WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — The House on Thursday rejected a GOP effort to fine Attorney General Merrick Garland $10,000 a day until he turns over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview in his classified documents case.

Even if the resolution, titled inherent contempt, had passed, it was unclear how the fine would be enforced as the dispute over the tape of Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur is playing out in court.

The House voted 204-210 to halt a Republican resolution that would have imposed the fine. 

It comes weeks after the White House blocked Garland from releasing the audio recording to Congress by asserting executive privilege.

The House earlier this year made Garland the third attorney general in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress. But the Justice Department refused to take up the contempt referral, citing the agency’s “longstanding position and uniform practice” to not prosecute officials who don’t comply with subpoenas because of a president’s claim of executive privilege.

Garland himself has defended the Justice Department, saying officials have gone to extraordinary lengths to provide information to the committees about Hur’s classified documents investigation, including a transcript of Biden’s interview. However, Garland has said releasing the audio could jeopardize future sensitive investigations because witnesses might be less likely to cooperate if they know their interviews might become public.

House Republicans sued Garland earlier this month in an attempt to force the release of the recording.

Republicans have accused Biden of suppressing the recording because he’s afraid to have voters hear it during an election year. The White House and Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, have slammed Republicans’ motives for pursuing contempt and dismissed their efforts to obtain the audio as purely political.

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