The Department of Justice is bracing itself for a fight against House Republicans, who have pledged to investigate the various probes into Donald Trump and his allies.
The newly seated House majority is quickly escalating a standoff with the Biden administration over its so-called "weaponization of government," which would allow GOP lawmakers to peek into investigations by the FBI, IRS and the intelligence community, but both sides are bracing for a public clash, reported Politico.
“This will be a separation of powers hornets’ nest,” said former House general counsel Stan Brand, who represented Trump adviser Dan Scavino and other witnesses before the Jan. 6 select committee. “In order to insulate the process from taint, [DOJ] will have to draw clearer ‘lines in the sand’ over what they will provide.”
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) has proposed a new select panel to access criminal matters involving several GOP members of Congress -- including, possibly, himself and House Freedom Caucus chair Scott Perry (R-VA) -- and he has threatened subpoenas to force the DOJ to turn over investigative materials and testimony.
“Now, the Republicans plan to take this one step further and actually overtly interfere … by investigating ‘open’ criminal cases,” Brand said. "[That is] a dangerous further erosion in the wall between congressional oversight and law enforcement.”
Although the DOJ will almost certainly attempt to erect barriers to protect open investigations, some involving the very lawmakers who want a peek inside, some legal experts say provoking that resistance is largely the point of those probes -- and may serve as a pretext to launch an impeachment of attorney general Merrick Garland.
“This is all deliberately planned theater,” former FBI agent Peter Strzok told the Washington Post. “[Republicans will] play that out for a few months."
Strzok expects that dynamic to provide endless fodder for Fox News, whose hosts will lead their broadcast with a falsely provocative question: "What do they have to hide?”