland like former Trump aides

House Republicans are skeptical that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will act on their newly passed criminal referral against Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Multiple GOP lawmakers argued it would be hypocritical of the DOJ not to act, given the recent prosecutions and guilty verdicts for former Trump administration aides Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon following similar referrals.

“I don’t have much hope that this administration is going to follow the letter of the law or the intent of Congress or the subpoenas for the president,” Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., told Fox News Digital.

“It’s just a further manifestation of the weaponization of the DOJ. So they’re not playing umpire, they’re not behaving as the executive…they’re not calling balls and strikes. They’re just frankly doing things for what look like political purposes, which is not their job,” he said.


House GOP lawmakers like Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., left, and Mike Garcia, R-Calif., right, are skeptical the DOJ will follow through on the House’s contempt resolution for Attorney General Merrick Garland, center. (Getty Images)

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., said when asked if he anticipated the DOJ following through on the House’s will, “Garland’s gonna take up his own contempt resolution? Not likely.”

“There’s nothing but hypocrisy, especially considering the fact that President Trump cited executive privilege for Steve Bannon, and Merrick Garland had moved forward anyway,” Donalds said.

GOP lawmakers aimed to hold Garland in contempt over his refusal to turn over audio recordings of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s interview with President Biden.


Republicans are seeking audio tapes of Special Counsel Hur’s, left, interview with President Biden, right. (Getty Images)

Hur’s findings cleared Biden of wrongdoing in his handling of classified documents, but also said the 81-year-old president presented himself “as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” and that “it would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”

Biden and his allies aggressively pushed back on concerns about his mental fitness in the report’s wake.

Republicans seeking the audio recording argued it would provide critical context about Biden’s state of mind. Democrats, meanwhile, have dismissed the request as a partisan attempt to politicize the Department of Justice (DOJ).


The DOJ followed through on two of three criminal referrals sent to them by the previous Democrat-controlled Congress but did not act on a third criminal contempt resolution aimed at former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Meadows, Bannon and Navarro were all targeted for dodging subpoenas from the now-defunct House select committee investigating Jan. 6.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, left, and former Trump adviser Peter Navarro, right, were both found guilty of contempt of Congress. (Getty Images)

“I’m not optimistic because I think the DOJ has proven themselves very partisan and not honest brokers of how they apply the law,” Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga., said of the Garland resolution.

“I think there’s ample evidence that he is in contempt, and I hope that they’ll not be hypocritical. I mean, it’d be a sad day for America,” he said.

Garland took an indirect shot at Republicans’ pushback on the DOJ in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday morning.

“In recent weeks, we have seen an escalation of attacks that go far beyond public scrutiny, criticism, and legitimate and necessary oversight of our work. They are baseless, personal and dangerous,” he wrote. “These attacks come in the form of threats to defund particular department investigations, most recently the special counsel’s prosecution of the former president.”

Elizabeth Elkind is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital leading coverage of the House of Representatives. Previous digital bylines seen at Daily Mail and CBS News.

Follow on Twitter at @liz_elkind and send tips to [email protected]

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