The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government — which was created by House Republicans after they took control of the chamber in January — has had their first official meeting, where Republicans laid the groundwork for their investigations.
The closed-door meeting took place on Friday, with all Republican members present except Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL), who was recovering from injuries sustained when he fell off of a ladder at his Florida home.
Congressman Steube was involved in an accident on his property late this afternoon and has sustained several injuries. We will provide additional updates when possible. Please pray for the Congressman and his family.
— Congressman Greg Steube (@RepGregSteube) January 19, 2023
“There’s a lot for us to do. That’s really clear, and that’s just in the course of the discussion we had,” Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) said after leaving the meeting.
The subcommittee was created through a resolution passed in January along party lines. In the resolution, the subcommittee was granted sweeping authority to investigate government agencies, including the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI, for violating Americans’ civil liberties.
Speaking to reporters after the initial meeting, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) pointed out that the Weaponization Committee’s mandate was “much broader,” allowing them to investigate more than just the DOJ and FBI.
“Obviously Twitter was weaponized, and that’s not DOJ only,” Issa said.
Weaponization Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who also chairs the House Judiciary Committee, met with Twitter CEO Elon Musk last week.
The Ohio congressman revealed after the meeting that he plans to delve into the “Twitter Files” — internal documents and discussions from the social media company released by Musk. These revelations include evidence of elaborate coordination between the FBI and Twitter, especially in the lead-up to the 2020 election.
3. Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 16, 2022
Jordan has also made it clear that he intends to investigate complaints from numerous whistleblowers that he has vetted over the past year — which include complaints regarding the DOJ’s past demonization of parents for complaining at school board meetings, the agency’s approach to investigations of the January 6 protests and other concerns regarding the DOJ’s bias.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) January 10, 2023
It is unclear whether Jordan will initiate those investigations through the Weaponization Committee or the Judiciary Committee, though following the meeting on Friday, Issa revealed that the new subcommittee had already scheduled “several” transcribed interviews.
“I would imagine that we will be, like most investigation committees, disproportionately doing transcribed interviews and depositions. … It’s not about showing to the public,” the California Republican said, emphasizing the word “showing.”
“It’s about real investigation, and then making it public,” Issa added.
According to CNN, Jordan informed Republicans during the Weaponization Committee meeting that the subcommittee has planned to adopt a rule used by former House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to issue subpoenas without consulting the minority party in advance — which signals that Republicans plan to be aggressive in their interviews and depositions.
The Weaponization Committee will have a total of 21 members, with 12 Republicans that have already been appointed and nine Democrats that will be chosen by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) in the coming days.
Despite the fact that they plan to participate in the subcommittee, Democrats had voted unanimously against creating it — with Jeffries smearing the subcommittee as “insurrection protection” and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) claiming that it will demonize law enforcement and be used to “protect Donald Trump.”