Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

The Department of Justice under Attorney General Merrick Garland and ultimately President Joe Biden has stated in crystal clear terms that it will not comply with the House Judiciary Committee’s constitutionally mandated oversight. The DOJ, in a reply to a letter sent by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, stated it could not reveal “non-public information that is central to the ongoing Special Counsel investigation.”

Jordan launched an official investigation into Biden’s “mishandling” of classified documents via the Judiciary Committee as the DOJ simultaneously conducts an investigation via a special counsel. The investigation was publicly announced following the appointment of former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel by Garland. This move escalated the DOJ’s actions from what was initially a review to a formal investigation, according to Fox News.

In a Jan. 13 letter from Jordan and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), the congressmen ordered Garland to answer questions regarding the appointment of Hur as special counsel under their Judiciary Committee authority. Jordan demanded access to all documents and communications regarding Hur’s appointment and between the FBI and DOJ regarding the classified documents found at Biden’s properties, as reported by Fox News.

They wrote,

“We are conducting oversight of the Justice Department’s actions with respect to former Vice President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, including the apparently unauthorized possession of classified material at a Washington, D.C. private office and in the garage of his Wilmington, Delaware residence.1 On January 12, 2023, you appointed Robert Hur as Special Counsel to investigate these matters. The circumstances of this appointment raise fundamental oversight questions that the Committee routinely examines. We expect your complete cooperation with our inquiry.”

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte in a Monday reply to Jordan and Johnson, acknowledged receipt of the lawful order from the Committee but announced the DOJ’s refusal to comply claiming that the information requested by the committee is “non-public information that is central to the ongoing Special Counsel investigation.”


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As reported by Fox News, “The Department’s longstanding policy is to maintain the confidentiality of such information regarding open matters,” Uriarte wrote. “This policy protects the American people’s interest in the evenhanded, dispassionate, and effective administration of justice.”

Uriarte offered a justification for the move adding that “disclosing non-public information about ongoing investigations could violate statutory requirements or court orders, reveal road maps of our investigations, and interfere with the Department’s ability to gather facts, interview witnesses, and bring criminal prosecutions where warranted.” However, this obtuse response precludes the possibility of the committee accepting the information on a limited access basis, which has nearly countless precedents in congressional history.

Startlingly, Uriarte argued that despite Congress having “a clearly legitimate interest in determining how the Department enforces statutes, Congressional inquiries during the pendency of a matter pose an inherent threat to the integrity of the Department’s law enforcement and litigation functions,” suggesting that the department cannot function appropriately while under direct congressional oversight.

“Disclosures to Congress about active investigations risk jeopardizing those investigations and creating the appearance that Congress may be exerting improper political pressure or attempting to influence Department decisions in certain cases,” he added. “Judgments about whether and how to pursue a matter are, and must remain, the exclusive responsibility of the Department.”

However, this ignores the fact that under the U.S. Constitution, the ‘exclusive responsibility’ Uriarte claims is nowhere to be found, is in fact the Congress’ authority. Congress has been granted the authority to conduct oversight into every Department of the Executive and Judiciary branches.

According to Fox News, Jordan’s congressional spokesman Russell Dye told reporters Monday that the committee’s members are “rightly concerned about the Justice Department’s double standard here, after all, some of the Biden documents were found at a think tank that’s received funds from communist China.”

He added, “It’s concerning, to say the least, that the department is more interested in playing politics than cooperating,” Dye said.

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