House Judiciary Committee Republicans drew battle lines with the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security on Friday, requesting testimony from nearly a dozen officials when the new Congress meets next year.
Ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is set to chair the committee once Republicans take over the House of Representatives in January, sent a letter with other GOP lawmakers requesting “unfettered cooperation” from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and 10 other DHS officials in providing testimony for the committee’s investigations. Republicans have vowed to implement strict oversight of DHS activities in light of controversies over a proposed “Disinformation Governance Board” and the ongoing migration crisis at the southern border.
“To advance our oversight, we require prompt testimony from DHS employees,” the Republicans wrote Friday. “We expect your unfettered cooperation in arranging for the Committee to receive testimony from DHS employees.”
The letter names Mayorkas and other specific individuals who will be called to testify from U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, the DHS Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The Republicans asked DHS to prepare these officials to appear in-person for committee hearings or provide transcribed interviews, threatening to “resort to compulsory process” if the department and its sub-agencies do not comply.
The letter follows a demand from House Republicans that the Biden administration preserve documents related to the ongoing crisis at the southern border.
CBP reported an all-time record high number of more than 230,000 border encounters in October. There were more than 2.3 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2022, the highest number ever recorded, and 599,000 known “gotaways,” CBP sources told Fox News on Tuesday.
Republicans began laying the groundwork for numerous investigations into DHS and the Justice Department last month, promising “oversight of the causes and consequences of the unprecedented Biden border crisis into the 118th Congress.”
“This oversight includes examining the abdication of your duty to secure our borders, your failure to enforce federal immigration laws, and your dereliction in protecting Americans from the serious and detrimental consequences of the illegal immigration that you and the Biden Administration have caused,” Reps. Jordan and Tom McClintock, R-Calif., the ranking member of the immigration subcommittee, wrote to Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland in October.
House Republicans are also planning to investigate whistleblower allegations of “politicization” at the FBI and Justice Department, as well as probing the Biden family’s business dealings and the FBI’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop investigation.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Anders Hagstrom and Bill Melugin contributed to this report.