merrick garland
© AP/Jacquelyn MartinAttorney General Merrick Garland testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Department of Justice June 4, 2024, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
The House voted to hold Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Biden's interview with Robert Hur

The Justice Department will not prosecute U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for contempt, according to a letter sent from the agency to House Speaker Mike Johnson Friday.

The House voted Wednesday to hold Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Biden's interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

"Consistent with this longstanding position and uniform practice, the Department has determined that the responses by Attorney General Garland to the subpoenas issued by the Committees did not constitute a crime, and accordingly the Department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the Attorney General," Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte told Johnson in a letter.

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte
© Sarah Silbiger/REUTERSAssistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte, the underling who delivered the message that the DOJ would let Merrick slide on the Hur/Biden tapes
In 2019 the DOJ also declined to bring charges against then Attorney General Bill Barr after a House vote to hold him in contempt for failing to comply with congressional subpoenas.

Uriarte noted that the DOJ provided lawmakers with Hur's report without any additional redactions and facilitated his congressional testimony. It also produced transcripts of Hur's interview with Biden and other materials.

"Notwithstanding the Department's efforts to accommodate the Committees' requests and the Committees' lack of a sufficient need for the audio files that would further a legitimate congressional purpose, and despite the President's directive, on May 16, 2024, the Committees adopted resolutions recommending that the House of Representatives (House) cite the Attorney General for contempt," he wrote.

The 216-207 vote, with Republican Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio voting against, came after months of digging by House Republicans to try to bring into public view as much material from the special counsel interview as possible. They argued the audio could provide critical context about Biden's state of mind.

robert hur joe biden
© GettyThe DNC paid lawyers representing President Biden as he was under investigation over his possession of classified documents by special counsel Robert Hur.
Democrats, meanwhile, have dismissed the request as a partisan attempt to politicize the Department of Justice.

Hur concluded that no criminal charges were warranted in Biden's handling of classified documents but also said the 81-year-old president presented himself "as 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."

Comment: 'a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,"who ostensibly has his finger on the nuclear button. The Beltway is a farce.

After Wednesday's vote, Garland said he was disappointed the House used its authority as a "partisan weapon."

"Today's vote disregards the constitutional separation of powers, the Justice Department's need to protect its investigations and the substantial amount of information we have provided to the Committees," he said. "I will always stand up for this Department, its employees, and its vital mission to defend our democracy."

Speaker Mike Johnson is teeing up a vote on a contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Getty Images)

Fox News Digital contacted Johnson's office for comment.