The new House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has put Biden officials on notice, reissuing several requests for outstanding documents and information on Tuesday, warning that non-compliance is not an option any longer and subpoenas may be forthcoming.
“This stonewalling must stop,” Jordan wrote in a letter addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
He informed them that the Jan. 17 letter would be “the final time” the committee requested the information and added, “The Committee is prepared to resort to compulsory process, if necessary, to obtain this material.”
Letters were sent to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Attorney General Merrick Garland; Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Director Steven Dettelbach; and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram.
Each of them referenced the Judiciary Committee’s outstanding requests, and asked that the officials “immediately comply in full.”
House Judiciary Republicans will use compulsory processes, if necessary, to get answers for the American people.
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) January 17, 2023
“For two years, the Biden Administration has stonewalled Congress, refused to comply with basic document requests, and avoided transparency and accountability for its failures,” the Judiciary Committee asserted in a Jan. 13 statement. “House Judiciary Republicans are committed to holding each agency accountable under the new majority and will use compulsory processes, if necessary, to get answers for the American people.”
The letter to Klain references egregious behavior from the White House late last year. On December 29, 2022, Richard Sauber, Special Counsel to the president, submitted a letter to Jordan brazenly refusing to comply with his requests. The letter was leaked to Politico beforehand.
“To date, you have not complied with our long-outstanding requests for information and documents. Instead, the Biden White House provided a perfunctory letter that discounted Congress’s constitutional oversight authorities, failed to produce any documents or information requested, and declined to address any matters of substance. The White House leaked this letter to the media, and briefed at least one reporter on it, before transmitting the letter to the Committee at 4:34 a.m.—severely undercutting the White House’s purported commitment to working with us in ‘good faith,'” the letter to Klain stated.
Inbox: Judiciary Chairman @Jim_Jordan says DHS has ignored document requests from Republicans, and demands the material “immediately” now that Rs control the House.
“The Committee is prepared to resort to compulsory process, if necessary, to obtain this material,” he wrote. pic.twitter.com/43o6mu235R
— Suzanne Monyak (@SuzanneMonyak) January 17, 2023
“The White House has sought to excuse its noncompliance with our requests by asserting that the requests ‘were not made as part of the congressional oversight process to which the constitutional accommodation obligations apply.’ Setting aside the constitutional and legal fallacies inherent in the White House’s argument, nothing in federal law prevented the White House from voluntarily complying with our requests,” the communication reads. “In addition, to the extent the White House believed it was bound only to comply with requests from committee chairmen, the White House has had notice since at least November 16, 2022, that a returning Republican Member would lead the Judiciary Committee in the 118th Congress and has taken no steps to comply with our outstanding requests in that time. In fact, as of today, we have seen no evidence that the White House has taken any steps to comply with our requests.”
The letter sent out to Attorney General Merrick Garland was also referenced. Jordan and the other Republican committee members noted they have been looking into “the operations and actions of the Department of Justice.”
If these requests remain outstanding at the beginning of the 118th Congress, the Committee may be forced to resort to compulsory process to obtain the documents. pic.twitter.com/2vnetw3x9L
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) November 29, 2022
A spokesperson for the ATF said the agency “responds to all Congressional correspondence and will likewise be responding to Chairman Jordan’s letter.” The other recipients are evidently declining to comment on the matter.
Jordan is now emerging as a very powerful foe for the Democrats. He’s a bulldog on committee issues and he is now demanding that the Biden administration play ball or he will start issuing subpoenas via the compulsory process.
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