Nov 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: House GOP to release 1,000-page road map for Biden FBI probe

US Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks to supporters at a Save America Rally

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee will release a 1,000-page document on Friday detailing allegations of politicization of the FBI and Justice Department under the Biden administration, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The report, obtained exclusively by Axios, will serve as the basis for one of House Republicans' top oversight investigations if they take back control of the majority in next week's midterm.

  • It's an eleventh-hour political move by the minority members of the Judiciary Committee to stir up former President Trump’s base days before the election.
  • Trump's grievances against the FBI — reignited by federal agents' search of Mar-a-Lago in August — have long been an obsession on the right.

Reality check: Trump himself sought to exert pressure on his own Justice Department throughout his presidency, beginning with his demands for "loyalty" from former FBI director James Comey and culminating in his attempts to use the agency to remain in power after the 2020 election.

  • Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, wrote in a recent memoir: "Throughout my tenure as U.S. attorney, Trump’s Justice Department kept demanding that I use my office to aid them politically, and I kept declining — in ways just tactful enough to keep me from being fired.”

Between the lines: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — who will likely become chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee next year should Republicans control the chamber — is the leading member behind the report, which relies heavily on reports from FBI whistleblowers.

  • Jordan has made clear he will use the committee to make the next two years of Biden's presidency as painful as possible for Democrats, with this document serving as a road map for how he'll navigate one of his key priorities.
  • The report's table of contents — which includes references to Hunter Biden, school boards, pro-life facilities and churches, and Facebook — underscores the highly political nature of the investigation.

Details: The report highlights five key allegations by whistleblowers that Republicans maintain show a "systemic culture of unaccountability" and “rampant corruption, manipulation, and abuse." They include:

  1. "Artificially inflating statistics about domestic violent extremism."
  2. "Abusing its counterterrorism authorities to investigate parents who spoke at school board meetings," by creating a special “threat tag” to track school board-related cases. (Note: A federal judge recently threw out a lawsuit challenging a DOJ memo on school board threats.)
  3. Abusing its "foreign intelligence authorities to spy on American citizens, including people associated with the campaign of President Trump in 2016."
  4. "Clearing the Bureau of employees who dissent from its woke, leftist agenda."
  5. Prioritizing political cases over criminal ones and drawing resources away from "real law enforcement duties."

What they're saying: "This report is a road map of where [Jordan] will go," a House GOP Judiciary staffer told Axios. "Lots of whistleblowers are coming out of the woodwork to complain about the FBI. Jordan is pursuing these vectors into the FBI."

  • "This is just the information that Jordan accumulated while in the minority. Just wait until he has the full power [of the chairmanship] to gather real information," they added.
  • The FBI and DOJ declined to comment. A spokesperson for the House Judiciary Committee Democrats did not respond to requests for comment.

Zoom out: Top Republicans have spent months meticulously plotting the probes they plan to launch if they're in power. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is expected to become Speaker in a GOP-controlled House, has already green-lit an aggressive approach to oversight.

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