The new House Republican majority, as promised, has begun its efforts to hold President Joe Biden and his administration accountable for the lax enforcement of border security and immigration laws and, predictably, has already faced obstruction to those efforts from the administration.
Now House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) has called out Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas for blocking his request for four top U.S. Border Patrol officials to testify before Congress, The Washington Times reported.
This, unfortunately, is just one example of how the Biden White House clearly intends to crack down on its own executive branch employees in a bid to delay or prevent House Republicans from achieving their stated goals of holding the administration accountable on a broad front.
“DHS is obstructing congressional oversight”
In a letter to Sec. Mayorkas on Friday, Chairman Comer pointed out that he had invited the Chief Patrol Officers from four different border sectors to testify during a Feb. 6 committee hearing that “will examine the crisis on the southwest border and will enable Members of the Committee to obtain essential information based on [those Chief Patrol Agents’] experience leading Border Patrol operations” in their respective sectors.
“Yet, instead of working to facilitate the testimony of those law enforcement professionals, the Department of Homeland Security is refusing to permit the four invited Chief Patrol Agents to appear and provide live testimony at a Committee hearing,” Comer wrote. “DHS is obstructing congressional oversight.”
He went on to note that DHS was attempting to assert its own “prerogative” and “protocols” over who would be permitted to testify before Congress, but the Kentucky Republican warned, “DHS’s internal protocols are not binding on Congress, and it is irrelevant whether DHS disagrees with the Committee’s determination that these four law enforcement professionals should testify at a Committee hearing.”
“Taken to its logical conclusion, the arguments advanced by DHS would render most federal officials in the Executive Branch completely immune from providing essential information to Congress,” Comer wrote.
Mayorkas “muzzling” senior Border Patrol officials
“It is unfortunate that you are trying to prevent the American people from hearing candid and truthful testimony of U.S. Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agents,” Comer said in his letter to Mayorkas. “This is necessary oversight, which you and your Department are attempting to block.”
🚨@SecMayorkas is muzzling Border Patrol Agents.
We invited four Chief Patrol Agents to testify on the #BidenBorderCrisis.
But DHS is refusing to allow them to come. @RepJamesComer is pushing back on DHS’ obstruction of congressional oversight. https://t.co/gO6PqWS8NE
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) January 27, 2023
The letter concluded with the committee chairman reiterating his invitation to the four Chief Patrol Agents while also putting the secretary on notice: “If you continue to direct DHS to obstruct congressional oversight in this matter, I will be forced to consider the use of the compulsory process.”
Treasury “stonewalling” House GOP Hunter Biden probe
As noted, this is just one example of the Biden administration’s clear intent to disregard and obstruct the oversight and accountability efforts of House Republicans, with another example being the attempt to scrutinize the dubious business dealings of President Joe Biden’s family amid accusations of corrupt influence peddling.
According to Fox News, the Treasury Department has refused thus far to turn over suspicious activity reports (SARs) related to members of the Biden family that are used by banks and financial institutions to flag questionable transactions.
“The Biden Administration continues to cover up for the Biden Crime Family,” House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanki (R-NY) told the outlet. “House Republicans are demanding full transparency, and we will get to the bottom of Hunter Biden’s corrupt business deals and why the Biden Administration is stonewalling this investigation as a matter of national security.”
Rep. Comer said in a statement, “This coordinated effort by the Biden Administration to hide information about President Biden and his family’s shady business schemes is alarming and raises many questions,” and added, “We will continue to press for access to suspicious activity reports generated for the Biden family and their associates, and will use the power of the gavel to get them if needed.”