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Panic Setting In Over Republicans’ Planned ‘Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government’

Panic Setting In Over Republicans’ Planned ‘Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government’

Harvard Law Prof. and MSNBC Trump Collusion Star Laurence Tribe, who never met an investigation of Republicans he didn’t love, is apoplectic, calling it a plan “to hound — er, investigate — the investigators (including those investigating the coup/insurrection leading to Jan 6)”

One of the key concessions extracted by the NeverKevins (who turned out not to be truly “never”) in allowing Kevin McCarthy to be elected Speaker of the House was a special committee in the spirit of the old Church Committee, to investigate the widescale weaponization of the federal government, often through the Department of Justice in cahoots with Big Tech, against Republicans, but particularly “MAGA” Republicans.

On December 29, 2022, Kimberley Strassel wrote in The Wall Street Journal, House Republicans Plan a Committee on Censors and Snoops:

Sources tell me that House Republicans plan to set up a panel under the House Judiciary Committee, tentatively called the “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.” Such a panel was among the demands of some GOP holdouts to Kevin McCarthy’s bid for speaker. The Republican leader has publicly expressed his support for the subcommittee’s creation, which hinges on the rebels’ willingness to join the rest of their conference and back him in next Tuesday’s vote.

The committee’s title is a recognition that the recent revelations about government meddling in speech and politics go beyond the FBI. There’s plenty yet to discover about the bureau’s sordid Russia-collusion hoax, its duping of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and its efforts to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story. And a recent batch of Twitter files from journalist Matt Taibbi includes documents showing a shocking intimacy between the FBI and Twitter as they policed online speech.

But files have also shown the FBI was facilitating censorship requests from other parts of government. Add to this other disturbing government moves to use its power to silence or track citizens, whether it be Attorney General Merrick Garland’s directive to the FBI and U.S. attorneys to probe parents (after the National School Board Association suggested they might be domestic terrorists) or the Department of Homeland Security’s plans to create a Disinformation Governance Board.

The Republican Freedom Caucus succeeded in extracting the concession:

In the Proposed rules package for the new 118th Congress, the Republican Party wants to create a subcommittee to investigate law enforcement and surveillance agencies.

The pledge to form the new committee on the “Weaponization of the Federal Government” is one of the concessions the far-right Freedom Caucus is demanding of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in exchange for supporting his bid to become speaker of the House. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has cited it as a reason to support McCarthy.

Freedom Caucus members routinely rail against the FBI’s investigations of President Donald Trump and excessive domestic surveillance. The “Weaponization of the Federal Government” committee would give them power to investigate the purported abuses under the auspices of the Judiciary Committee. Freedom Caucus members said they want to model the new body after the Church Committee that ran investigations into intelligence abuses in the mid-1970s, leading to significant reforms.

The proposed Resolution establishing the subcommittee has been released. The proposed areas of investigation include ongoing criminal investigations (implicating the weaponization of the FBI and DOJ) and how federal agencies work with private entities to take action against Americans (implicating the Twitterfiles type behavior across social media and Big Tech) (emphasis added):

(A) the expansive role of Article II authority vested in the Executive Branch to collect information on or otherwise investigate citizens of the United States, including ongoing criminal investigations;

(B) how executive branch agencies work with, obtain information from, and provide information to the private sector, non-profit entities, or other government agencies to facilitate action against American citizens, including the extent, if any, to which illegal or improper, unconstitutional, or unethical activities were engaged in by the Executive Branch or private sector against citizens of the United States;

(C) how executive branch agencies collect, compile, analyze, use, or disseminate information about citizens of the United States, including any unconstitutional, illegal, or unethical activities committed against citizens of the United States;

(D) the laws, programs, and activities of the Executive Branch as they relate to the collection of information on citizens of the United States and the sources and methods used for the collection of information on citizens of the United States;

(E) any other issues related to the violation of the civil liberties of citizens of the United States; and

(F) any other matter relating to information collected pursuant to the investigation con9 ducted under this paragraph at any time during the One Hundred Eighteenth Congress.

It’s likely that Rep. Jim Jordan will be a key player:

Democrats and their supporters are apoplectic. Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, who sullied his reputation with insane Trump-deranged rantings on Twitter gaining him a big following, never met an investigation of Trump World he didn’t like. He accused Trump of being a Russian asset and Tucker Carlson of having committed treason. Once a great civil libertarian, Tribe threw his principles aside because Orange Man Bad.

We finally found an investigation Tribe doesn’t like. The investigation of the investigators planned by the new Subcommitee. Tribe complained on Twitter:

Here’s the resolution to set up a Special Subcommittee of House Judiciary to hound — er, investigate — the investigators (including those investigating the coup/insurrection leading to Jan 6)

Joyce Alene, a law professor at U. Alabama who also is an MSNBC commenter with a large Twitter following, was even more agressive than Tribe, seeing a set up to impeach AG Merrick Garland:

This idea of “reviewing” criminal cases in progress is really about interfering with them & it violates separation of powers. MAGA Republicans know this. They’re setting up a situation where the AG will properly refuse to provide info, which they’ll use as a pretext to impeach.

(added) Former congressman and NeverTrump Republican David Jolly sees the end of the Republic:

With all the focus on the House rules being given away to the Freedom Caucus et al, this development below may be the most consequential – a new House Committee to attack and shred the federal government, undermining confidence for millions of Americans in our self governance.

Maybe, maybe not. One thing Democrats established in the never-ending hunt for Trump is that congressional committees have broad authority to investigate. The House J6 Committee was a shadow prosecutorial agency meant to gather up information and subpoena witnesses beyond what DOJ could have obtained in a criminal investigation. Committee subpoenas were largely upheld, and the J6 made-for-TV miniseries was one result. The other result was sending everything over to DOJ on a criminal referral (of dubious legitimacy) that put in the hands of the FBI and DOJ evidence they never could have obtained on their own.

Depending on who and what is subpoeanaed, I could see the subcommittee running into trouble. I can’t imagine they would be able to call in for testimony federal line prosecutors and quiz them about their legal strategy in a particular case. But the subcommitee could demand broad information and testimony as part of their oversight function. And as to past conduct in closed criminal cases, or in matters involving social media and big tech that are not criminal prosecutions, the subcomittee will have broad authority.

Democrats weaponized their committees as part of a broader weaponization of the federal government against political opponents. Those precedents will be used against them. Full steam ahead.


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They may have to add another topic to the investigations …

Buried News: Obama muscled Zuckerberg to censor Trump — and made an example of him

Burn it to the ground, salt the earth, and repeat….

The fact that McCarthy and the RINOs had to be FORCED to do this shows how little they actually care about the weaponization of the federal government against conservatives.

    Bad, joke, huh.

    henrybowman in reply to Olinser. | January 7, 2023 at 11:18 pm

    But hey, now we’re gonna have a subcommittee investigation, and that will make everything right! We’ll finally be able to get to the bottom of things, just like we did for Fast and Furious, Hillary’s emails, Crossfire Hurricane, Trump’s Russian connections, and Whitewater!

    You say it’s “a special committee in the spirit of the old Church Committee?” Hell, that sets the bar right there!

    jimincalif in reply to Olinser. | January 8, 2023 at 9:22 am

    Right? I guess we should wait and see what the Pubbies do with this subcommittee, but I expect no matter what they find, the Uniparty will ignore it. No heads will roll, no funding will be cut, etc.

      CountMontyC in reply to jimincalif. | January 8, 2023 at 10:20 am

      Ultimately what we need is a Federal Department of Internal Affairs with the full power to investigate and prosecute misbehavior by federal agencies and agents. This type of misbehavior will continue until there are criminal consequences for their actions.

        jimincalif in reply to CountMontyC. | January 8, 2023 at 11:28 am

        Except that yet another department in the bloated administrative state will become just as corrupt and politically weaponized as the bureaus it is charged with overseeing. What we need is ripping out of the administrative state, reducing the federal government back down to a size that can be managed and controlled by our constitutional institutions. But the government will never allow itself to be reduced. We are no longer a self governing people, we are ruled by an untouchable nomenklatura which puts on election shows to distract us and let us think we still have representative government. They were overconfident and screwed up, letting Trump get elected. They’ve worked to destroy him ever since and will never let him, or anyone like him get elected again.

          CountMontyC in reply to jimincalif. | January 8, 2023 at 12:12 pm

          I am all for vastly reducing the size of the federal government but I just don’t think that is a realistic possiblity at this point. We can’t even get rid of PBS or the National Endowment for the Arts. I would install safeguards to keep the FDIA from becoming corrupt. Safegysuch as basing it outside of the DC beltway, only hiring from state and local law enforcement agencies, a 5-10 year ban from being employed at any other federal agency after leaving the FDIA, both Congressional and civilian oversight committees and annual reviews of every employee of the FDIA to make certain that they stay on the straight and narrow. I am also willing to listen to listen to other ideas on how to improve it. The main thing is that I don’t believe that we can continue as we have with minimal to no oversight and that we need these other agencies to fear that their actions will have criminal consequences. Furthermore even if we get rid of a large number of agencies there will always be other agencies and they will need to be held to account as well.

        henrybowman in reply to CountMontyC. | January 8, 2023 at 3:06 pm

        Isn’t there already some kind of “inspector general” bureau?

          jimincalif in reply to henrybowman. | January 8, 2023 at 3:43 pm

          Actually there’s more than one (what would you expect from the federal government, right?). There are OIGs for DHS, HHS, and incredibly the DOJ. I’m sure there are others. But yeah, how about that DOJ oversight? I doubt Garland is losing any sleep over it.

          CountMontyC in reply to henrybowman. | January 8, 2023 at 5:27 pm

          Inspector generals are merely glorified clerks. They can only compel testimony from people currently working at the agency that they represent. So if a person quits, retires or transfers to another agency the IG has no power to compel testimony. Furthermore an IG can only recommend prosecution and have no authority beyond that. If the DOJ ignores their recommendation the IG can only turn in their report and that’s it. I want an agency that has the same power to investigate ( meaning subpoenas subpoena anyone involved) and if they believe that they have enough evidence to prosecute they can prosecute no matter what DOJ lawyers say.

    Danny in reply to Olinser. | January 8, 2023 at 11:08 am

    McCarthy had pledged to do this sort of thing far ahead of the revolt.

    He was forced into accepting the Ius Liberum Veto (which squishes from NY blue districts have to now btw) and into pledges on omnibus billls.

    If I demand you don’t carry an anvil around and your not carrying an anvil around I didn’t force you not to carry an anvil.

      henrybowman in reply to Danny. | January 8, 2023 at 3:08 pm

      But now, when I do find you carrying an anvil, I can call you out on it immediately… not wait around for 30 other people to join me to call you out on it.

        henrybowman in reply to henrybowman. | January 9, 2023 at 12:21 am

        Speaking of which: HERE is today’s constituent newsletter from my rep Paul Gosar, in which I think he does a truly fine job of clearly explaining what they were holding out for and what they finally got. In particular:

        The battle for the speakership was … about the rules that govern Congress. … For the last century, these rules have been written in a manner that eliminates most members of Congress from having any meaningful input in the process. Since my first day in Congress, the Speaker, regardless of their party, has abused these rules and exercised tyrannical control over the members of congress.

        Only the Speaker could decide what bills would be voted on, or who could propose a bill or amendment, or if whether there would be any debate. It turned Congress into a charade, or Kabuki theater. It may have appeared like we had a choice and a voice in the making, however, we had very little choice in reality.

        …It appears that most Democrats are quite happy being told what to do, how high to jump, and to never dissent or else. However, the rest of us real Americans, with the blood of our forefathers in our veins, living like minions to the Speaker is not acceptable. We demanded that the Pelosi rules be thrown out, shredded and kicked to the curb. There is a new sheriff in town, and this sheriff wants freedom and true democracy on the floor of the House of Representatives. We want a voice and our votes to count. We want our views heard and considered. That is exactly what we got!

        Jim Jordan didn’t seem to see any anvils.

Didn’t McCarthy/McDonald already want this, under Jordan’s basic purview?

The job is to expose the wrongs, without undue performance art, so the average person, including Gen Z, will discover how they were used, misled and abused. Unlike the last Congress, oversight is not a criminal endeavor for partisan and deranged reason.

    He wanted a weak little show committee like the RINO moron Gowdy where they would spin their wheels, make a few speeches for the cameras, issue a couple weak subpoenas that would be ignored, and not actually investigate or do a single meaningful thing, and it probably would have been done in one of the existing committees where a McCarthy RINO senior disciple would be ‘in charge’.

    The proposed rules for this subcommittee give it a lot more power to ACTUALLY investigate, and part of the demands were seats on the committee for some of the holdouts.

    Which is why McCarthy DID NOT want to give it to them. He can’t have people actually delivering results.

    ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to oldschooltwentysix. | January 8, 2023 at 3:21 am

    including Gen Z,

    No offense, but I have no idea who these various “generations” are supposed to comprise. I wish people would just write the ages out – 30-somethings, etc – instead of this weird Gen X,Y,Z,K,J, Millenial, whatever stuff. It is age ranges we are talking about, after all.

    Yes, who is Kevin McDonald? Edit?

What the new House should do is re-establish the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HCUA) (1938-1975).

Because it ferreted out the Communist-minded left, the lefties called it the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) which title the lefty Wiki uses in describing this committee.

    Milhouse in reply to fscarn. | January 8, 2023 at 9:22 am

    Don’t be ridiculous. It was called HUAC by everyone, for the same reason that everyone calls the United States House Committee on Armed Services “the House Armed Services Committee (HASC)”, and the United States House Committee on the Judiciary “the House Judiciary Committee”, the United States House Committee on Ethics “the House Ethics Committee”, etc. That is simply how all House committees are named.

    And HUAC was originally established by an actual paid Soviet spy, to persecute “pro-fascists”.

      Concise in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2023 at 10:20 am

      Rather a silly, superficial criticism. fscarn’s point is simply that the communist traitors in the 50’s were in fact “un-American.” just like most democrats and their woke allies.

        henrybowman in reply to Concise. | January 8, 2023 at 3:11 pm

        I thought fscarn’s point was that the liberals deliberately mangled the name so that it could be interpreted as “the house committee that performs un-American activities.”

Steven Brizel | January 7, 2023 at 9:32 pm

This committee is a necessary corrective after we have read in the Twitter files on this issue

People need to go to jail and agency budgets need to be decimated. That’s what I want, but don’t expect.

    Olinser in reply to walls. | January 7, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Not only has the FBI budget NOT been decimated, Bitch McConnell and his RINO posse just signed on to spending a massive chunk of $ to build them a brand new headquarters.

      gonzotx in reply to Olinser. | January 8, 2023 at 12:38 am

      Yes! And the FBI/DOJ say it’s Jan 6th FOREVER
      Can’t have enough suicides for trespassing, there’s awards to be handed out and a month in the Lincoln bedroom in the WH for winners!!!

“Panic setting in….” The panic setting is panic BY THE GOPe: they’re about to be exposed for their complicity with the democrats.

Now you know why they were so hysterical this past week. They wanted McCarthy in as Speaker to cover their asses, because McCarthy knows he needs to cover his own ass.

    Bingo. If what you say is incorrect then why did Kevin fight so hard to not restore such sensible things as actually debating Amendments on the Floor, debating Earmarks, being given time to actually read Bills before voting on them and so on..

      Milhouse in reply to diver64. | January 8, 2023 at 9:28 am

      That’s silly. He fought those things because he wanted to wield the same power that Pelosi had. Why wouldn’t he want it? That this wasn’t the way it used to be was irrelevant to him, the power was there, he was within inches of having it, why would he voluntarily give it away? Which is why he had to be forced to do it. The speakership isn’t supposed to be that powerful. And now he’s conceded it and will be a speaker like all the ones in history before the last 50 years. We got rid of Roe v Wade and now another perversion of the ’70s. None of that is a reflection on McCarthy’s character.

        ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2023 at 11:43 am

        He fought those things because he wanted to wield the same power that Pelosi had. Why wouldn’t he want it?

        That’s a ridiculous argument. A decent person would not be consumed with such a hunger for power but would rather respect the position.

        None of that is a reflection on McCarthy’s character.

        LOL. Of course it is.

          Unfortunately, the “decent” nominees never garnered more than a handful of votes.

          A normal person does not voluntarily give power away when it falls into his hands. He has to be forced to do it. That’s not corruption, it’s just human nature. That’s why Cincinnatus is such a figure of legend; because what he did (or at least what the legend ascribes to him) is not normal.

Why is it that so many Washington D.C. Republicans seem entirely unwilling to learn?

During the 2022 elections, a ‘Red Wave’ never occurred like we thought and were told it would be.

But there was one, significant exception: Ron DeSantis won the race to become Florida’s governor (again) by 19 POINTS! His win represents Florida’s largest margin of victory in 40 years. I

In DeSantis’ recent inauguration speech is a winning blueprint for other Republicans.

So, why isn’t the GOP studying, learning, and following in the Florida Governor’s footsteps?

This post is not my attempt at trolling or to contrast Trump v DeSantis. I want McCarthy to act more like DeSantis by effectively dealing with Democrats and destroying wokeness.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | January 8, 2023 at 12:00 am

The Republican Freedom Caucus succeeded in extracting the concession:

This, by itself, was worth the multiple votes … but the fact that this was a “concession” when it should have been one of McCarthy’s main pursuits tells us all we really ned to know about McCarthy.

Hopefully, he will live up to his commitments concessions … but I cannot say that I am very optimistic. We’ll see.

There are sooooo many people in the federal government – mostly under the executive branch – who really need to be arrested and imprisoned for very, very long sentences. This started in earnest with Barky perverting our Executive branch and has grown and been supercharged – not least of which because so many were completely exposed by Trump but still had nothing happen to them.

Another joke. Once again, the Republicans will put on a show and accomplish nothing. They’ll call some people in, and the witnesses will all give the same answer to every question. “I can’t answer that for reasons of national security”. In response, the Republicans will throw up their hands, and say, “Well, we tried”. At best, some no-name, low level clerk will be fed to the wolves so they can say it wasn’t all a waste of time, and the uniparty will go on, as usual.

I never understood the “not commenting on an ongoing investigation” dodge. Fortunately the house re-instituted a rule whereby individual government entities and employees can be fired if the house believe it is necessary for oversight. One way to balance the federal budget is to reduce the number of federal employees and thus agencies. The bloated federal workforce has made the counties surrounding Washington D.C. (which produce practically nothing) the wealthiest in the nation.

    Milhouse in reply to kjon. | January 8, 2023 at 9:30 am

    Fortunately the house re-instituted a rule whereby individual government entities and employees can be fired if the house believe it is necessary for oversight.

    Huh? What are you referring to? The House can’t fire executive branch employees! Especially since not even the president, who’s their employer, can fire them! Certainly another branch can’t fire them!

    Concise in reply to kjon. | January 8, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    Agencies abusing their authority, especially the DOJ, absolutely should be subject to the highest level of oversight. Way past time to end any special deference afforded to these corrupt sleazes.

Why is the term “Far Right” used often and ‘Far Left ( i.e. Marxist) never ever used?

    Whitewall in reply to Skip. | January 8, 2023 at 8:44 am

    “Far Right” is Euro speak for anyone not approved of by the ruling class. Or, anyone and anything that scares the left. Or anyone that is capable effective and popular with the masses.

      Pepsi_Freak in reply to Whitewall. | January 10, 2023 at 9:57 am

      Or anyone who is capable of logical reasoning, and who uses that capability in place of “feeling” when making decisions.

    Milhouse in reply to Skip. | January 8, 2023 at 9:32 am

    For the same reason that “ultra-Orthodox” is used so often, and usually to mean “Orthodox”. To the commentariat there is no “right” that is not “far”, or “extreme”.

      4rdm2 in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2023 at 10:23 am

      Extreme right is anything which is not left.

        n.n in reply to 4rdm2. | January 8, 2023 at 1:33 pm

        Extreme right, in the governance spectrum, is anarchist, Extreme left is totalitarian. The left-right nexus is leftist.

          henrybowman in reply to n.n. | January 8, 2023 at 3:18 pm

          Governance is multidimensional; but the two-dimensional approximation (the Nolan Chart) is an order of magnitude more informative than the one-dimensional left-right, whereas adding dimensions beyond that suffers almost immediately from diminishing returns.

      Paula in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2023 at 12:45 pm

      Coincidentally, there is not one Democrat with a mental problem that is not extreme.

The Gentle Grizzly | January 8, 2023 at 8:38 am

Who thinks anything will come of these hearings?

    The low hanging fruit will be, whether that translates into meaningful consequences is an open question.

    The goal IMO, should be to ID and expose who did what and how they did so. Then create statutory barriers to preclude those actions in the future with very serious penalties and direct oversight and monitoring by Congress of those actions.

E Howard Hunt | January 8, 2023 at 8:48 am

Giving a pass on the birth certificate made all this possible.

Hah! Planned Committeehood. Cry my little baby, cry. Here comes the scalpel to pare the excess fat. You’re not viable. Panic, indeed.

The Laird of Hilltucky | January 8, 2023 at 3:02 pm

If they did nothing wrong, then what’s the problem? What are they trying to hide?

The 2022 elections were about change. McConnell heads the senate, McCarthy heads the House and McRonmey (the Rona useful idiot) still heads the RNC.

This is a McJoke, and it’s on us.

The Dems are in no way “scared” by this committee. They control ALL of the information and documentation of their dirty deeds, not to mention the very Justice dept. which is at the heart of all of it. They will yell and scream (in Oscar performances) to feign outrage, and to castigate the investigators on TV and the MSM (who will dutifully only report one die of the story, if any of the investigations), but absolutely ZERO will come of it.
I cannot imagine any scenario in our current governments total abdication of the Rule of Law and Constitutional adherence, that this committee will accomplish anything.
They still hold all the cards, and the IC is about a hundred steps ahead of them – if not a thousand.

On Monday night, December 12, 2022 senators unanimously passed a measure to remove authority for calling out the National Guard from politicians like Nancy Pelosi and gave it over to the Capitol Police.

BierceAmbrose | January 9, 2023 at 4:50 pm

“You can’t monitor the agencies here; this is the oversight committee!”

It would be nice if they could interview Edward Snowden as part of that process. Hell, if they just read his book, it would provide some insight into what they might want to look at.