Jim Jordan probe into FBI, DOJ, DHS politicization takes shape with flurry of interview requests

House Judiciary chairman sent letters seeking testimony — coupled with warning of potential subpoenas to follow — to current and former federal law enforcement officials and Biden administration allies.

Published: January 27, 2023 5:55pm

Updated: January 28, 2023 6:36am

With a flurry of interview requests on Friday to federal officials and Biden administration allies — coupled with a pointed warning of potential subpoenas to follow — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan signaled his resolve to investigate allegations of growing politicization in federal law enforcement and administration moves to intimidate opponents and chill dissent.

The Ohio Republican sent letters seeking testimony to five individuals: former head of the Department of Homeland Security's abortive Disinformation Governance Board Nina Jankowicz; FBI Human Resources Branch Executive Assistant Director Jennifer Leigh Moore; former interim Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association Chip Slaven; National Assessment Governing Board Trustee Viola Garcia; and former FBI agent Tim Thibault.

The Daily Caller first reported on the letters to the first four of the five recipients listed above. The House Judiciary GOP Twitter account later published all five letters. The committee account indicated that a "compulsory process" would soon follow.

Each recipient held or currently holds a position of influence relevant to alleged government efforts to censor or harass political opponents or politicize federal law enforcement. Jankowicz, for instance, was head of the short-lived Disinformation Governance Board, an organization within the Department of Homeland Security created to monitor and combat digital content deemed by authorities to be mis-, dis- or malinformation.

The much-derided board drew comparisons to the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984." Announced in April 2022, DHS disbanded the panel in August of that year. Jankowicz herself attracted scrutiny for having previously labeled opponents of the teaching of Critical Race Theory as "disinformers," fueling fears that the board could move aggressively to vilify and silence political opposition.

Jordan is seeking her testimony in connection with her brief time as head of the DGB.

The FBI and Department of Justice have faced a stream of whistleblower claims of political bias by senior law enforcement officials both before and after the Aug. 8, 2022, FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. Many of these reports involve the handling of politically sensitive investigations, including the federal probe into the foreign business dealings of the president's son, Hunter Biden. Other reports alleged politically motivated investigations of parents who opposed controversial policies in public schools.

Jordan is seeking Moore's testimony regarding "serious allegations of abuse and misconduct within the senior leadership of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

Specifically addressing alleged federal efforts to "target" parents who voiced opposition to school board policies, Jordan is seeking Garcia's testimony.

"Publicly available documents suggest that you, as the President of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), have information that is relevant and necessary," the Judiciary wrote. 

Jordan cited a prior email from Garcia to other members of the NSBA indicating that the organization had "been engaged with the White House and Department of Education" prior to an order from Attorney General Merrick Garland — prompted by a letter from the NSBA — to federal law enforcement to investigate the "disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence" at school board meetings.

"In testimony to our Committee, Attorney General Garland confirmed that your letter was the basis for his unusual directive to target parents," Jordan wrote.

The NSBA's board eventually apologized for the letter in a memo to members, admitting "there was no justification for some of the language" NSBA used, adding that the "voices of parents ... should and must continue to be heard when it comes to decisions about their children's education, health, and safety."

Slaven's cooperation too is sought in connection with the committee's investigation into the "attempts by the Department of Justice and the White House to use the heavy hand of federal law enforcement to target concerned parents at local school board meetings and chill their protected First Amendment activity."

Thibault, the former Washington Field Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge, stands at the center of misconduct allegations within the FBI. Whistleblowers have made allegations of political bias in his handling of politically sensitive investigations.

Among those allegations were claims that in seeking approval from FBI Director Christopher Wray and Garland to open an investigation into Trump's 2020 presidential campaign, Thibault withheld from them that much of his evidence was based on information from a "left-aligned organization."

He further allegedly worked to falsely discredit evidence against Hunter Biden and stifle an investigation into him. Thibault previously came under fire for making politically charged social media posts.

Thibault's lawyer released a statement on his behalf in August, following his departure from the FBI, saying Thibault "welcomes any investigation of these false allegations."

House Republicans have long sought his testimony, which Jordan noted in reiterating his request.


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