The House Oversight Committee’s Republican leaders have been on the ground running. They announced a series of hearings and investigations as the GOP enters a new era in legislative priorities.
Chairman James Comer (Republican-Ky.) is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. He is responsible for leading the panel made up of hard-line members of the party who have promised to conduct extensive investigations into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Comer, who was elected chairman of the committee in December, has not hesitated to set an agenda and initiate numerous inquiries into the Biden administration.
Comer has pledged to use the Oversight Committee as a tool to investigate the crisis at South Border, the Biden administration’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.
These are the priorities of the committee as the GOP begins its investigations:
Republicans investigate John Kerry’s negotiations with the CCP
Comer stated that he would open an investigation into John Kerry, White House climate czar, to investigate high-level negotiations between the Chinese Communist Party and the White House regarding climate. This was among the first House Oversight investigations.
In a Thursday letter, Comer informed Kerry about the investigation. He also requested information from the Biden administration’s special presidential envoy on climate. According to the chairman of the committee, Comer had previously asked for access to documents relating to Kerry’s negotiations to the Chinese government. However, he did not receive any material.
Comer wrote that “to date, you have not responded to any of our requests.” “Yet you continue to engage with activities that could undermine economic health, bypass congressional authority, threaten foreign policy under climate advocacy.”
After Kerry revealed to the Associated Press May 2022 that he was in negotiations with the CCP for a group to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the announcement is made. This has prompted concerns from several Republican leaders who fear the relationship could lead to a decline in the country’s economic strength.
According to Comer, Republicans repeatedly asked Kerry for documents detailing his negotiations between Chinese leaders during the previous Congress.
Comer wrote that “Your office continues not to acknowledge requests for information.” “We have a poor understanding of your office’s spending and staffing activities.”
DOJ to provide answers for Comer on classified document searches
Comer also asked the Justice Department to investigate the discovery of classified documents at Biden’s think tank office in Delaware and his personal residence in Delaware. He accused his administration of having double standards.
The Oversight chairman requested information from the National Archives, White House Counsel’s Office and White House Counsel’s Office regarding the document discovery. This was just one day after it became public that classified materials had been discovered in Biden’s Washington-based office. Comer expressed concern about the “inconsistent use” of Presidential Records Act against Biden and former President Donald Trump.
“NARA failed to inform Committee Republicans and the American public for months that President Biden, after serving as Vice President, kept highly classified documents in a closet in his private office. Comer stated that NARA discovered these documents just days before the 2022 midterm election and didn’t alert the public that President Biden could be violating the law. “NARA also conducted a massive FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, former President Trump’s house, to recover presidential records. The agency’s inconsistency in recovering classified documents held by President Trump and President Biden raises concerns about its political bias.
The House Oversight Committee asked for information from National Archives last month. However, the agency stated that it required DOJ approval before handing out materials. Officials from the DOJ are “actively working” with Congress to prepare a report, but they do not interfere in their investigations.
Comer said that the National Archives provided [Democrats] all of the information they needed on Donald Trump. But they never gave me any,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “Once more, the reasoning was, although the general counsel answered all of our questions, he wasn’t allowed to give it to us. Only the Department of Justice and the White House could stop him answering our question.
GOP will hold the first hearing regarding Twitter suppression of Hunter Biden stories
The Oversight Committee will hold its first hearing of the new Congress in the latter part of this month. It will focus on Twitter’s attempts to suppress news coverage about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 election.
On Wednesday, the committee will hold a hearing entitled “Protecting speech from government interference and social media bias, Part 1: Twitter’s role in suppressing the Biden laptop story”. Three former employees of Twitter will testify at the hearing about the company’s decision not to allow reporting from The New York Post regarding Hunter Biden’s discovery.
Comer stated that “In the lead-up to 2020 presidential election, Big Tech & the Swamp conspired to censor reporting on the Biden family’s shady businesses schemes.” We also know that top Twitter censorship staff members debated ways to limit the spread of the story. They settled on a policy that not even many of them believed was possible.
According to the New York Post’s internal documents, it was discovered that FBI officials had warned Twitter officials about “hack-and leak operations” related to political campaigns. These warnings also included rumors that Hunter Biden was being targeted, since his father was the Democratic presidential candidate at the time.
Twitter officials attempted to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story shortly after it was published. They removed links to the article and posted warnings that it might be “unsafe,” according the company’s internal communications, which were released in December under the “Twitter Files.”
Twitter executives mentioned its “hacked material” policy as the reason for the removal of the story. The decision was made at the “highest levels of the company without the knowledge or consent of CEO Jack Dorsey.”
Matt Taibbi, however, a journalist who published the Twitter Files detailing the decision-making behind the suppression of the Hunter Biden story, concluded that there was no evidence “of any Government involvement” in the censorship.