House Republicans are reportedly frustrated at the lack of progress made by investigations which have targeted both President Joe Biden and The Democrat Party.
According to interviews with several House Republicans, their main focus is on preventing a banking crisis and a looming debt fight instead of going after the Biden family. At the same time, there are GOP lawmakers who have expressed frustration that talk of going after Joe Biden and his family was only talk.
“All of us hear from constituents that they’re very anxious for results. And our task, part of our task, is explaining to people what this process is about, and what to expect,” Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), a member of House GOP leadership, said in a brief interview. “I think some people get anxious because they just want immediate results.”
One GOP aide agreed to speak on condition of anonymity. The aide said that the committee run by Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) had gotten off to a “rocky start” after its initial hearing revealed little new information. That same hearing sparked public kvetching among outside groups and high-profile pundits, who questioned both the structure and the strategy of the panel.
“There’s always going to be people who want to go 110 miles an hour and get frustrated with the pace of how things work,” said Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), a member of both the politicized government panel and the Oversight Committee. He noted many House Republicans are new to life in the majority.
Republicans have also faced staffing issues. Reps. Dan Bishop (R-NC) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) brought up concerns about personnel as part of a strategy meeting with Jordan earlier this year. And while the House Judiciary Committee now has more than 50 GOP staffers, and requested a budget bump, it’s still shaking off a public perception that a core group of Jordan confidants are running it.
Gaetz, enquired about the meeting, stating that members left the meeting feeling they were all signing from the same hymn sheet. And spokesman for Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) Russell Dye said in a statement that the subcommittee had “hired a talented and aggressive team,” in addition to an existing Judiciary Committee roster that led former President Donald Trump’s defense during House impeachment inquiries.
Gaetz crossed wires with Comer following a tweet that he and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), with the chair’s “blessing,” would conduct a transcribed interview with a woman who has accused Biden of sexual assault, an allegation the president denies. Comer countered that there had been a “miscommunication” and that Gaetz, who is not a member of the Oversight, hadn’t spoken with him before the tweet.
“We’re following the money, we’re following the bank records. … We’re not going to get distracted on anything else, any sideshows,” Comer said, adding that Gaetz “can do whatever he wants” in the Judiciary Committee or its weaponization of government subcommittee
Both Comer’s and Jordan’s committees have been highly productive, but only a slice of what they’ve done so far has gained traction beyond friendly GOP outlets. As of Monday, the Judiciary Committee has sent 148 letters, received nearly 114,000 documents, issued 11 subpoenas, conducted six transcribed interviews and scheduled nine interviews or depositions. They’ve also put out two reports and issued a brief to members on subpoena compliance, with Jordan signaling he intends to dole out information to the public as he gets it.
“[We’re] going as aggressive but thorough and consistent with the Constitution as we can,” Jordan said. He dismissed any Church Committee comparison, because the decades-old panel is linked to a foreign intelligence surveillance law that Republicans have “all kinds of concerns with.”
Comer released a report last month focused on Hunter Biden and other Biden family members’ receipt of more than $1 million from an associate who made a deal with a Chinese energy company — though Republicans didn’t draw a direct link to the president, which has been their stated goal.
The Treasury Department also has granted Comer’s panel access to so-called suspicious activity reports related to Hunter Biden and associates. But the committee has yet to release any new findings from those activity reports, which are records submitted by banks that don’t necessarily indicate wrongdoing.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
PHOTO CREDIT: POLITICO
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