House Speaker Kevin McCarthy pledged to uncover government corruption and detail the Biden administration’s efforts to undo the pillars of American peace and prosperity. But two months into the new Republican-led congress and the investigations McCarthy and GOP leadership promised have barely gotten off the ground.
Accordingly, the weaponization subcommittee may be the most important of all the newly established subcommittees, says Mike Davis, founder of the Article III Project.
“If we have a politicized and weaponized Justice Department and intel apparatus,” says Davis, “that is a recipe for a Banana Republic.”
In the latest episode of Over the Target Live, Davis and former congressional investigator (ret.) Col. Derek Harvey explain why GOP investigations are stalled and how Republican leadership can change course. And they’d better, say Davis and Harvey, because the stakes couldn’t be higher.
According to Davis’s sources, Jordan was reluctant to staff the weaponization subcommittee for fear the Democrats would do the same. But “the Democrats are already staffed up, they already have thousands of staffers,” says Davis, referring to the intelligence bureaucracy that has a stake in thwarting the weaponization probe. “They’re called FBI, CIA, broader Justice Department, broader intel community,” Davis says. “We are outnumbered and outgunned.”
And it appears that Republicans are partly to blame for being short-handed. Jordan is also chair of the Judiciary Committee, which means he already has a big workload that leaves him less time and attention to devote to the weaponization subcommittee.
“Jim Jordan’s trying to run this subcommittee himself with his full committee staff.” And that work is unmanageable, says Davis, a former counsel on Sen. Charles Grassley’s staff, unless you dedicate enough staff and resources. Jordan, says Davis, should “appoint a vice chairman” to the weaponization probe, and let “the vice chairman build a big staff that’s dedicated only to the weaponization select subcommittee.”
Jordan has asked for more money to staff up the weaponization subcommittee, “and that’s a very good pivot,” says Davis. But money alone won’t fix the problem. Davis says GOP investigators have to issue subpoenas immediately, and the courts will honor them.
“If these subpoenas deal with a legislative issue,” says Davis, for instance, “whether the president is compromised by Chinese and Ukrainian oligarchs is clearly a legitimate legislative issue within Congress’s oversight portfolio. Whether the Justice Department is politicized and weaponized against one party for the other is clearly within Congress’s legitimate legislative oversight portfolio.”
Davis adds that a reinforced weaponization staff should ask for help from experienced investigators. “I wish Jim Jordan or his staff director or his chief counsel would pick up the phone and call Senator Chuck Grassley,” says Davis. “Grassley and his team would be more than happy to help them. Grassley is the king of oversight.”
The clock is running on the GOP-led House, and there will be a price to pay if they don’t deliver on their promises.
“In two years when House Republicans come up with nothing on all three of these select committees,” says Davis, “conservatives are going to be irate, and they’re going to stay home and House Republicans are going to lose the House of Representatives.”
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