Reps. Jim Jordan (left) and Darrell Issa are Republican ranking members on the House Judiciary Committee.
Reps. Jim Jordan (left) will chair the new House select committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa will join panel. Photos via Wikimedia Commons

Rep. Darrell Issa of East County was one of a dozen Republicans named Tuesday to what the congressman calls the new committee to “expose the weaponization of the federal government against the American people.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced GOP members of two select subcommittees, including one to look into origins of the pandemic.

The “weaponization” panel grew out of demands that helped McCarthy gain the votes to become speaker after 15 rounds of balloting.

On Jan. 10, Issa said in a press release that “we are only just beginning to understand the scope and the depth of the Democrats’ weaponization of the federal government against the American people.”

The 69-year-old multimillionaire representing the 48th District cited the IRS being granted money to hire 87,000 new agents “no doubt to expand the bureaucracy and to feed their spending addiction.”

Tuesday night, Issa tweeted about his being honored by the new assignment: “The work begins now!”

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York is expected to name as many as five Democrats to the panel led by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio — if it is expanded.

Said McCarthy: “The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not go after them. Unfortunately, throughout Democrats’ one-party rule in Washington, we saw a dangerous pattern of the government being used to target political opponents while they neglected their most basic responsibilities.”

Conservative media cheered the moves. Liberal sites suggested other motives.

On The Bulwark, Jill Lawrence wrote: “The tragedy is that, when it comes to Jim Jordan’s investigations, facts may not matter.”

What will matter, she said, is “how shoveling paranoia and distortion into the news stream will further undermine trust in the U.S. government, its integrity, its motives, and its elections.”

She added: “Even if the Justice Department refuses to grant a single request for information about open investigations, Jordan’s anti-government offensive is frightening.”

According to its authorizing resolution, the committee “must investigate matters related to the collection, analysis, dissemination, and use of information on U.S. citizens by executive branch agencies, including whether such efforts are illegal, unconstitutional or otherwise unethical.”

The subcommittee will issue a final report by Jan. 2, 2025, and ends 30 days after filing that report.

Other GOP members of the committee are Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.), Chris Stewart (Utah), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Mike Johnson (La.), Chip Roy (Texas), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.), Greg Steube (Fla.), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Kat Cammack (Fla.) and Harriet Hageman (Wyo.).

According to Politico, Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York automatically gets a seat, “due to his perch as top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.”

Before GOP members were named, Nadler said: “Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy claim to be investigating the weaponization of the federal government when, in fact, this new select subcommittee is the weapon itself.”

He added: “It is specifically designed to inject extremist politics into our justice system and shield the MAGA movement from the legal consequences of their actions.”

In the first of his two stints in Congress, Issa in 2011 became chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“He was a vocal advocate for investigations into the Obama administration, including the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, corruption in Afghanistan, WikiLeaks, and the Food and Drug Administration among other topics,” says Wikipedia.

In February 2011, the Watchdog Institute based at San Diego State University, published an investigation alleging that “Issa has built a team that includes staff members with close connections to industries that could benefit from his investigations.”


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Ellen Bullock