House Republicans have launched an FBI investigation into China

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House Republicans on Tuesday moved to quickly investigate their new majority, voting to create groups focused on China and what they say is a rampant abuse of power in the federal government. Newly empowered GOP lawmakers are vowing to hold the Biden administration accountable, vowing to investigate federal law enforcement agencies, including those investigating former President Donald Trump. Republicans also created a committee with broad bipartisan support to investigate “strategic competition” between the US and China, in line with the party’s push for a tougher approach to the Asian nation. The creation of the committees is the first of many investigative steps Republicans plan to take as they settle into their slim majority and try to serve as a check against President Joe Biden and his agenda on Capitol Hill. It amounts to a massive shift from the oversight priorities of Democrats, who used their majority to create a special committee to investigate the Jan. 6 uprising at the Capitol. That committee no longer exists, and Republicans have no plans to revive it, promising instead to take a closer look at law enforcement. Republicans have officially designated one of the committees as looking into “weapons of the federal government,” a name that suggests from the outset that the group’s investigation could be one-sided. The investigation will be conducted under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a hardliner who is a close Trump ally. The committee has been given broad powers, ordered to investigate the executive branch’s “expanding role” in “the collection of information about United States citizens or otherwise investigating, including ongoing criminal investigations.” Notably, the panel will have access to classified information, a privilege normally reserved for the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.The first is an investigation into what they call a coordinated effort by the Justice Department to “go after parents” and frame them as domestic terrorists after a surge in threats against school board members, teachers and other public school employees country. “The real focus has always been that 14 FBI agents came in and told the judicial GOP staff about what was going on with the FBI, and the very first one was on the school board,” Jordan told reporters Monday. “We’re going to start of these people and we will move on from there as soon as we get up and work with those who is on our committee.” The GOP’s focus on issues such as parents’ rights in schools stems from the insubordination that has engulfed local education boards across the country since the pandemic began, with board members routinely confronted and threatened by angry protesters. There is no evidence that the FBI has ever declared protesting parents “domestic terrorists,” despite Republican rhetoric. Jordan, who is expected to lead the probe, said the committee is modeled after the bipartisan “Church Committee,” a 1970s congressional inquiry that sought to investigate allegations that the U.S. government spied on its own citizens for decades. That investigation led to major reforms with the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which requires intelligence agencies to seek authorization from a secret court before spying on Americans. Democrats opposed the creation of the committee, calling it a partisan tool for Republicans to go after the Justice Department because Trump is the target of several federal criminal investigations, including his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and his handling and storage of presidential documents in the Mar -a-Lago. “Republicans claim to care about law enforcement. But this new committee is focused on attacking law enforcement,” Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the ranking member of the Rules Committee, said in the House. “It is about the persecution of people. It is about destroying people’s careers and lives. We are talking about undermining the Ministry of Justice.” The bitterly partisan debate over the Judiciary Committee stood in stark contrast to the bipartisan support for the China panel, which will be chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin. Members of both parties said more attention should be paid to the global implications of China’s economic competition strategy. “You have my word and my commitment. This is not a party committee,” said Speaker Kevin McCarthy. “It is my hope, my desire, my desire that we speak with one voice and focus on the challenges that we have.” He added: “The threat is too great for us to argue with ourselves.” About 150 Democrats voted to create the committee on Tuesday. Who will work in this or that committee, apart from the chairpersons, will be decided by the leaders of the Congress. The House is in the process of meeting various standing committees, a process that is expected to be contentious as McCarthy has already vowed to retaliate against Democrats for removing several far-right members from committee duties in the last Congress. Some of the names being floated for the Judiciary subcommittee include Rep. Scott Perry, D-Pennsylvania, whose phone was seized in August as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the Jan. 6 uprising. “Why should I be limited just because someone made an accusation?” Perry said in an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” with host George Stephanopoulos. “Every man in America is innocent until proven guilty.” But Democrats say members like Perry and Jordan will use the committee as a way to fend off agencies investigating them and their allies. “They’re actually trying to pardon themselves by creating this separate committee,” McGovern said. “It’s dishonest.”

House Republicans on Tuesday moved to quickly investigate their new majority, voting to create groups focused on China and what they say is a rampant abuse of power in the federal government.

Newly empowered GOP lawmakers are vowing to hold the Biden administration accountable, vowing to investigate federal law enforcement agencies, including those investigating former President Donald Trump.

Republicans have also created a committee with broad bipartisan support to investigate the “strategic competition” between the US and China, in line with the party’s push for a tougher approach to the Asian country.

The creation of the committees is the first of many investigative steps Republicans plan to take as they establish their slim majority and try to serve as a check against President Joe Biden and his agenda on Capitol Hill.

It amounts to a massive shift from the oversight priorities of Democrats, who used their majority to create a special committee to investigate the Jan. 6 uprising at the Capitol. That committee no longer exists, and Republicans have no plans to revive it, promising instead to take a closer look at law enforcement.

Republicans have officially named one of the committees looking into the “weapons of the federal government,” a name that has suggested from the outset that the group’s investigation could be one-sided. The investigation will be conducted under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a hardliner who is a close Trump ally.

The committee is given broad powers, ordered to investigate the executive branch’s “broad role” in “gathering information or otherwise investigating United States citizens, including ongoing criminal investigations.” Notably, the group will have access to classified information, a privilege normally reserved for the House and Senate intelligence committees.

The first is an investigation into what they call a coordinated effort by the Justice Department to “go after parents” and frame them as domestic terrorists after an increase in threats directed at school board members, teachers and other public school employees across the country.

“The real focus has always been that 14 FBI agents came in and told the judicial GOP staff about what was going on with the FBI, and the very first one was on the school board,” Jordan told reporters Monday. “We’re going to start with those people and go from there once we get up and running with whoever is on our committee.”

The GOP’s focus on issues such as parents’ rights in schools stems from the insubordination that has engulfed local education boards across the country since the pandemic began, with board members routinely confronted and threatened by angry protesters. There is no evidence that the FBI has ever declared protesting parents “domestic terrorists,” despite Republican rhetoric.

Jordan, who is expected to lead the probe, said the committee is modeled after the bipartisan “Church Committee,” a 1970s congressional inquiry that sought to investigate allegations that the U.S. government spied on its own citizens for decades. That investigation led to major reforms with the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which requires intelligence agencies to seek secret court authorization before spying on Americans.

Democrats opposed the creation of the committee, calling it a partisan tool for Republicans to go after the Justice Department because Trump is the target of several federal criminal investigations, including his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and his handling and storage of presidential records in Mar-a-Lago.

“Republicans claim to care about law enforcement. But this new committee is focused on attacking law enforcement,” Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the ranking member of the Rules Committee, said in the House. “It is about the persecution of people. It is about destroying people’s careers and lives. We are talking about undermining the Ministry of Justice.”

The bitterly partisan debate over the Judiciary Committee stood in stark contrast to the bipartisan support for the China panel, which will be chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin. Members of both parties said more attention should be paid to the global implications of China’s economic competition strategy.

“You have my word and my commitment. This is not a party committee,” said Speaker Kevin McCarthy. “It is my hope, my wish, my desire that we speak with one voice and focus on the issues that we have.”

He added: “The threat is too great for us to argue with ourselves.” About 150 Democrats voted to create the committee on Tuesday.

Who will work in this or that committee, apart from the chairpersons, will be decided by the leaders of the Congress. The House is in the process of meeting various standing committees, a process that is expected to be contentious as McCarthy has already vowed to retaliate against Democrats for removing several far-right members from committee duties in the last Congress.

Some of the names being floated for the Judiciary subcommittee include Rep. Scott Perry, D-Pennsylvania, whose phone was seized in August as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the Jan. 6 uprising.

“Why should I be limited just because someone made an accusation?” Perry said in an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” with host George Stephanopoulos. “Every man in America is innocent until proven guilty.”

But Democrats say members like Perry and Jordan will use the committee as a way to fend off agencies investigating them and their allies.

“They’re actually trying to pardon themselves by creating this separate committee,” McGovern said. “It’s dishonest.”

House Republicans have launched an FBI investigation into China

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