GOP Rep says House sergeant-at-arms should take Garland into custody

Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (Fla.) said Sunday that she wants the House to use the sergeant-at-arms, a provision that hasn’t been used in more than a century, to enforce the contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Luna was interviewed by Maria Bartiromo on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” where she said that she introduced a resolution several months ago for inherent contempt of Congress, a power granted to Congress that “hasn’t been done since the early 1900s.”

“I anticipated that the Department of Justice would not do their job and so I had this teed up and ready to go,” she said, as highlighted by Mediaite.

Luna said she brought the idea to Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) attention.

The provision, she said, allows Congress to “be the punitive arm and really hold Garland accountable by using the sergeant-at-arms to essentially go and get him,” she said, adding that they would “bring him to the well of the House.”

Luna argued that the provision allows Congress to be “a check and balance on the Department of Justice.”

According to the House, the sergeant-at-arms is an elected officer who is the chief law enforcement and protocol officer responsible for maintaining order in the House.

Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a determination that Garland had not committed a crime in failing to meet the demands of House Republicans who issued a subpoena for the audio of President Biden’s conversation with special counsel Robert Hur.

Biden’s claim of executive privilege over the tapes protects Garland from being prosecuted, the DOJ said.

Johnson said Friday that the House will take the contempt of Congress case to court since the DOJ refused to pursue charges. He claimed it was “sadly predictable” that the department did not prosecute Garland even though the DOJ prosecuted Republicans like Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro.

Navarro and Bannon were prosecuted for contempt of Congress for defying Jan. 6-related subpoenas. Navarro has been imprisoned since March, and Bannon will report to federal prison in the coming weeks.

The DOJ noted that it did not prosecute other Republicans who were held in contempt, like Bill Barr and Mark Meadows.

Updated at 4:45 pm.

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