House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), in an apparent effort to protect Donald Trump, is now attempting to bully Attorney General Merrick Garland and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Chris Wray into undermining the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s criminal investigation into the former president's unlawful retention and refusal to return stolen White House records including secret defense and national security documents classified at the highest levels.
In a letter to both law enforcement leaders dated Friday, McCarthy threatens them with powers he does not have, and legal and government experts are mocking him as a result.
“Just put AG Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray on notice for their appearance in public hearings before @JudiciaryGOP concerning the unprecedented raid on President Trump’s home,” McCarthy tweeted Friday. “They must provide all communications and documents relating to the raid.”
They in fact are under no obligation to provide the House Minority Leader with any documents, nor are they required to appear before him to testify.
“The unprecedented nature of the FBI’s search of President Trump’s home and the broad public interest surrounding the raid require more than just a private briefing with the congressional and intelligence committee leadership. The Biden Administration cannot ignore its obligation to submit to public hearings in the House Judiciary Committee, which is charged with broad oversight of the operations and functions of the DOJ and the FBI,” McCarthy claims.
“Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have called on you to testify in public; the Administration’s failure to appear before the Judiciary Committee only willfully illustrates a desire by the DOJ and the FBI to avoid oversight by their committee of primary jurisdiction,” he writes.
“We will not accept any unlawful attempts to limit congressional access to documents,” the California Republican adds.
“In summation, we request the following,” says McCarthy, who has no legislative authority to formally demand anything from Garland. “Your appearance, along with FBI Director Christopher Wray, in public hearings before the House Judiciary Committee concerning the raid on President Trump’s home,” and “The provision of all communications and documents requested by Republicans relating to the raid on President Trump’s home.”
Ironically, for the better part of the year Minority Leader McCarthy has ignored a lawful subpoena from the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, making his “request” all the more inadequate.
Steve Vladeck, a University of Texas School of Law law professor with a focus on national security writes: “As separation-of-powers debates go, I’m usually pretty pro-Congress. And even *I* don’t think that Congress has the constitutional authority to demand ‘all communications and documents’ from the Executive Branch relating to an ongoing criminal investigation.”
Former CEO and Editor of the publisher of Foreign Policy Magazine, journalist, podcast host, former Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce, and foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst and commentator David Rothkopf mocks McCarthy, saying, “Er, nope. That’s just not something you have the power to do.”
Former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey Mitchell Epner rhetorically asks, “Does Kevin McCarthy believe that AG Merritt Garland is unaware that the House GOP does not have subpoena power? McCarthy’s statement that “they must provide all communications and documents relating to the raid” confuses his wishcasting with enforceable demands.”
Former DOJ Inspector General and Asst. U.S. Attorney at SDNY Michael Bromwich writes, “Oversight over ongoing criminal investigations simply doesn’t happen, unless you want to kill the investigation. This is dishonest and disingenuous grandstanding for an audience of one.”
“Kevin McCarthy wants the FBI to stop investigating where 80 classified/military aide documents disappeared,” notes national security journalist Marcy Wheeler.
Read the letter below or at this link.
🚨 NEW → Just put AG Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray on notice for their appearance in public hearings before @JudiciaryGOP concerning the unprecedented raid on President Trump’s home.
They must provide all communications and documents relating to the raid. pic.twitter.com/BgzOuo3dgY
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) September 2, 2022
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
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