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McCarthy deal creates special investigative panels for COVID, weaponization of FBI

Pressure from holdouts leads to potentially historic probes.

Published: January 8, 2023 8:43pm

Updated: January 8, 2023 11:01pm

The deal between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and 20 holdout Republicans created two special investigative panels that will look into two of the most important issues to conservatives: the origins of the COVID-19 virus and the "weaponization" of federal law enforcement agencies like the Justice Department and FBI.

The two subcommittees — one in the House Judiciary Committee and the other in the House Oversight Committee — are identified in a draft summary document of the deal between McCarthy and the lawmakers obtained by Just the News. It was confirmed to Just the News by multiple sources who are familiar with the deal.

The House will pass a "resolution establishing a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government as a select investigative subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary," the document says.

The deal also establishes "the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability to investigate, make findings, and provide legislative recommendations on the origins of the Coronavirus pandemic," the memo states.

You can read the draft summary here:

Conservative lawmakers have been pressing for a committee modeled after the 1970s Church Committee in the Senate that identified abuses by the FBI and CIA.

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., told Just the News that McCarthy’s support for a sprawling probe of the FBI and DOJ has excited the GOP caucus.

“McCarthy has said that he's creating this Church Committee that's going to investigate the FBI and the DOJ and all these things that were going on,” Steube said. “And it is illegal for a person in government to use their position to thwart [speech] for political purposes. And so we're gonna get to the bottom of that.

“We're going to bring these people in and depose them and do the type of things that a good Republican Congress and Judiciary Committee do, and this other committee that Speaker McCarthy is going to be able to appoint would be able to do these things,” he added.  

The focus of the "weaponization" subcommittee will be on the FBI's targeting of conservatives, the treatment of parents as domestic terrorists, and the FBI's use of its powers to pressure social media companies to censor Americans' opinions.

It also will look at a variety of allegations leveled by FBI whistleblowers, many of whom have reached out to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

The COVID panel will look at the government's "funding of gain-of-function research, the use of taxpayer funds and relief programs to address the pandemic, the effectiveness of laws and regulations to address the Coronavirus pandemic and prepare for future pandemics, the development of vaccines and treatments and the implementation of vaccine mandates for federal employees and the military," the memo states.

The COVID subcommittee will also examine "the economic impact of the pandemic, including state and local government responses, the impact of school closures on American children, Executive Branch decisions and communications related to the pandemic, the protection of whistleblowers who provided information about improper activities, and inter-government cooperation regarding oversight of the preparedness for and response to the pandemic."

Under the deal, McCarthy can appoint up to 12 members for the pandemic panel, with seven Republicans and five Democrats.

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