House Republicans failed Thursday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in “inherent contempt” of Congress, a rare move that would have fined the nation’s top law enforcement official $10,000 per day unless audio recordings of President Biden’s interviews with special counsel Robert Hur were handed over.

The House voted 210-204 against the resolution to fine Biden’s AG every day until he complied with a subpoena previously approved by the House in February.

Four Republicans — House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Turner and Rep. Dave Joyce, both from Ohio, as well as California Reps. John Duarte and Tom McClintock — voted against the measure, along with every Democrat. 

On Wednesday, the same four Republicans voted with Democrats in an unsuccessful bid to table the inherent contempt resolution or refer it to the House Rules Committee for further deliberation.

Nineteen lawmakers — 12 Republicans and seven Democrats — did not vote despite some still being present on Capitol Hill Thursday.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) had also discouraged the effort, telling reporters in a Tuesday press conference that his “preference is to follow the legal process and legal proceedings that protect the institution.”

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), who introduced the resolution, told reporters after it failed that she had “already refiled” it.

“We had members that were here yesterday that flew out due to family emergencies,” Luna said.

“We feel very confident that it will pass,” she added, teasing that one of the four “no” votes may be willing to flip.

Hur concluded in a February report that Biden, 81, should not be charged for having “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” following his vice presidency, in part because a jury would likely view him as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Garland released that report and the transcripts of the president’s Oct. 8-9 interviews with Hur’s team — but has declined to release the recordings after the White House asserted executive privilege in May.

All but one House Republican voted last month to hold Garland in contempt for refusing to share the files.

Concerns about Biden’s mental fitness have grown since his disastrous June 27 debate against former President Donald Trump, with 11 congressional Democrats coming forward in the subsequent weeks and calling on the president to abandon his re-election effort.

Republicans believe that the Hur interview tapes will “contain verbal and nonverbal context that is missing from a cold transcript,” while Democrats like Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) have dismissed what they call a “madcap, wild-goose chase” as a hunt for “throat clearings and sneezes.”

White House counsel Ed Siskel has also expressed concern that GOP operatives will “chop [the tapes] up, distort them, and use them for partisan political purposes.”

The GOP-led House Judiciary Committee, conservative advocacy groups like the Heritage Foundation and media outlets have since sued in federal court for the recordings.

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey has bolstered those efforts by submitting a declaration that Garland’s assertion of executive privilege over the recordings had been “flawed.”

Luna had toned down the language of the bill since introducing it last month. Initially, the resolution would have called for the arrest of Garland by the House sergeant-at-arms.

A US Supreme Court decision in 1927 upheld the inherent contempt authority to force Mally Daugherty, the brother of then-Attorney General Harry Daugherty, to comply with a subpoena for testimony and to submit records as part of the Teapot Dome scandal.

House Republicans are also demanding the audio of Hur’s interview with Biden’s ghostwriter Mark Zwonitzer, who allegedly confessed to deleting incriminating recordings of the president discussing classified information after learning of the special counsel probe.

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