- The DOJ told Jim Jordan that it would not be able to share all information about ongoing criminal investigations.
- In a letter to Republicans, the DOJ said it must preserve the “integrity” of its investigations.
- “We are committed to cooperating with the committee’s legitimate efforts to seek information,” the DOJ said.
The Justice Department informed House Republicans that the agency is unlikely to share information about its ongoing criminal investigations — a move likely to frustrate GOP leaders as they try to scrutinize President Joe Biden.
The Justice Department said in the letter — obtained by Politico on Friday — that it “stands ready” to cooperate with congressional leaders, but told Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio that “any requests for oversight must be weighed against the Department’s interests in protect the integrity of their work.”
“The department’s mission to independently and impartially uphold the rule of law requires that we maintain the integrity of our investigations, prosecutions and civil actions, and to avoid even the perception that our efforts are influenced by anything other than the law and the facts,” the letter read.
“Regarding oversight requests for information and documents, we share your belief that congressional oversight is essential to our functioning democracy, and we are committed to cooperating with the Committee’s legitimate efforts to seek information, consistent with our commitment to protect the Executive Branch’s confidentiality interests, “the letter added.”
The Justice Department then noted that it would need more specific information from Republicans about what they want access to, while confirming that all relevant information about ongoing probes may not be shared in a public setting.
“The department will be better able to meet your needs during hearings if your request is specific regarding the information the committee is seeking,” the letter said. “While we will work diligently to accommodate requests for public testimony, it may not always be possible to attend or address all of the topics the committee wishes to address.”
It continued, “When information is not appropriate for a public hearing, we will make appropriate efforts to determine whether such information can be shared in another setting, such as a briefing, a closed hearing, or through providing other information.”
House Republicans earlier this month reaffirmed that they would seek to investigate the Justice Department’s handling of several high-profile investigations, including the separate special counsels into classified documents found in the possession of Biden and former President Donald Trump.
On Friday, House Judiciary Republicans expressed their disapproval of the Justice Department’s response.
“Why is the DOJ afraid to cooperate with our investigations?” The GOP panel tweeted.
The letter from the department sets out the obstacles that Jordan will face as he tries to turn up the heat on the Biden administration, even though House Republicans have already formed a subcommittee to investigate the alleged “weapons supply” by the federal government.
Jordan recently sent letters to several top officials — including Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray — as he seeks documents wanted by GOP lawmakers.
“House Judiciary Republicans are committed to holding every agency accountable under the new majority and will use due process, if necessary, to get answers for the American people,” he said.