Jordan seeks testimony from Garland, Wray, others in House Judiciary probes of DOJ, FBI

Broooke singman
Friday, november 18, 2022

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan is seeking voluntary testimony and compliance from Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and more than a dozen other officials and employees as the soon-to-be GOP-led panel ramps up its investigation into allegations of politicization and bias at the bureau and the Justice Department.

Jordan, R-Ohio, is set to become the chairman of the committee in the 118th Congress after Republicans took the majority of the House of Representatives. He has been investigating the Justice Department and the FBI for the past 21 months over “serious allegations of abuse and misconduct within the senior leadership,” but with new subpoena power falling into Republicans’ hands in January, those investigations are set to intensify.

In letters obtained by Fox News and directed to Garland and Wray, Jordan outlined Republicans’ past requests for information and documents concerning the operations and actions of the Department of Justice and the FBI — requests that he said officials have “ignored” or “failed to respond sufficiently.”

Jordan and Republicans have sought information on the FBI’s raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, alleged FISA abuse, information on domestic violent extremism cases, the Justice Department’s efforts to monitor parents at school board meetings and label them as domestic terrorists, among other issues.

Jordan is warning both Garland and Wray that if the requests “remain outstanding” at the beginning of the next Congress, the committee “may be forced to resort to compulsory process to obtain the material we require.

Jordan notified the attorney general that he plans to call him, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division General Kenneth Polite Jr., Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division Matthew Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Jonathan Kanter and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Brian Boynton for testimony in either hearings or transcribed interviews.

Jordan also plans to call U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Jacqueline Romero, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Mark Wildasin, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten for testimony.

Jordan said he will also call Susan Hennessey, the senior counsel for the DOJ’s National Security Division, Margy O’Herron from the Office of the Deputy Attorney General and David Neal in the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

As for FBI officials, Jordan plans to call Wray; Deputy Director Paul Abbate; executive assistant director for the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch Timothy Langan; Jennifer Moore, the executive assistant director for the FBI’s Human Resources Branch; Steven D’Antuono, deputy assistant director for the Washington Field Office; Carlton Peeples, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; Kevin Vorndran, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division; the section chief of the Foreign Influence Task Force Laura Dehmlow; and Elvis Chan, a special agent in the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office for testimony in either hearings or transcribed interviews.

“The congressional oversight power, rooted in Article I of the Constitution, is ‘broad and indispensable,’” Jordan wrote to both Garland and Wray. “This authority ‘encompasses inquiries into the administration of existing laws, studies of proposed law, and surveys of defects in our societal, economic, or political system for the purpose of enabling the Congress to remedy them.'”

Jordan added that the Judiciary Committee is authorized to conduct oversight of the DOJ and the FBI “pursuant to the Rules of the House of Representatives.”

The committee is set to continue its investigation into the Biden administration’s “misuse of federal criminal and counterterrorism resources to target concerned parents at school board meetings,” after Jordan said whistleblowers shared information that the White House “colluded with the National School Boards Association to manufacture a pretext for the use of federal law enforcement authorities against parents.”

Jordan also notified Garland that the panel is continuing its investigation into the administration’s “callous disregard for the safety and security” of the southern border, specifically the Justice Department’s alleged “abuse of U.S. immigration law and policy to advance the Biden administration’s political interests.”

Jordan pointed to the “purge” of immigration judges appointed by former President Trump for “political reasons,” as well as the use of taxpayer dollars to “pay settlements to illegal aliens who violated U.S. law.”

Jordan also notified Garland of the panel’s intention to continue to conduct oversight into the Justice Department’s move to shut down the DOJ’s China Initiative, the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago and other matters.

With regard to the committee’s investigations of the FBI, Jordan notified Wray that Republicans will continue investigating whistleblower disclosures alleging the FBI’s “purging” of employees with “disfavored viewpoints.”

In September, Jordan told Fox News that more than a dozen agents had brought allegations to Republicans on the committee.

“The FBI is not immune from transparency or above accountability for its actions,” Jordan wrote to Wray in a letter this month. “Committee Republicans intend to continue to examine the politicization and bias at the FBI, including into the 118th Congress if necessary.”

Jordan also reiterated requests for information, including an explanation for the 3.39 million U.S. person queries conducted by the FBI in 2021 and whether FISA contents were reviewed in each query and, if there were any “preliminary or full investigations” into U.S. citizens that the FBI initiated as a result of information obtained through the queries, as well as the “predication for each investigation.”

Jordan also re-upped requests for documents relating to Perkins Coie, the law firm Trump -Russia probe, and communications between FBI officials from January 2016 to December 2021 referring or relating to former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.

Sussmann was charged in Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation with making a false statement to the FBI. A jury found Sussmann not guilty this year.

Jordan is also investigating the FBI’s work on domestic violent extremism cases across the nation and seeking an explanation as to why the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Strategic Unit “did not include symbols, images, phrases, events and individuals about left-wing violent extremists’ groups.”

In September, Jordan shared new whistleblower allegations that the FBI has been deliberately manipulating the way case files are logged to create a “false and misleading” narrative about the prevalence of domestic violent extremism in the United States.

According to the whistleblower, most of these cases labeled as extremism by the FBI are isolated to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and are not representative of a national rise in domestic violent extremism.

Jill Sanborn, the former executive assistant director of the FBI’s National Security Branch, has already offered to sit for a transcribed interview with Jordan and Republicans to discuss the bureau’s focus and case work with regard to domestic violent extremism. That interview is set for early next month.

The FBI declined to comment on the letter, and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on whether they will comply with Jordan’s requests before the 118th Congress.