Jun 6, 2023 - Politics & Policy

House GOP turns its sights to DOJ’s Trump probe

Rep. Jim Jordan. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

The House Judiciary Committee is seeking information from the Department of Justice about the scope of its special counsel investigation into former President Trump.

Why it matters: Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a Trump loyalist, has proven willing to use the panel’s resources to scrutinize and counter investigations into the ex-president.

Driving the news: Jordan, in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday, requested a document outlining the scope of special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation.

  • “We write to request an unredacted copy of the memorandum outlining the scope of Mr. Smith’s probes regarding President Trump and any supporting documentation related to his appointment as special counsel,” Jordan wrote.
  • Jordan said he wants the memo, and “any other document describing, listing, or delineating the authority and jurisdiction of the special counsel,” by June 20.

What he's saying: Jordan, in a brief interview at the Capitol, declined to say whether the letter portends a broader investigation into the special counsel probe.

  • Jordan told Axios he wants to determine if anyone who was part of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team or the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe is “involved in this investigation.”
  • Asked whether the memo could lead to a probe, Jordan said, "We don't know yet. He hasn't gotten back to us. So, we'll see. We'll see what we get."
  • A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed receipt of the letter but declined to comment further.

The state of play: Smith, a former prosecutor at the Hague, is investigating whether Trump mishandled classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, as well as his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the run-up to Jan. 6.

The backdrop: The request is not without recent precedent. In 2020, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), then chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the DOJ for an unredacted copy of the memo outlining the scope of Mueller's probe.

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