'Typical Jordan overreach': Legal experts debunk GOP criticism of DOJ's handling of Biden docs case
Congressmen Jim Jordan speaking at the 2015 Young Americans for Liberty National Convention. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) may have already overplayed his hand by attacking the Department of Justice for its response to President Joe Biden's apparent mishandling of classified documents.

Attorney general Merrick Garland reportedly learned Nov. 4 that Biden had classified documents at his private residence, which came two days after they were discovered and four days before the midterm elections, but legal experts Dennis Aftergut and Frederick Baron wrote a column for The Bulwark explaining that Jordan was off base in his criticism.

"Jordan cannot be ignorant of DOJ’s longstanding pre-election 'quiet policy,' in place since at least 2008 during the George W. Bush administration," the pair wrote. "Under the policy, DOJ takes no public action on cases relevant to an election in the weeks before — much less the days before — that election, if the action might affect the vote."

The Ohio Republican's letter dated Jan. 12 allows Jordan to attack Biden and the DOJ at the same time, and give Republicans an excuse for the subpar midterm election performance, but Aftergut and Baron said the substance of his complaint is bogus.

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"Let’s be clear," they wrote. "The Framers of the Constitution envisioned honest, vigorous congressional oversight of the executive branch. There are legitimate subjects for congressional inquiry here, not just around Biden’s possession of the classified documents but also around the timing of the administration’s disclosures regarding the discovery of the documents at Biden’s home."

"Nonetheless, it is typical Jordan overreach to tack on a purported DOJ impropriety, as his letter alleges about pre-election coverup," they added. "The Department’s responsibility is to avoid influencing elections, particularly based on newly received information whose significance for law enforcement purposes is yet to be determined."