Biden Administration Stonewalls Congress on Several Fronts

After three months into the new Congressional session, House Republicans are following through on their pledge to investigate a wide swath of actions by the Biden administration over the previous two girls. 

However, administration officials have refused to cooperate on almost every front. Before taking office, President Biden promised to restore openness and transparency to the White House. 

Instead, Republican lawmakers will face the growing prospect of a drawn-out fight to get answers. 

More than a half-dozen Congressional committees have sent dozens of requests to agencies across the federal government since January. The requests probe everything from the rushed push for Covid-19 booster approval to Hunter Biden’s business dealings. 

So far, Biden administration officials have silently met many of the letters. Several Democrat-controlled Senate committees have also pushed the administration for information. In some cases, they have also expressed frustration with the result. 

For example, the House Oversight Committee asked the White House counsel on January 10 to provide further detailed information about the discovery of classified documents inside the private office of President Joe Biden. The requested information includes the actual documents, all communications between the National Archives and Records Administration and the White House, as well a list of people authorized to enter that office. 

Stuart Delery, White House counsel, responded with a letter saying his office would only review “legitimate oversight interests” and potentially offer details later. The White House hasn’t provided any further documents. 

In response to the requests for information from the House Oversight Committee, the National Archives about its handling of the Trump and Biden classified document cases. It could only respond to most document requests from Congress if it received a sign-off from the Justice Department. 

The House Foreign Affairs Committee has criticized the State Department for only providing the most basic information about the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

On Thursday, the House Oversight Committee announced that investigators had discovered that President Biden’s family members received over $1 million in payments to a Chinese company. According to the panel, the Treasury Department relented after months of stonewalling while allowing the committee to review financial documents related to the Bidens. 

The decision only happened after the committee pushed to have a hearing with a top Treasury Department official over the financial dealings. 

“After two months of dragging their feet, the Treasury Department is finally providing us with access to the suspicious activity reports for the Biden family and their associates’ business transactions,” said GOP Rep. James Comer in a statement this week. “It should never have taken us threatening to hold a hearing and conduct a transcribed interview with an official under the penalty of perjury for Treasury to finally accommodate part of our request.”

“For over 20 years, Congress had access to these reports, but the Biden Administration changed the rules to restrict our ability to conduct oversight,” added Comer. 

Biden administration has avoided cooperating with investigations

Broadly, the Biden administration has attempted to avoid investigations at various stages of progress related to the alleged misconduct of the National Institutes of Health and FBI, major social media corporations’ communications with the federal government, the origins of Covid-19, and other investigations. 

Some representatives in the House have already moved to a more aggressive approach. Jim Jordan, House Judiciary Chairman, subpoenaed leaders at the FBI, Department of Education, and Justice Department last month after several months of silence from administration officials over law enforcement’s treatment of parents who spoke out at school board meetings beginning in 2021.

Rep. Jordan said GOP members started requesting information about the treatment of parents when they were in the minority of the House; they didn’t get subpoena power when Republicans won a majority in the House in the 2022 midterm elections. 

Frustration with the lack of information released by the Biden administration and the refusal to cooperate has bled over into the Democratic Senate. 

Both Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee have complained that the intelligence community is continuing to block access to the content of the classified documents discovered at both President Biden’s and Donald Trump’s private homes despite repeated efforts from the committee to forge some deal with the Biden administration.