House Judiciary Committee Republicans released a much-ballyhooed “1,000 page report on FBI and DOJ politicization” Friday morning, a pre-election-timed preview into life under a Republican House.
All but about 50 pages of the 1,050-page report are old letters Republicans already sent to the Biden administration. In one instance, they attached a five-page letter they’d previously sent to all U.S. attorneys 93 times.
The other 50 pages are a who’s who of Fox News-flavored grievances and conspiracy theories, dinging the FBI for everything from the “unprecedented raid” of Mar-a-Lago to going easy on Hunter Biden to supposedly targeting parents for resisting “a far-left educational curriculum” to inflating domestic violent extremism stats.
Many of their gripes and allegations are old — that Hillary Clinton was given “kid-glove treatment” in comparison to Donald Trump — and animated by perpetual, ongoing right-wing complaints, including that “big tech” is censoring conservative viewpoints.
The timing of the drop was clearly intentional, an attempt to sow distrust in the Biden administration days before the major midterm elections.
It’s also a glimpse into what the next two years could look like, should Republicans flip the House and put the Judiciary Committee in the hands of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), currently its ranking member.
For months, Republicans have been candid about their plans. If they flip a chamber, they’ll use their committee posts to investigate every aspect of the Biden administration. They routinely name Hunter Biden, the Afghanistan pullout, the administration’s immigration policies, Dr. Anthony Fauci and the work of the Jan. 6 Committee as potential targets. A Jordan-led Judiciary Committee would have the opportunity to spearhead much of it.
In the document, Republicans target Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray (a Trump appointee) with particular vitriol, suggesting that they’d likely be among those hauled before a GOP committee.
Republicans have also candidly discussed their intent to impeach Biden and assorted Cabinet members, though they haven’t yet settled on a reason beyond revenge for Trump’s pair of impeachments. Bloated “reports” like Friday’s may in the future serve as the “rationale” to do so.
Despite the fact that the report contains no new information and many ginned-up conspiracy theories, Republicans have been rewarded for these kinds of tactics before. They stretched out the Benghazi investigation for more than two years, holding endless, theatrical hearings and forcing Hillary Clinton to testify for hours. The committee ended up finding no new evidence of any wrongdoing by Clinton, but “Benghazi” is still shorthand in right-wing circles for their political enemy’s inherent untrustworthiness. They were conducted, at least in part, to dent Clinton’s presidential prospects, and also uncovered her private email server use, which major news outlets covered endlessly in the last weeks of the campaign (though their interest in such violations seemed to wane when Trump administration officials were later revealed to have done the same thing).
The Benghazi hearings, and the spinoff “scandals” they birthed, got disproportionate media play and ambitious Republican lawmakers got a built-in spotlight and audience. If Republicans flip even one chamber, legislating will all but grind to a halt, giving even more oxygen to camera-ready Republicans seeking a televised platform from which to go after their political opponents.
Read the “report” here: