OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), the chairman of the House Weaponization Select Subcommittee, launched an oversight investigation into U.S. intelligence agencies for allegedly obstructing a 2020 Senate investigation concerning the Biden family.
Jordan wrote a letter to National Intelligence Director Avril Haines on Wednesday stating that the House Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee “are investigating allegations that the U.S. Intelligence Community obstructed a congressional inquiry in 2020 by falsely alleging that the work of two U.S. Senators was advancing Russian ‘disinformation.’”
Senators Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) initiated a congressional investigation into claims of influence peddling involving President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden three years ago. On August 6, 2020, two FBI officials presented the Republican lawmakers with a “defensive” briefing as part of their investigation, characterizing those claims as misinformation from Russia.
Grassley and Johnson were nearing completion of their September 2020 report concerning the purported influence-peddling schemes of Hunter Biden in China and Ukraine at that time, as noted by National Review.
Jordan is requesting that Haines provide “all drafts of the script” that were used to brief the two senators, demanding information about that “so-called ‘defensive’ briefing,” as he put it.
Jordan wrote, “The Senators’ investigation into Hunter Biden’s financial connections to foreign governments and foreign nationals was hampered by the briefing, the existence of which was later leaked.”
The Russian disinformation briefing that the two FBI officials received “consisted primarily of information that (the Senators) already knew and information unconnected to (their) Biden investigation,” according to a letter Grassley and Johnson later wrote to Nikki Floris, the then-Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence, and Bradley Benavides, the then-Section Chief of the Foreign Influence Task Force.
The GOP senators wrote in August 2022, “The unnecessary FBI briefing provided the Democrats and liberal media with the vehicle to spread their false narrative that our work advanced Russian disinformation. Even though you said the FBI didn’t intend to ‘interfere’ in our investigation, congressional oversight efforts were frustrated and obstructed by the practical effect of such an unnecessary briefing and the subsequent leaks relating to it.”
A whopping 51 former intelligence officials signed an open letter shortly after the New York Post published evidence of Biden family influence peddling on Hunter’s abandoned laptop, characterizing the device as the result of Russian disinformation.
In a debate with then-President Donald Trump, Biden brought up the letter to refute Trump’s assertions that he personally benefited from his vice presidential position.
By November 15, Haines needs to deliver the briefing script along with all the other materials listed in Jordan’s letter, along with all the documents and communications that were requested.
Earlier this week, Jordan announced that the House Judiciary Committee has begun looking into reports that the Justice Department spied on members of Congress and their staff.
“We now know that they spied on congressional staffers,” Jordan said in an appearance on Fox Business’s “The Evening Edit” with Elizabeth MacDonald. “We want to know, how far does it go? Were they spying on members? Were they spying on other staffers? Keep this in mind, Liz: We know they spied on President Trump’s campaign. We know all that from the FISA Court and what they did with Carter Page and Papadopoulos—everything else. Now we’ve learned that they spied on one of Sen. Grassley’s staff members, Jason Foster.”
“We want to know, does it go further?” he stressed. “So we’ve sent letters not only to the Department of Justice but to all these carriers that the Department of Justice worked with to get the phone records and the email records from congressional staffers like Mr. Foster. How far does this go? Were they spying on members and other staff?”
Jordan wrote to Alphabet, Apple, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon’s CEOs, as well as Attorney General Merrick Garland, requesting information about the DOJ’s alleged attempts to obtain the private communications of members of Congress and their staff as part of the investigation.
“The Justice Department’s efforts to obtain the private communications of congressional staffers, including staffers conducting oversight of the Department, are wholly unacceptable and offend fundamental separation of powers principles as well as Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of the Department,” the letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook read.
The letter continues by elaborating on the claim that the DOJ issued subpoenas to congressional staffers looking into the DOJ’s Crossfire Hurricane operation on behalf of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in order to obtain emails and records.
“These revelations strongly suggest that the Justice Department weaponized its law-enforcement authority to spy on the entities seeking to hold it accountable,” the letter stated.
As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jordan has made it a top priority to look into allegations of weaponization of the DOJ during the Biden administration.