House Republicans are keeping their campaign promise to investigate the Biden administration, as top committees are already launching extensive probes into President Biden, his family and areas of his presidency just days after being formally sworn into the 118th Congress.
Lawmakers were sworn into the new Congress less than two weeks ago, after a week-long, multi-ballot battle to hand Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the speaker’s gavel.
Now, with McCarthy at the helm as speaker of the House, top Republican lawmakers have taken their posts as committee chairs, and are already getting to work.
House Judiciary Committee
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, vowed to investigate allegations of politicization and bias at the FBI and the Justice Department as soon as it became clear the GOP would hold a House majority and gain the authority to issue subpoenas.
On Friday, Jordan launched his first formal investigation into the president’s “mishandling” of classified records and the Justice Department’s investigation into the matter.
After a second stash of classified documents was found inside the garage of Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home, Attorney General Merrick Garland escalated the Justice Department’s ongoing review to a formal special counsel probe, and chose former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur to lead the investigation.
The first documents were found inside the Washington D.C., offices of the Penn Biden Center think tank on Nov. 2, 2022. Additional classified documents were found at Biden’s Delaware home over the weekend, the White House counsel’s office said.
Jordan is questioning not only Biden’s “mishandling” and “unauthorized possession” of classified documents, but also the “circumstances” of the appointment of Hur as special counsel.
Jordan is questioning the alleged concealment of the information by the DOJ, especially as the White House has admitted that the first batch of classified records were found at the Penn Biden Center in November 2022 – before the midterm elections – and not publicly disclosed until January.
“It is unclear when the Department first came to learn about the existence of these documents, and whether it actively concealed this information from the public on the eve of the 2022 elections,” Jordan wrote in a letter to Garland, notifying him of the committee’s investigation on Friday. “It is also unclear what interactions, if any, the Department had with President Biden or his representatives about his mishandling of classified material. The Department’s actions here appear to depart from how it acted in similar circumstances.”
Jordan says the FBI’s unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August 2022, in which agents seized classified documents, shows there is a double standard in the government.
Jordan pointed to the “publicly available evidence of President Trump’s voluntary cooperation,” and said Garland “personally approved the decision to seek a warrant for excessive and unprecedented access to his private residence.”
At the time, Biden slammed Trump for being “irresponsible” for keeping classified documents.
Jordan also successfully established a new Judiciary subcommittee – the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government – which he will chair.
Jordan’s subcommittee is expected to investigate now only how the executive branch has gathered information on American citizens, but also how it has worked with other bodies – including private sector companies – to “facilitate action against American citizens.”
House Oversight Committee
House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., is leading an investigation into the Biden family’s domestic and international business dealings.
Comer said investigating how the Biden family “peddled influence and access around the world for profit” is a “top priority” for the new GOP House majority.
Specifically, Comer is leading an investigation into the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and Big Tech’s suppression of damaging information on the Biden family businesses ahead of the 2020 election.
Comer has already written to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen demanding details about questionable business dealings involving Hunter Biden, his associates and other Biden family members that have been flagged by U.S. financial institutions.
The lawmaker also sent letters Wednesday to former top Twitter executives Yoel Roth, Vijaya Gadde and James Baker, inviting them to participate in a committee hearing the week of Feb. 6 to investigate their “role in suppressing Americans’ access to information about the Biden family on Twitter shortly before the 2020 election.”
Fox News first reported in December 2020 that Hunter Biden was a subject/target of the grand jury investigation, a well-placed government source told Fox News. According to the source, a “target” means that there is a “high probability that person committed a crime,” while a “subject” is someone who they “don’t know for sure” has committed a crime.
A source familiar with the investigation said the suspicious activity reports (SARs) involved funds from “China and other foreign nations.”
Trump-appointed Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss is leading the federal investigation into Hunter Biden. Sources told Fox News last fall that federal investigators were weighing whether to charge Hunter with various tax and foreign lobbying violations, false statements and more.
President Biden has repeatedly denied speaking to Hunter about his business dealings. He has also denied, since the 2020 campaign, having any knowledge about or involvement in his son’s business ventures.
After the midterm elections, President Biden wished House Republicans “lots of luck” if they follow through on their commitments to use a GOP majority to investigate his son.
“Lots of luck in your senior year, as my coach used to say,” Biden joked. “Look, I think the American public wants us to move on and get things done for them.”
He added, “Look, I can’t control what they’re going to do, all I can do is continue to try to make life better for the American people.”
House China Select Committee
Last year, McCarthy announced he would create the China Select Committee, and chose Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., to chair the panel, which is set to focus on threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party to U.S. national security.
House Republicans and Democrats joined forces and voted overwhelming in favor of the creation of the new committee.
While the committee’s work won’t focus specifically on the president or his son, it will focus on how the Biden administration is approaching the threats posed by the CCP.
McCarthy touted the GOP’s work during his first week as speaker in an appearance on Fox News Channel, calling it “very productive” and citing the investigations, the committees’ work, and the passing of legislation that repealed more than $70 billion put in place under the Inflation Reduction Act that would have allowed the IRS to hire tens of thousands of staff over the next decade.
Reacting specifically to the probe into Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, McCarthy said: “we will get to the bottom of this no matter how long it takes us and how hard we have to fight.”
“There’s one thing I think, I hope the American public realized from watching the race for speaker: I will never give up,” the speaker of the House said. “That means I will never give up on you on getting the truth.”
Fox News’ Kelly Laco and Peter Kasperowicz contributed to this report.