Jordan Subpoenas Garland Over DOJ’s Alleged Efforts To Spy On Congress
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks to reporters as House Republicans hold a caucus meeting at the Longworth House Office Building on October 13, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) announced on Tuesday that he subpoenaed Attorney General Merrick Garland for information on alleged efforts to surveil members of Congress and congressional staff — including during the Russiagate controversy that rocked former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and administration.

In a cover letter to Garland, which noted potential legislative reforms could follow, Jordan said his panel “must resort to compulsory process” because of the “inadequate response to date” by the Department of Justice (DOJ) following his request for details about the apparent use of subpoenas to obtain private communications of Legislative Branch employees.

The DOJ previously informed the committee that the legal process it used related to an investigation into the “unauthorized disclosure of classified information in a national media publication,” the letter said. Jordan cited news reporting that indicated the inquiry pertained to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance of one-time Trump campaign associate Carter Page, reliant on an effort to get FISA warrants that the DOJ inspector general heavily criticized and the DOJ itself later conceded had relied on “insufficient predication” to last as long as it did.

Government watchdog group Empower Oversight revealed in October that its founder, Jason Foster, had been notified the DOJ subpoenaed Google for his personal communication records in 2017 when Foster served as chief investigative counsel to then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA). At the time the subpoena was issued, Grassley and his team were looking into the DOJ’s handling of British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s now-discredited anti-Trump dossier, which was used by the FBI to obtain authority to wiretap Page during the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

Empower Oversight further claimed to have information “indicating that the other accounts listed in the subpoena belonged to other staffers, both Republicans and Democrats, for U.S. House and Senate committees also engaged in oversight investigations of the Justice Department at the time pursuant to their authorities under the U.S. Constitution.”

Jordan announced on the last day of October that he was launching a probe into alleged attempts to spy on Congress and he sent requests for information to the DOJ and CEOs of various tech and communications companies. In response, according to Jordan’s cover letter on Tuesday, the DOJ offered a timeline and “brief description” of the agency’s recent policy changes for investigations involving members of Congress and their staff, as well as “publicly available” documents concerning the indictment and guilty plea of former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer James Wolfe as part of a national security leak investigation.

The Executive Branch appears to have used its “immense law-enforcement authority to gather and search the private communications of multiple Legislative Branch employees who were conducting Constitutional oversight of the Department’s investigative actions — actions that were later found to be unlawful,” Jordan wrote.


“Because the Department has not complied in full with our requests, we cannot independently determine whether the Department sought to alleviate the heightened separation-of-powers sensitivities involved or whether the Department first sought the information through other means before resorting to legal process,” Jordan added. “The Committee also has concerns that aspects of the Department’s investigation may have been a pretext to justify piercing the Legislative Branch’s deliberative process and improperly access data from Members and staff involved in conducting oversight of the Department.”

The Daily Wire reached out to the DOJ seeking comment.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Jordan Subpoenas Garland Over DOJ’s Alleged Efforts To Spy On Congress