New House committee on ‘weaponization’ of government to hold first hearing

WASHINGTON — The House’s new subcommittee dedicated to probing the so-called weaponization of the federal government will hold its first hearing Thursday.

The noon event will feature testimony from Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, as well as former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent and appears frequently on Fox News.

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who served as a manager in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial and on the House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack, is the only Democratic member invited to speak as a witness Thursday.

The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was created by the new Republican House majority to investigate alleged discrimination by the federal government against conservatives. The panel is part of the House Judiciary Committee, also chaired by Jordan, and has subpoena power.

The subcommittee is formally tasked with investigating how the executive branch collects information on and investigates U.S. citizens “including ongoing criminal investigations.” Republicans say they will probe how the Justice Department, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have investigated conservatives, including former President Donald Trump. The panel is likely to take a look at the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago home in August.

In addition to Jordan, the panel’s 21 members include some high-profile GOP critics of President Joe Biden’s administration, like Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Elise Stefanik of New York and Matt Gaetz of Florida, who was quietly added to the committee last week.

Democrats appointed nine members to serve on the panel, including the committee’s vice chair, Del. Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, who also served as a Trump impeachment manager.

The committee will hear from a second panel of witnesses on Thursday, including two former FBI agents, Thomas Baker and Nicole Parker, who have been critical of the bureau in recent years; George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley, a Fox News contributor who has also criticized the FBI and alleged social media censorship of conservatives; and Elliot Williams, a CNN legal analyst and former deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department during the Obama administration.

The subcommittee is required to submit a final report to the House on its findings by Jan. 2, 2025.

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