The authority of the new Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government is alarmingly broad and will undermine the credibility of legitimate congressional oversight, according to a letter CREW sent today to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The subcommittee would weaponize Congress’s oversight power and create opportunities for partisan attacks, and the authority it grants to its members must be reevaluated.
The powers of the new subcommittee open doors for its members to misuse their authority for partisan, political attacks as well as for political gain. The subcommittee currently holds the authority to investigate “ongoing criminal investigations,” enabling its members to use congressional power to interfere with the justice system.
“Historically, Congress has not interfered with pending investigations,” wrote CREW President Noah Bookbinder. “Granting the subcommittee the authority to interrogate ongoing criminal investigations threatens the very integrity of our own government institutions.”
Members of the new subcommittee would be able to interfere in national security investigations and prosecutions, which confers an alarming amount of authority especially given the conflicts of interests of its potential members. Representative Scott Perry, a likely member, put pressure on Justice Department officials to investigate unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in Pennsylvania, voted against the certification of electoral votes after the 2020 election and reportedly later sought a pardon from Donald Trump for his role on Jan. 6.
“Rep. Perry should not be permitted to investigate the agencies which may be in the process of investigating him and others associated with him,” Bookbinder wrote. “If he did so, he would be acting on matters in which he has a clear personal interest—the very definition of a conflict of interest.”
The Weaponization of the Federal Government subcommittee will not provide trustworthy oversight, and instead undermines the work of independent oversight agencies and creates opportunities for interference in ongoing investigations. The authority granted to its members must be reevaluated, and should it move forward, CREW urges McCarthy to avoid appointing members for whom its agenda poses a clear conflict of interest.