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House Judiciary Chairman and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan has given his final warning before he starts sending subpoenas.
The chairman sent four letters on Friday asking for interviews and information that the committee has been asking for, The Daily Caller reported.
The Daily Caller first obtained the letters, which were sent to Chip Slaven, former Interim Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association; Nina Jankowicz, former leader of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “Disinformation Governance Board;” Viola Garcia with the National School Boards Association and Jennifer Moore, the Executive Assistant Director for the Human Resources Branch at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In the letters, Jordan accuses each official of ignoring requests for transcribed interviews, as well as not providing the committee with the documents and information they previously requested. Jordan gives the officials one last chance to come before the committee before sending subpoenas to the officials.
“These documents and your testimony are necessary to further our oversight. As we begin the 118th Congress, we write again to reiterate our outstanding requests and ask that you immediately comply in full. You have been on notice about our oversight requests — and are aware that the requests are outstanding — for months. For your convenience, we have attached the letters dated May 5, 2022, and December 1, 2022,” the representative said.
“Although your attorney has belatedly contacted the Committee, our requests are still outstanding. Accordingly, we reiterate our requests and ask that you comply promptly. The Committee is prepared to resort to compulsory process, if necessary, to obtain your testimony and this material,” he said.
It came after Jordan announced a new probe into President Joe Biden following revelations that he was in possession of Obama-era classified documents, potentially in violation of federal law governing such materials.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Ohio Republican noted that it was his committee’s responsibility to conduct such “oversight” and added that he expected the Justice Department to cooperate. The Judiciary probe follows another by Rep. James Comer’s Oversight Committee investigation into the matter, as well as that of a special counsel appointed by Garland last week.
“On January 12, 2023, you appointed Robert Hur as Special Counsel to investigate these matters,” Jordan and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) wrote. “The circumstances of this appointment raise fundamental oversight questions that the Committee routinely examines. We expect your complete cooperation with our inquiry.”
#BREAKING: @Jim_Jordan and @RepMikeJohnson launch first investigation into @JoeBiden’s classified documents scandal. pic.twitter.com/sR8E5J2ZTd
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) January 13, 2023
In the letter, Jordan also raised questions about the timing of the document disclosure earlier this month after learning that the first batch was discovered at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., just days before the midterm elections.
“It is unclear when the Department first came to learn about the existence of these documents, and whether it actively concealed this information from the public on the eve of the 2022 elections,” the two lawmakers wrote.
“It is also unclear what interactions, if any, the Department had with President Biden or his representatives about his mishandling of classified material. The Department’s actions here appear to depart from how it acted in similar circumstances,” the letter continued.
In addition, the chairman ripped Garland for approving an FBI raid on the Mar-a-Lago home of former President Donald Trump to retrieve classified documents the government knew well in advance that he had, but not authorizing a similar raid against Biden’s home in Delaware, where additional documents have been found as well.
“In fact, on August 8, 2022, despite the publicly available evidence of President Trump’s voluntary cooperation, you personally approved the decision to seek a warrant for excessive and unprecedented access to his private residence. On August 15, 2022, Committee Republicans wrote to you and FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting documents and information related to the FBI’s raid of President Trump’s residence,” the letter noted.
Garland has been briefed a number of times about the ongoing investigation into the matter by Chicago-based U.S. Attorney John Lausch Jr., one of the few holdovers from the presidency of Trump. Lausch, the attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, was appointed by Trump in November 2017.
“The documents were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the Archives,” Richard Sauber, special counsel to the White House, said in a Monday statement, according to Fox News. “Since that discovery, the President’s personal attorneys have cooperated with the Archives and the Department of Justice in process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives.”