The GOP-led House Judiciary Committee and select subcommittee on the so-called weaponization of the federal government plan to adopt a rule that will allow Republican members to issue subpoenas without consulting Democrats days ahead of time, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
The plan, articulated to GOP members of the select subcommittee by its top Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio during their first meeting Friday, will expedite the subpoena process as both panels move forward with probes of the Biden administration, two of the sources said.
It reflects the “urgency” of Republican plans to investigate the Biden administration on several fronts, the sources added.
A third source told CNN that the move will effectively allow Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee and select subcommittee to unilaterally issue subpoenas.
In doing so, Republicans say they are taking a page from Democrats, including former House Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings of Maryland, asserting he had previously waived rules that required members of the opposite party be consulted before subpoenas were issued.
At the time, Republicans slammed Democrats for violating the bipartisan agreement that governs the subpoena process for certain House committees.
Democrats argue that what the Republicans are doing now is a return to the practices employed by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California, who served as chairman of the House Oversight Committee from 2011 top 2015. Issa used this authority to issue a barrage of unilateral subpoenas to investigate the Obama administration, Democrats say.
The plan to adopt the subpoena rule comes after Friday’s meeting, hosted by Jordan, of the Republicans appointed to serve on the select subcommittee. The appointees discussed how to prioritize their work and how to tackle the many investigations the members want to pursue.
Issa, now a member of the select subcommittee, emerged from the meeting holding a binder full of what he described as “reading material.” He told CNN that Republicans have already scheduled interviews as part of the panel’s work.
Jordan “has given us a road map … some of which is very public, and some of which we’ll discover as time goes on,” he said.
“[Jordan] charged all the members of the committee to come with where they thought there was weaponization, where they believe that the committee should look, and so on,” Issa said. “We have 50, or 47 weeks, ahead of us this year, and the ability to only have so many hearings. But we do have the ability to hold transcribed interviews and depositions – several, which have already been scheduled.”