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Republicans rev up probes on everything from vaccine injury to Jan. 6 security failures

One question that needs to be resolved early is whether House committee chairmen will be given unilateral authority to issue subpoenas under the GOP rules package or be forced to get a committee vote where Democrats or one recalcitrant Republican can foil an investigation.

Published: November 13, 2022 3:01pm

Updated: November 13, 2022 11:22pm

Even as ballot counting drags through overtime, Republicans in the House are revving up a vast investigatory apparatus to probe everything from vaccine injury and COVID-19 origins to FBI politicization and the Hunter Biden scandal. 

And the first fruits of that oversight work may be released even before the holidays, a deep look into what congressional leaders and Capitol Police executives knew about threats prior to the Jan. 6, 2021 riot and their failures to prepare security adequately.

Republicans have the bulldogs in the House Oversight Committee's Rep. James Comer and the House Judiciary Committee's Rep. Jim Jordan to conduct the hard-charging oversight and accountability that escaped the House GOP under ex-Speaker Paul Ryan.

But first they need the tools.

One essential question that needs to be resolved as early as this week is whether the House chairmen will be given unilateral authority to issue subpoenas under the GOP rules package or be forced to get a committee vote where Democrats or one recalcitrant Republican can foil an investigation.

Likewise, the chairmen need an enforcement tool for federal witnesses or agencies who don't comply readily. That's because the Biden DOJ is unlikely to help.

Lawmakers like Comer want to revive the Civil War-era Holman Rule, which allows Congress to defund the office, program or salary of a witness not complying with congressional subpoena or oversight authority, a powerful tool for both legal compliance and budget cutting.

"I think this is something that we should use, and we should use it every day," the Kentucky legislator told Just the News recently. "And that's something that I want to use in my toolbox in the House Oversight Committee to try to shrink the size of government and get rid of some of these useless bureaucrats that are just a drain on the American taxpayers."

If the chairmen are unilaterally empowered, then Comer, is prepared to use the Oversight Committee to compel testimony next year from Hunter and James Biden to force them to answer corruption questions and from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to talk about the insecure southern border.

Meanwhile, Jordan (R-Ohio) is ready to put a parade of FBI whistleblowers on the stand to illustrate how politics has infected the bureau.

The GOP already has a few surprises ready even before the new Congress starts in January.

With the blessing of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, retiring Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and his team on the House Administration Committee, along with Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks' staff, have assembled emails, text communications and other evidence that was ignored by the Democrat-led special committee on the Jan. 6 tragedy.

Sources familiar with the evidence say an initial report has already been drafted and provides fresh evidence of what the official mayors of the Capitol — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — and the security and political staff around them were told and not told prior to Jan. 6 security threats ahead of time.

Just the News has reported that Capitol Police began receiving detailed threat information in mid-December 2020 from the FBI, Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals Service and D.C. Metropolitan Police indicating that protesters — some associated with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers — were discussing plans to: commit violent acts, carry weapons, target the Capitol tunnel system, attack the U.S. Supreme Court building and confront lawmakers. Despite those warnings, officials did not significantly upgrade security.

The lack of security precautions included failing to activate all of the Capitol civil disturbance units, refusing the Trump Pentagon's Jan. 2, 2021 offer of National Guard troops, failing to alert frontline commanders and officers about the intelligence or fortify doors and elevators used by lawmakers, Capitol Police documents reviewed by Just the News show.

In addition to highlighting what political leaders knew and didn't know, Davis told Just the News he has secured the cooperation of several police whistleblowers who can provide fresh evidence of why and how a $600 million a year force couldn't repel attacks from rowdy and mostly disorganized rioters.

High-ranking police commanders with access to the intelligence warnings "didn't even tell then-Police Chief Steve Sund that that intelligence was in their hands," Davis said. "They didn't act. They put their brave men and women in danger. We could have made better decisions on the front end."

Davis said Democrats have had access to the evidence for months but did not focus on it during their "made for TV hearings" this summer.

"The goal should be making sure that our brave men and women don't worry about a red shirt or a blue shirt," he said. "They don't worry about made for TV hearings. They worry about doing their job protecting this Capitol."

Multiple House committees plan to investigate the origins of COVID-19 and the many failures of public health officials like Anthony Fauci. They'll be getting some help from Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-Wisc.), who on his own has gathered evidence about Americans injured by vaccines and conflicts of interests inside the federal health agencies.

Johnson said investigators have clear evidence of "the corruption within the federal health agencies" as well as the failure to give Americans an honest answer about vaccines, therapeutics and other early responses to the pandemics. He also urged a look at unexplained deaths of vaccinated adults, which he called "sudden adult death syndrome."

"For anybody who looks at our response on COVID and says it's a success, I'll show you a million people that died from COVID, probably hundreds of thousands who died who didn't have to because of a lack of early treatment," he said.

In an interview earlier this month with Just the News, Comer laid out three top priorities for his oversight committee should he become chairmen.

"Obviously, the Biden family influence peddling is going to be at the top of the list," he said. "Then we're seriously concerned about not just the origination of COVID, but also a lot of the COVID spending."

Like Johnson, Comer said he plans to put a bullseye on the corrupting influence of private money in the form of royalties flowing from private drug and health companies to public health officials.

"We're concerned about the royalties that high-ranking government officials were getting for vaccine sales," he said. "We're concerned about the slush funds at the NIH. So all things COVID would be number two.

"And then, you know, the third is obviously what's going on at the border and the incompetence of Mayorkas, the violations of the rule of law, and the Constitution."

Jordan told Just the News last week he is prepared to unload documents and testimony from FBI whistleblowers meticulously documenting how the bureau has created a two-tier justice system through politicization that prioritizes cases against conservatives while shunning those against Democrats.

He said he was deeply troubled by a recent interview he did with one of the agents blowing the whistle.

"The fundamental statement that the whistleblower said was that the hierarchy of the FBI is rotten to the core," he said. "Think about that language: It is rotten to the core. That's not the rank-and-file agents. They're really good. This is the people in the Washington Field Office."

Jordan said he believes Americans of all political stripes will be tuned into to the FBI investigation because it poses essential question about the nature of our country going forward.  

"You don't have America, if you have a Justice Department that's operating in a political fashion," he said.

Finally, a new priority for investigations has been rocketing up the charts this fall with increasing revelations — some from Just the News — about the collusion between federal agencies and Big Tech companies like Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook to censor Americans' speech.

"We're going to find out a lot from Twitter with Elon Musk, I believe Zuckerberg is also signaling that he wants to communicate as well," Comer said.

"So I think the truth is finally going to be heard from the American people when Republicans have the majority and we start holding these transparent, open to the public committee hearings about how big a role the Biden administration played in trying to censor conservatives on social media platforms," he added.

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