House GOP vows consequences for government weaponization with budget cuts, criminal referrals

Fighting fire with fire? Congress seeks to move to accountability with the 2024 election fast approaching.

Published: June 3, 2024 11:04pm

After 17 months of relentless investigation, House Republicans are moving to impose consequences on federal bureaucrats they believe weaponized government for political purposes. The first round will come in the form of budget cuts and criminal referrals, key lawmakers tell Just the News.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan unleashed the first major strike of this new phase, submitting on Monday a sweeping roadmap to defund agencies and prosecutors who pursued conservatives, including former President Donald Trump.

“[We] should use the power of the purse, I was all for doing that, it’s why I opposed the big omnibus spending, it's why I oppose the, you know, when we gave 200 million for a new FBI headquarters, for goodness sake, how wrong was that? But yes, we should use the power of the purse. Unfortunately, we haven't to the degree we need to we just didn’t,” Jordan told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Monday.

“We're working on talking with with the appropriations committee about…what we should focus on there on these appropriation bills. So all those are levers we're supposed to use,” he added.

Another powerful House chairman struck closer to President Joe Biden, vowing to send a criminal referral asking asking prosecutors to charges first son Hunter Biden with lying to Congress.

“It's the next thing that should be moving forward, without a doubt based on the evidence that was provided to the Ways and Means Committee from the two IRS whistleblowers highlighting, in fact, that Hunter Biden, on February 28, when he stood before depositions, lied to Congress on at least three different counts that the IRS whistleblowers provided, and that alone should definitely require a criminal referral for Hunter Biden,” Chairman Jason Smith of the House Ways and Means Committee told the "Just the News, No Noise” TV show Monday.

The public health establishment, widely criticized for bungling the COVID-19 pandemic response, has also been targeted by Chairman Brad Wenstrup of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic who told Just the News that his committee would explore criminal referrals for Fauci and other National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease officials.

“And then…the amount of criminal liability that exists there should definitely be sought, because why wouldn't people continue to do it again?” Wenstrup told Just the News after hearing testimony Monday from Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading figure in the coronavirus response.

The House Republicans plan to focus on these accountability measures as the 2024 election fast approaches. Chairman Jordan recognizes the limitation this timeline poses, but has vowed to move forward, confirming to Just the News on Monday his subcommittee is dedicated to investigating weaponization of the federal government and has secured $4.5 million in new funding.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government is exploring criminal referrals and has assembled a proposal to defund agencies that have gone after Republican critics of the Biden administration and especially former President Donald Trump.

The cash infusion will bolster the subcommittee’s weaponization investigations throughout the summer with 15 new staff members as the 2024 presidential election fast approaches. The request for extra funds was first submitted by Jordan in a letter to the House Administration Committee in December, obtained by Just the News.

“[W]e’ve hired I think 15 additional people, we got one of the largest judiciary staffs, maybe ever. But we, and you know, we're conservatives, we don't want to just go spend taxpayer money, but when you're doing oversight, which is part of our constitutional duty, you got to have the resources and the good staff, the good lawyers, the good investigators, to get to the bottom of things,” Jordan told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Monday.

"This is how we figured out that, you know, you go to the whistleblowers that come talk to us and work we've done, we figured out the censorship issue, we figured out, you know, the FBI and the Richmond field office was saying, if you're Catholic, and you're pro-life, you're an extremist,” he added, referencing the subcommittee’s past probes.

The subcommittee’s investigation of allegedly politically motivated prosecutions is still ongoing and reached a new phase last weekend following the conviction of former President Donald Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Jordan requested Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his lead prosecutor on the case Michael Colangelo appear before his committee in a pair of letters sent on Friday. The hearing is scheduled for June 13.

“This hearing will examine action by state and local prosecutors to engage politically motivated prosecutions of federal officials, in particular the recent political prosecution of President Donald Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office,” Jordan wrote in his letter to Bragg.

On Monday, Chairman Jordan sent a new letter to the House Appropriations Committee chairman detailing his requests for the fiscal year 2025 budget that include recommendations for stripping funding from state and local prosecutors, defunding the special counsel prosecuting the former president, and eliminating nonessential funding from the FBI.

“We have conducted oversight of the troubling rise in politicized prosecutions and the use of abusive ‘lawfare’ tactics to target political opponents. We have seen rogue prosecutors abuse the rules of professional conduct and their duty to do justice in service of politicized ends. We recommend that the Appropriations Committee, with appropriate consultation from leadership, include language to eliminate federal funding for state prosecutors or state attorneys general involved in lawfare and to zero out federal funding for federal prosecutors engaged in such abuse,” Jordan wrote.

“We recommend that the Appropriations Committee include language to eliminate any funding for the FBI that is not essential for the agency to execute its mission, including rescinding prior appropriations and prohibiting new taxpayer funding for any new FBI headquarters facility,” he also wrote in the letter.

One earlier investigation by Jordan centered on the FBI found the agency targeted traditional Catholics as “radical” and attempted to link them to “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”

Chairman Wenstrup told Just the News that his committee would explore criminal referrals for Fauci and other National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease officials. His comments follow a Capitol Hill hearing with Anthony Fauci centered on the COVID-19 response.

Both Fauci and his advisor Dr. David Morens allegedly used private emails to communicate for official business. The committee accused Morens of engaging in “nefarious behavior” by expressing in emails that he communicated with Fauci via private email in order to avoid accountability under the Freedom of Information Act, which permits the public to obtain government records.

“Well, I certainly think what Dr. Morens has done is a good, good place to start and we're not done investigating that further. Keep in mind that one of the things he said was that he he uses his Gmail, and Tony sometimes uses his Gmail, we found that in the Gmail. So, we have asked Dr. Fauci for his all of his emails. Now, today, he said he never used it for personal business. That could be. I don't know, and we should find out,” Wenstrup told “Just the News, No Noise” TV show Monday.

“And then…the amount of criminal liability that exists there should definitely be sought, because why wouldn't people continue to do it again?” The chairman added.

In the hearing, Fauci denied communicating for official business on his private email.

Chairman Smith of the House Ways and Means Committee wants to nail another individual accused of lying, first son Hunter Biden. Smith first accused the younger Biden of lying last month, identifying three parts of the first son’s testimony that conflicted with information provided to his committee by IRS Whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler.

For example, text message records show Hunter Biden continued to converse with Chinese energy company official “Zhao” who he threatened by invoking his father’s despite originally claiming in his deposition that he had texted the wrong person when he was drunk.

"Hunter Biden’s deposition is key to understanding the attempts to conceal how the family made millions from selling access," Smith said in a statement last month. "Yet, new documents provided by the whistleblowers show that Hunter Biden repeatedly lied to Congress in his February deposition to distance his involvement in what should be considered a clear scheme to enrich the Biden family.”

The three chairmen see the upcoming election as an opportunity, having criticized the Biden administration for its slow responses to their inquiries and claiming they have faced roadblocks.

“We've seen one roadblock after another when it comes to the Biden administration, where we have gotten really important documents has came from the two IRS whistleblowers that came forward,” Chairman Smith said.

“Ultimately, it's going to depend on the Trump administration, who the new attorney general is on […] the Fauci concerns and things that we were told that weren't accurate,” Jordan told the John Solomon Reports podcast.

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