The House of Representatives has voted to create a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The subcommittee will have 13 members and will be chaired by Ohio Representative Jim Jordan. Up to five members may be Democrats if Hakeem Jeffries decides to participate. Its charter is rather expansive.
(A) the expansive role of article II authority vested in the executive branch to collect information on or otherwise investigate citizens of the United States, including ongoing criminal investigations;
(B) how executive branch agencies work with, obtain information from, and provide information to the private sector, non-profit entities, or other government agencies to facilitate action against American citizens, including the extent, if any, to which illegal or improper, unconstitutional, or unethical activities were engaged in by the executive branch or private sector against citizens of the United States;
(C) how executive branch agencies collect, compile, analyze, use, or disseminate information about citizens of the United States, including any unconstitutional, illegal, or unethical activities committed against citizens of the United States;
(D) the laws, programs, and activities of the executive branch as they relate to the collection of information on citizens of the United States and the sources and methods used for the collection of information on citizens of the United States;
(E) any other issues related to the violation of the civil liberties of citizens of the United States; and
(F) any other matter relating to information collected pursuant to the investigation conducted under this paragraph at any time during the One Hundred Eighteenth Congress.
Texas Representative Chip Roy said on Hannity on Friday night that this subcommittee is part of the deal the Freedom Caucus cut with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and it will have the same funding and staff resources as the bizarre and dangerous January 6 Committee.
Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik told Fox News, “House Republicans are committed to ending the political weaponization of the FBI and DOJ’s abuse of power and restoring a government accountable to the people.”
On Twitter, she linked the mindless pursuit of President Trump over documents that turned out to be about as “Top Secret” as something you’d keep in your sock drawer — see The Verdict Is in on the ‘Top Secret’ Documents Seized by the FBI From President Trump’s Home — with Biden keeping Top Secret documents in his office at a Communist Chinese funded think tank; see Those Questions About China and the Penn Biden Center Where the Classified Docs Were Found.
My statement on Joe Biden’s ILLEGAL Classified Documents and the Weaponization of the FBI and DOJ: pic.twitter.com/ToaAkeL1GA
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) January 10, 2023
The left is not going to take this lying down.
During the debate on the resolution establishing the Weaponization Subcommittee, defenestrated House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff fulminated, branding it a “Deep State conspiracy theory.”
As a victim of the weaponized federal Government, I am thrilled that this investigation will take place!
— Alex Bruesewitz 🇺🇸 (@alexbruesewitz) January 10, 2023
Republicans claim without merit that this committee will investigate the so-called weaponization of the federal government. But what it’s really intended to do is to undermine the legitimate investigation of Trump’s incitement of a violent attack on this building, on this Capitol, on this citadel of democracy. An investigation that implicates some of the very members of this body who want to sit on that committee.
As someone much funnier than me remarked on Twitter, we should start calling everything the Democrats label a “conspiracy theory” a “spoiler alert.”
This was Fat Jerry Nadler’s take on the issue.
Sorry, wrong video. This is the one of Nadler opposing the subcommittee.
I rise in strong opposition to this resolution which appears designed to launch a dangerous and unprecedented attack on our law enforcement agencies.
Last week, Americans across the country watched the Republican Party melt down the moment it encountered its first test. For days, the extremist wing of the party held the rest of their caucus hostage as they demanded a steep price for their support. And today, we have the first of their many demands on display; an open-ended investigation into whatever conspiracy theories may be headlining the right-wing echo chamber at the moment. With unchecked authority to undermine ongoing criminal and intelligence investigations. For example, the select committee can use its expansive authorities to protect Donald Trump, those who perpetrated fake elector schemes to overturn the 2020 presidential election, insurrectionists facing trials for their crimes, and other domestic terrorists. It aims to undermine the safeguards of our democracy and to embolden MAGA extremists who would rather see our institutions fail than to see Democrats and President Biden succeed.
Make no mistake, the “destroy democracy subcommittee” will enable the House Republicans to interfere with the free operation of businesses they do not like; to inhibit the fight against domestic terrorism, and to settle political scores on behalf of Donald Trump. The Judiciary Committee has serious work to do, but rather than trying to solve
the problems of the American people, this new subcommittee will expend untold time and money undermining our nation’s law enforcement agencies, our justice system, and our Intelligence Community, all for a political stunt catering to the extremist wing of the Republican party.
I oppose this resolution. I encourage my colleagues to do the same.
The same lines of attack were picked up by the stenographers at the New York Times (no paywall).
Republicans are promoting Mr. Jordan’s panel as a new “Church Committee,” referring to a 1970s investigation by Senator Frank Church, Democrat of Idaho, that uncovered decades of intelligence and civil liberties abuses by presidents of both parties.But in an environment in which Mr. Trump has been the subject of multiple criminal investigations for years — including continuing inquiries into his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results and his hoarding of sensitive documents — Democrats predicted the new investigative subcommittee was likely to adopt a more partisan edge.
The resolution appears to give him authority to subpoena the Justice Department for information about the special counsel inquiry into Mr. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents, along with other politically charged matters like an open tax investigation into President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
The text of the resolution would also grant Mr. Jordan’s panel the power to receive the same highly classified information that intelligence agencies make available to their oversight committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Intelligence Committee members have access to some of the most sensitive secrets in the government, including information about covert actions, which are not shared with other lawmakers. Traditionally, House leaders tend to place on the intelligence panel members of their party they think are especially trustworthy not to disclose classified information.
While Mr. Jordan’s investigative unit will be housed within the Judiciary Committee, its 13 members — eight of whom would be Republicans — will not be limited to lawmakers on that panel.
It is not clear, for example, whether Republican leaders would select hard-right members, such as Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican who was stripped of her committee assignments in 2021 for making a series of violent and conspiratorial social media posts before she was elected. Mr. McCarthy has already promised her a spot on the House Oversight Committee, and she broke with other far-right members to support his speakership bid from the first ballot, as did Mr. Jordan.
Such a situation could result in lawmakers trying to scrutinize a Justice Department investigation as that inquiry potentially examines some of those same lawmakers’ conduct concerning the events of Jan. 6.
How you could possibly describe Adam Schiff or Eric Swalwell as “members of their party they think are especially trustworthy not to disclose classified information” and not end up like Jerry Nadler is beyond me.
Look for these themes from the five Democrats who will be assigned to the subcommittee unless McCarthy takes a play out of Pelosi’s handbook and personally vetoes members he thinks will deliberately sabotage the process.
- The committee exists to protect President Trump.
- Republicans are a danger to the country.
- Republican subcommittee members are tied to January 6 and “election denialists.”
- This is an attack on law enforcement and the Intelligence Community.
- This is an attack on the Federal government’s credibility (see Ex-GOP Lawmaker Says House Investigations of FBI, CIA Will ‘Shred the Integrity of the Federal Govt’ for a preview).
This investigation has the potential to do a great deal of good or turn into an exercise in self-beclowning. The Democrats have already telegraphed how they will attempt to discredit the subcommittee’s work. But if anyone can keep this roaring semi between the lines, it is Jim Jordan.