House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday named his appointments to the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government and other key panels.
On Jan. 10, the Republican-controlled House voted to establish a select subcommittee to probe the “weaponization” of the government by federal law enforcement agencies under the Biden administration.
The newly created subcommittee will have the authority to subpoena information on intelligence-related activities that are typically only shared with the House Intelligence Committee. This power will enable the panel to investigate the federal government’s involvement in investigations on U.S. citizens, including ongoing criminal investigations.
Additionally, the subcommittee will have the power to probe the communication between federal agencies and private companies with regard to collecting information on Americans. The text of the resolution outlines the various functions of the subcommittee and its role in investigating the federal government’s activities.
The subcommittee is part of the House Judiciary Committee and will be chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). It will consist of 15 members, with nine Republicans and six Democrats appointed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
The Democrats put forward to the panel by Jeffries include Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) as the ranking member. Plaskett was a manager during the impeachment proceedings of former President Donald Trump.
Jeffries also appointed Reps. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Colin Allred (D-Texas), Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas), and Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), who was a lead lawyer on Trump’s first impeachment.
Democrats Will ‘Endeavor to Work in a Bipartisan Fashion’
Jeffries said that it was with “great pride” that he informed the Democratic Caucus of his selections to key House panels for the 118th Congress.
“Each of these committees will benefit greatly from the vision, skill, and expertise of our members and I am grateful to each of them for their willingness to serve the Caucus, the Congress, and the Country in this capacity,” he said in a statement.
Jeffries said that House Democrats would “endeavor to work in a bipartisan fashion where possible” while also standing up to “extremism from the other side of the aisle wherever and whenever necessary.”
The Republican members of the subcommittee are Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Chris Stewart (R-Utah), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Chip Roy (R-Texas), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), and Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.).
“House Republicans will leave no stone unturned. This will be some of the most important work of the House Republican majority in this Congress,” Stefanik told the “Mark Levin Show.”
“The purpose of this Select Committee is to follow the facts and find the truth, to shine sunlight, to bring transparency and ultimately accountability, and I believe legislative reforms,” she added. “The agencies that I’m focused on are the Department of Justice and the FBI. The list is quite lengthy in the abuses and weaponization that we’ve seen from these agencies.”
According to House Rules Committee Chair Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the subcommittee is modeled after the 1975 Church Committee, a Senate select committee that investigated U.S. intelligence agencies and uncovered numerous cases of abuse, including those directed against American citizens.
Appointments to Intelligence, CCP, and COVID-19 Panels
Jeffries also named his selections to a number of other key panels, including the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition with the Chinese Communist Party, and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.
For the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Jeffries named Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) to serve as the ranking member, along with Reps. André Carson (D-Ind.), Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.).
For the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, Jeffries named Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) to serve as the ranking member. The other members of the committee he put forward are Reps. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.), Mikie Sherrill (D-Mich.), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.), Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), and Shontel Brown (D-Ohio).
For the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, Jeffries named Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) to serve as the ranking member. The subcommittee also includes Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), Deborah Ross (D-N.C.), and Robert Garcia (D-N.Y.).
“As we begin the new Congress, it remains my goal to prioritize and value input from every corner of the Caucus so we may unleash the full potential of our team,” Jeffries said. “The members of the select committees reflect the tremendous experience, background, and ability of the House Democratic Caucus, and authentically represent the gorgeous mosaic of the American people.”
Some Democrats have accused the subcommittee probing the “weaponization” of the government of being a Republican strategy to protect their allies from current criminal investigations, such as the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and those into Trump.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) spoke out against the panel in a House floor speech on Jan. 10, calling it “nothing more than a deranged ploy by the MAGA extremists who have hijacked the party and want to use taxpayer money to push their far-right conspiracy nonsense.”
However, members of the subcommittee have rejected these accusations, stating that their focus is on the government and law enforcement overreach, which one member described as“the signature abuse of power of our time,” similar to how Watergate defined a previous era.
John Ransom and Mimi Nguyen-Ly contributed to this report.