President Joe Biden may have pledged to restore transparency to the administration before he took office, but since Republicans regained control of the House, his officials have stonewalled Congress, refusing to respond to requests on nearly every issue the GOP has vowed to investigate.
“GOP lawmakers face the increasingly likely prospect of a protracted fight to get basic answers,” investigative journalist Sarah Westwood writes for the Washington Examiner.
“More than a half-dozen House committees have sent dozens of requests to agencies across the federal government since January, probing everything from Hunter Biden’s business dealings to the expedited push for COVID-19 booster approval,” Westwood explains. “Even several Democratic-controlled Senate committees have pushed the Biden administration for information — and, in some cases, expressed frustration with the result.”
When Biden’s officials aren’t simply ignoring the letters from Congress requesting information, they reportedly reply with “only a perfunctory response without addressing the substance of the requests.”
And make no mistake, there have been a lot of requests.
Hunter Biden’s potentially criminal business dealings with people tied to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), stashed classified documents found in the president’s garage, the disastrous 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan, the administration’s push to expedite approval for COVID-19 booster shots, the origins of the virus that shut down the world… You name it, and the Biden administration doesn’t want to talk about any of it.
When the House Oversight Committee requested from White House counsel on Jan. 10 the classified documents found inside Biden’s private office at the Penn Biden Center and other detailed information, including all communications between the White House and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and a list of the people who were allowed to enter his office, counsel Stuart Delery’s letter of response said only that his office would review “legitimate oversight interests,” adding that it might offer more details at some point in the future.
Biden confronted on why classified documents were found at his center https://t.co/KziIJoUikd pic.twitter.com/o2leJRc4oP
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 10, 2023
That day never came, according to Westwood, who writes, “The White House has not provided any documents beyond that, a person familiar with the situation said.”
The National Archives passed the buck to the Justice Department, claiming it couldn’t respond to requests from Congress for documents seized from both Biden and Trump unless the DOJ signed off on them.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee, meanwhile, received only the “most basic information” on the shameful Afghanistan withdrawal from the State Department.
Experts say US needs Afghanistan watchdog after Biden admin obstructs accountability efforts https://t.co/xNt43gtqAO pic.twitter.com/b20nt4Mu1Z
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 13, 2022
“The paucity of documents produced by the State Department to date comes despite the Committee having repeatedly requested that the Department begin identifying responsive documents and information following the November 2022 election,” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) wrote in a letter to the State Department after receiving a copy of an already public report and a bunch of heavily redacted pages.
“Most of the remaining pages included extensive redactions that severely limit their usability and value. Notably, many of the redactions appear to cover the prepared answers from the question-and-answer portion of talking points documents,” McCaul continued. “That is to say, the Department redacted information from Congress that it was prepared to share with the public at the time the documents were generated.”
The Treasury Department turned over suspicious activity reports related to the Biden family’s business dealings only after the House Oversight Committee threatened to hold a hearing.
Comer unveils ‘new’ Biden family member who reportedly received money from China https://t.co/pdKE9wPLsO pic.twitter.com/bInZFrlXJj
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 17, 2023
“After two months of dragging their feet, the Treasury Department is finally providing us with access to the suspicious activity reports for the Biden family and their associates’ business transactions,” House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said in a statement this week. “It should never have taken us threatening to hold a hearing and conduct a transcribed interview with an official under the penalty of perjury for Treasury to finally accommodate part of our request.”
“For over 20 years, Congress had access to these reports,” Comer said, “but the Biden Administration changed the rules out of the blue to restrict our ability to conduct oversight.”
With respect to COVID-19, Westwood writes, “Overall, the Biden administration has largely attempted to avoid investigations at various stages of progress related to the origins of COVID-19, alleged misconduct at the FBI and the National Institutes of Health, communications between the federal government and major social media corporations, and other investigations.”
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