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Garland shocks GOP lawmaker with answer over simple question about Hunter Biden probe — then he gets defensive
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Garland shocks GOP lawmaker with answer over simple question about Hunter Biden probe — then he gets defensive

Attorney General Merrick Garland claimed Wednesday that he cannot "recollect" whether he discussed the Hunter Biden investigation with FBI leadership.

At an intense House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) asked Garland if he has contacted FBI headquarters about the investigation. The question is important because Garland has repeatedly promised not to interfere in the Hunter Biden probe.

"Have you had personal contact with anyone at FBI headquarters about the Hunter Biden investigation?" Johnson asked.

After hemming and hawing, Garland finally responded, "I don't recollect the answer to that question."

Garland's answer — the vague language and the claim that he allegedly cannot remember such a significant detail — left Johnson astonished.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. You don't recollect — you don't recollect whether you talked to anyone at FBI headquarters about an investigation into the president's son?" the Republican lawmaker followed up.

"I don't believe that I did," Garland answered.

Garland, instead, repeated his previous assertions: that he has told Congress that he will not interfere in the investigation. He refused, however, to say much about what he has done. In fact, when Johnson pressed him about conversations with special counsel David Weiss, Garland got defensive.

"Under oath, my testimony today is that I promised the Senate I would not intrude in his investigation. I do not intend to discuss internal Justice Department deliberations, whether or not I had them," Garland said.

While Garland refused to provide substantive and clear answers to most of Johnson's question, Garland did choose one to answer definitively.

When asked if the IRS whistleblowers are lying, Garland — without calling them liars — described their under-oath testimony that political interference hamstrung the Hunter Biden investigation as "an opinion."

Still, Garland appeared to confirm their claim that Weiss did not have authority to charge Hunter for any crime in any jurisdiction.

Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R) asked Garland about claims that other U.S. attorneys in Washington, D.C., and the Central District of California blocked Weiss from charging Hunter in their jurisdictions. In response, Garland talked out of both sides of his mouth — denying and appearing to confirm the claim.

"No one had the authority to turn him down," Garland claimed. "They could refuse to partner with him."

"You can use whatever language — 'refuse to partner' is [the same as] turning down," Jordan fired back.

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