Thursday, december 1, 2022
GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is sending a renewed set of requests to four current and former government officials on Thursday, providing a window into how the highest-ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee is zeroing in on his first top targets ahead of the next Congress when he obtains subpoena power.
The letters, obtained exclusively by CNN, are being sent to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Director of the CIA John Brennan, the Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s Human Resource Branch, Jennifer Moore, and the former executive director for the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board, Nina Jankowicz.
Jordan is asking for voluntary cooperation at this point, and reiterates previous requests for information and even transcribed interviews that have gone unanswered with House Republicans in the minority, but warns in all four letters he is committed to pursuing these matters “including by compulsory process if necessary.”
To Clapper and Brennan, Jordan is asking for information and documents pertaining to a statement they signed onto in October 2020, after they’d left public service, that sought to discredit a New York Post story about Hunter Biden.
Jordan renews his request for Moore to sit for a transcribed interview as he seeks to further investigate claims the FBI and Department of Justice have been politicized, an effort he has committed to investigate through letters to top FBI and DOJ officials. Jordan has also released more than 1,000 pages of his committee’s investigative roadmap alleging political interference by the FBI and Justice Department based in part on whistleblower allegations, while rehashing some previous claims and requests that Republicans have made.
To Moore, Jordan reiterates a claim he made to her in a previous letter, that protected whistleblower disclosures “suggest that the FBI is engaging in a ‘purge’ of employees with conservative views by revoking their security clearances and indefinitely suspending these employees” and that she has “signed many of the formal notices for these adverse personnel actions.”
“We have also received information suggesting you have retaliated against at least one whistleblower who has made protected disclosures to Congress,” Jordan continues.
FBI’s Assistant Director of the Office of Congressional Affairs Jill Tyson responded to Jordan’s earlier requests in a November 29 letter obtained by CNN emphasizing the vigorous ethics training all FBI employees receive to promote accountability, writing, “it is important to emphasize that allegations against one or a very small number of employees do not reflect a widespread political bias or a lack of objectivity by the FBI’s 38,000 employees who perform their jobs objectively, rigorously, and with professionalism,” Tyson wrote. “Nor do such allegations fairly call into question the FBI’s motivations and actions to fulfill its mission, which reflect the collective judgment and effort of our workforce.”
Tyson addressed Jordan’s claims about whistleblowers as well by saying, “the FBI takes all allegations of misconduct very seriously, and that includes taking seriously our responsibility to FBI employees who make protected disclosures under the whistleblower regulations.”
Jordan and Tyson have exchanged a few letters to date and Jordan has repeatedly claimed responses do not satisfy his concerns.
GOP Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Mike Johnson of Louisiana, who serve as ranking Republican members of two subcommittees on the House Judiciary Committee, signed onto the letter to Moore as well.
And to Jankowicz, Jordan renews his request for a transcribed interview to discuss her brief role as the executive director of the Disinformation Governance Board created by the Department of Homeland Security that no longer exists.
Jankowicz resigned in May and the board has been dissolved.
The Disinformation Governance Board, an interagency team, coordinated department activities related to disinformation aimed at the US population and infrastructure. Jankowicz, a disinformation expert with experience working on Ukraine and Russia issues, was tapped to helm the board, along with two senior DHS officials, including acting Principal Deputy General Counsel Jen Daskal.
Jankowicz’s appointment drew condemnation from GOP lawmakers and right-wing media personalities, who pointed to her past tweets and statements regarding the laptop of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and Christopher Steele, the author of the so-called Steele dossier. Jankowicz responded to some of the criticism regarding a tweet about Hunter Biden’s laptop, including once calling the laptop story “a fairy tale.”
When she resigned, Jankowicz responded to more of the attacks she had received, defending her work.
Jordan calls the now disbanded Disinformation Governance Board “an anti-democratic and un-American attempt to establish a de facto Ministry of Truth within the federal government.”
At the time, DHS and the White House defended the board and called Jankowicz “imminently qualified,” but eventually decided to pause the initiative and call for a review. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas later acknowledged the confusing rollout of the working group and in August, DHS shut down the board.
Jordan said that Jankowicz never responded to his May request and “the DHS’s response did not alleviate our concerns.”
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