The Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government is poised to undermine the credibility, impartiality and independence of the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, unless it focuses on actual instances of government weaponization which have undermined our democracy, according to a letter CREW sent to the subcommittee.

The broad scope of the resolution establishing the subcommittee raises concerns that giving such unconstrained powers to Congress would allow congressional interference with the justice system for political gain. While legitimate congressional oversight of federal agencies is crucial, interfering in ongoing criminal investigations—which the resolution authorizes—is not legitimate oversight, and is itself a weaponization of Congress’s oversight power that threatens to undermine our justice system and the American people’s faith in it. 

Rather than interfere with legitimate ongoing investigations and prosecutions, CREW proposes that the subcommittee use its authority to investigate actual instances of government weaponization which have undermined our democracy. These instances include the use of federal agencies and resources to overturn the 2020 presidential election, direct interference in prosecutions and investigations of Trump allies by then-President Trump, covert surveillance of racial justice protests, abuse of pardon power, abuse of federal authority over Washington D.C. agencies for political gain, and making the federal government into a for-profit enterprise.

The DOJ and FBI’s impartiality is key to advancing accountability, justice and safety at a time when domestic violent extremism is rising. The Weaponization of the Federal Government subcommittee will undermine the work of these independent oversight agencies and interfere in ongoing investigations should it choose to willfully ignore instances of actual government weaponization.

Header photo by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license.

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