The atmosphere in Washington is charged as Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) intensifies the ongoing conflict between congressional Republicans and the Justice Department. A staunch figure in her party, Luna has firmly challenged Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose history already includes a contentious Supreme Court nomination battle during the Obama administration.

Luna escalated her campaign by issuing an ultimatum to Garland, insisting on compliance with a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee. She warned on Wednesday that failure to comply would prompt a vote on an “inherent contempt” measure, a powerful but seldom-used tool at Congress’s disposal.

“We are here today because of the double standard that exists within the justice system,” Luna said during today’s press briefing. “On February 27th, the Oversight Committee, as well as the House Judiciary, had sent a subpoena to Attorney General Garland, to which we received no response. And after referring him for criminal contempt, within 48 hours or less, the Department of Justice refused to prosecute.”

The inherent contempt process, which was first utilized in 1795 and confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1927, grants Congress the authority to enforce its subpoenas through its own means, potentially permitting the detention of those who defy them. Although this measure has not been employed in nearly a century, Luna appeared ready to revive this long-dormant power.

“Why should the Attorney General, who is supposed to be head of all law enforcement authorities, be any different?” Luna asked. “Garland still has time to comply with this request. We are asking that he bring the tapes to the House and let us listen to them. But in the event that he does not, we will press forward with calling the privilege motion on inherent contempt to the floor on Friday morning.”

The dispute arises from the Justice Department’s choice not to prosecute Ga.rland following a vote by House Republicans to hold him in contempt of Congress. A key issue in this controversy has been the refusal to release audio recordings from Joe Biden’s special counsel interview.

However, significant opposition among Republicans could potentially defeat the measure, considering the GOP’s slim majority. This resistance has been confirmed by various lawmakers. During the Republicans’ weekly leadership meeting, one House Republican revealed to Axios, “People in the room don’t want it to happen.”

A Republican lawmaker expects only a “medium-sized minority” of House Republicans, possibly between 60 to 80 votes, to support the bill, describing it as “an extreme tool.” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has stated that Republicans plan to pursue legal action to enforce compliance with their subpoena from Garland.

Garland has invoked executive privilege—a defense not afforded to former Trump White House officials Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro—while Garland’s own department issued a memo stating he cannot be prosecuted. After Garland dismissed congressional contempt proceedings, Luna stated she had no choice but to force a vote on inherent contempt.

“For Congress to legislate effectively, we must have access to the information that will enable us to make informed decisions,” Luna wrote in a letter to her colleagues on Monday. “When Congress is denied this crucial information, we are left to navigate complex issues in the dark.”

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Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.