House Republicans seek a new committee to investigate the ‘weaponization’ of the federal government


WASHINGTON — The new House Republican majority plans to create a special committee that could serve as a one-stop shop for investigating perceived wrongdoing by the federal government against conservatives, including former President Donald Trump.

The new panel, structured as a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, is expected to be chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, according to a source familiar with the matter. With subpoena power, he will be tasked with investigating law enforcement agencies as part of a mandate to investigate the «weaponization of the federal government.»

Language to set the panel is tucked inside a house rule pack It is expected to happen on Monday. It will be empowered to investigate “the expansive role of Article II authority vested in the Executive Branch to gather information or otherwise investigate citizens of the United States, including ongoing criminal investigations,” according to a resolution It is expected to be put to a vote this week.

The House panel could make Jordan, a Freedom Caucus co-founder who is also poised to chair the larger Judiciary Committee, one of the most powerful figures in the new Congress by extending his jurisdiction into areas the committee doesn’t normally oversee, like intelligence.

With his ultra-conservative roots and pro-Trump lean, Jordan is known as an aggressive investigator and has served on politically charged panels like the Benghazi committee, which damaged Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. He has risen through the ranks in a reflection of the shift to the right of the conference. He is now a key ally of President Kevin McCarthy.

“We have a duty to go into these agencies and see how they have been weaponized to go against the very people they are supposed to represent, how they have infringed on the First Amendment freedoms of the American people. And we’re going to do that,» Jordan said on Fox News Sunday. “We are going to do it in a way that is consistent with the Constitution. But let’s do it hard. We’re going to do it aggressively. Because that’s our job.»

Jordan said he intends to investigate «big tech» companies, including the Twitter activities exposed by Elon Musk since he acquired the company, as well as the FBI and «the political nature of the Justice Department.»

The panel attracted the interest of a large number of Republicans and surprised House Democrats, who are already discussing at the highest levels of leadership how to respond.

Rep. David Cicilline, DR.I., a member of the Judiciary Committee, dubbed the panel «The MAGA Complaint Subcommittee.»

In an interview, he said it portends a «relentless effort» by Republicans «to investigate and pretend to be overseeing when they’re just trying to obstruct the administration’s progress on behalf of the American people.»

The White House is already backing down.

“House Republicans continue to focus on launching partisan political stunts pushed by the most extreme MAGA members of their caucus instead of joining the president in addressing the issues that matter most to the American people, such as inflation,” the House spokesman said. White House, Ian Sams, on the planned committee. .

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said he will serve on the new weapons committee. Committee members will be formally appointed after the House passes the resolution.

«We’ve secured a guarantee that we can go where the evidence leads us,» he told Tucker Carlson last week, crediting the conservative Fox News host with coming up with the idea for the panel.

In an appearance Sunday on ABC’s «This Week,» Rep. Scott Perry, R-Penn., chairman of the far-right Freedom Caucus, said he should not be excluded from the committee even though he is the subject of a Department of State investigation. Justice on the attacks of January 6, 2021.

«Well, why should it be limited? Why should anyone be limited just because someone has made an accusation? Everyone in America is innocent until proven guilty,» he said. «And I would say this, the American people are very, very tired of the persecution and the instruments of federal power used against them.»

Perry continued: «We’re going to investigate and we have to. We need to make sure that these agencies aren’t running amok and out of control, which they clearly are.»

Asked Monday what the committee should focus on, McCarthy told reporters: “I think we should get to the bottom of the accountability of what was being used to persecute American citizens. I always think that accountability and more information are always helpful.»

Democrats say it would be dangerous and highly unusual for a member of Congress who is the subject of a federal investigation to simultaneously oversee the Justice Department investigation. They argue that the resolution’s language is so broad that it encroaches on the jurisdiction of the Intelligence and Oversight committees, allowing the new committee to investigate not only the FBI and Justice Department, but also the CIA, network companies social networks and a large number of private entities involved in the collection of data from American consumers.

“This is so fucking broad,” said a Democratic aide on the Judiciary Committee. “It’s Benghazi on steroids. It’s crazy.»

The panel will have 13 members, with five recommended by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y. For now, Democrats intend to participate, with the aide saying it’s «better to be in the room and suffer than not knowing what’s going on.»

But like other select committees, McCarthy can bar certain members from sitting on the panel, a power former Speaker Nancy Pelosi used in the last Congress to keep certain Republicans, including Jordan, from sitting on the Jan. 6 panel.

“I would like to see it used effectively to provide the oversight that has been lacking for the past two years,” said Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., a McCarthy critic who ended up voting “present” on his speakerphone bid. . “No administration should be exempt from accountability and transparency. And obviously the previous Democratic majority had no interest or willingness to do so. And I’m thankful that we’re going to do that and most of it.»

Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina, another McCarthy resister who sought concessions before endorsing him, praised the new committee and saying will be important when it comes to «holding the Deep State accountable.»

Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., criticized the planned new committee, saying it was «designed to inject extremist politics into our justice system and shield the MAGA movement from the legal consequences of its actions.»

“Democrats will fight tooth and nail to prevent Republicans from using taxpayer resources to protect Donald Trump and his extremist allies from legal scrutiny,” he said.

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