Chairman Jim Jordan is first House Republican to use subpoena powers

February 4, 2023

Now that they have majority control of the House, Republicans appear to be coming through on their first round of promises of launching several investigations into a long list of high-profile Democrats. Rep. Jim Jordan just got the party started.

According to The Hill, Jordan was the first House Republican to utilize the party's newfound subpoena power.

The new Republican chair of the House Judiciary Committee made it clear that he will get to the bottom of a notorious memo that painted concerned parents of schoolchildren as domestic terrorists, sparking a wave of controversy.

While the headlines regarding the infamous memo have died down, Republicans kept it on their radar for this very moment in time.

The details

Jordan and his fellow Republicans on the powerful Judiciary Committee subpoenaed FBI Director Christopher Wray, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, and Attorney General Merrick Garland over the memo.

The Hill noted of the original memo signed by Garland:

Garland signed the memo in October of last year, noting a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff” amid broader discussion over COVID-19 policies and how issues like race and gender are addressed at school.

"Chilling impact"

While no parents were ever formally charged as "domestic terrorists," Jordan and many others believe the memo was the key to allowing Biden's Justice Department to do just that.

At the very least, the memo, Jordan said, had a "chilling impact on the First Amendment free speech is what we care about."

Jordan added at the time: "School board writes a letter on Sept. 29th. Five days later, the Attorney General of the United States issues a memorandum to 101 U.S. attorneys offices around the country saying, ‘Set up this line that they can report on.’ … When have you ever seen the federal government move that fast?"

FBI responds

"As Director Wray and other FBI officials have stated clearly on numerous occasions before Congress and elsewhere, the FBI has never been in the business of investigating speech or policing speech at school board meetings or anywhere else, and we never will be. Our focus is and always will be on protecting people from violence and threats of violence," the agency said in a memo.

The federal agency added: "We are fully committed to preserving and protecting First Amendment rights including the right to free speech. Attempts to further any political narrative will not change those facts."

Only time will tell if any of the three Biden administration members will honor the subpoenas, but one wouldn't be advised to bet any money on it. Even if this ends up symbolic in nature, it's a start.

 

 


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