Biden DOJ Describes House Judiciary Subpoenas As ‘Premature’

The political tension between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the House Judiciary Committee has intensified, with the DOJ describing subpoenas the panel has issued as “premature.” Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) issued subpoenas last week directed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Jordan had praised the dozens of FBI whistleblowers who had come forward to reveal the political goings-on within the DOJ and claimed that FBI officials had carried out improprieties in the past two years of the Biden administration.

The Judiciary subpoenas call for the disclosure of all documents related to a memo signed by Garland in October 2021 which dealt with the rise in harassment and threats of violence against school board members and educators. The subpoenas also demanded documents related to the FBI’s role in the DOJ’s task force that aimed to identify these “threats,” otherwise known as ordinary American parents.

The FBI and DOJ have not provided much information in response to over 100 letters on the memo from Judiciary Republicans during the last two years when the House was under the control of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). That stonewalling led Jordan to issue the subpoenas to the three officials. Meanwhile, the FBI has maintained that it has never been in the business of investigating speech or policing speech at school board meetings and never will be.

Carlos Felipe Uriarte, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs, issued an official DOJ letter in response to Jordan’s subpoenas and letters. He argues that the subpoenas are “premature” and that the DOJ has been prepared to discuss the next steps to address the informational needs of the Judiciary Committee while respecting Executive Branch interests.

Jordan’s office responded to Uriarte’s letter, calling the DOJ’s response “wholly inadequate, flawed, and ignores the last two years of requests from our Committee.”

As the tension between the DOJ and House Judiciary Committee continues to escalate, the public now waits to see how the fight over the subpoenas will move forward. It is still unknown whether the DOJ will seek relief from complying with the committee’s demands in federal court. In any event, the subpoena served on Wray commands him to hand over the documents identified to the committee on March 1.