The Justice Department signaled Friday that it’s unlikely to share information about ongoing criminal investigations with the new GOP-controlled House, which is sure to frustrate Republicans in the chamber.
In a letter to House Speaker Jim Jordan in response to a spate of document requests, the DOJ said that “all oversight requests must be balanced against the Department’s interest in protecting the integrity of its work.”
The letter added: “The Department’s mission to uphold the rule of law independently and impartially requires that we maintain the integrity of our investigations, prosecutions and civil actions, and avoid even the appearance that our efforts are being influenced by anything other than the law.” and the facts.”
House Republicans have made clear they plan to investigate the Justice Department’s handling of politically sensitive probes, including its role in the ongoing Special Counsel’s investigation related to President Joe Biden’s and former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified materials .
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee promptly responded to the letter, Tweet Friday afternoon: “Why is the DOJ afraid to cooperate with our investigation?”
The letter is an early sign of the hurdles Jordan will likely face, particularly as he attempts to investigate the Justice Department and the FBI. House Republicans have been particularly eager to delve into the ongoing Justice Department investigation, even authorizing a judiciary subcommittee charged with investigating the federal government’s alleged “use of arms,” including “ongoing criminal investigations.”
The letter sheds light on how the department will resist providing information related to ongoing investigations, even though the department pledged on Friday to honor lawmakers’ requests where possible, citing former President Ronald Reagan.
“As President Reagan stated in his 1982 directive on responding to requests for information from Congress, the ‘tradition of conformity’ should be ‘the primary means of resolving interbranch conflicts,'” the letter reads.
Jordan is asking the department to produce documents related to Robert Hur’s appointment as special counsel in the investigation into the Biden documents, as well as the selection of Trump-appointed US Attorney John Lausch to lead the initial review of the case, as well as a wide range of internal and external communications on this subject.
Last week, Jordan sent fresh letters to several officials in the Biden administration, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Anne Milgram, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, repeating his oversight requests and requests for documents relevant to the Judiciary Committee investigation are.
“Government blocking must stop,” Jordan wrote, underscoring his plans to aggressively pressure senior Biden officials even as the committee’s investigations are still in their infancy.
“House Republicans are committed to holding every agency under the new majority accountable and will use mandatory procedures where necessary to obtain answers for the American people,” he added.
This story has been updated with additional details.