The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to approve the creation of a subcommittee to probe the political “weaponization” of the federal government.
In a 221-211 vote, the chamber voted on party lines to establish the panel, which Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan will likely chair. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy committed to creating the panel as part of several key concessions he made to House conservatives to win over their support to take the chamber’s top job.
The committee will have extensive powers, including the ability to view sensitive information to which the House Intelligence Committee is privy as well as to review ongoing investigations. The latter point will theoretically allow lawmakers to oversee the Department of Justice’s handling of its ongoing investigations involving former President Donald Trump.
While Democrats have been critical of the so-called “tin-foil hat” committee, they have nonetheless indicated that they intend to sit members of their party on the panel.
“It’s in our best interest to make sure we are representing the will of the caucus and the American public, and that Republicans don’t have an opportunity behind closed doors to shape, and to add to, these conspiracy theories,” California Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar said Tuesday.
Republicans have been critical of both the DOJ and the FBI for its handling of sensitive investigations involving the former president and have pounced on whistleblower accusations of political bias at the senior levels of both agencies.
Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., has derided the panel as being created to “settle political scores on behalf of Donald Trump,” according to The Hill.