Republicans on the House Standing Select Committee on Intelligence signal to the Biden administration that they will open investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and the intelligence community’s surveillance of domestic extremism when they take the House scrutiny next year.
Committee Rankings Member Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, told Fox News Digital there was “unanimous” bipartisan support for two “inquiry resolutions” to the administration that were approved in committee last week.
The first investigative resolution relates to an administrative review of the origins of COVID-19, which resulted in both a classified and unclassified report. Several lawmakers on the committee are concerned that the unclassified report does not accurately reflect the information described in the classified version, and members are calling on the administration to explain the differences in the reports. Turner and his colleagues have sent 27 letters to the Biden administration demanding responses on the matter and none have received a response, which he calls a “serious concern.”
The second resolution relates to a March 2021 Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) public report on the threat of “domestic violent extremism.” According to Turner, he sent 19 letters on the subject requesting additional information and all of them went unanswered.
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“These are areas where it’s indefensible for the administration not to respond, and we’ll let them know that absent their compliance, we’ll follow up with subpoenas,” Turner said.
The congressman said the Biden administration was “well aware” of the unanimous vote in committee, which sends a “clear signal” that lawmakers won’t stop pressing until they receive answers.
“The administration, however, is well aware of the actions taken by the committee. And that’s the important step is that we’ve sent the Biden administration a clear signal that unanimously there is has support to respond to these demands. And from there, they can understand my commitment that as we move into the next Congress, we will pursue all authorities to compel their response,” Turner said.
“Both are based on Biden administration reports that implicate the intelligence community and, therefore, fall within our jurisdiction,” the ranking member explained.
Turner also noted that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was founded to “prevent the intelligence community from violating the constitutional rights of the United States”.
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“Our focus here is that we think they are likely overstepping their statutory powers to pursue foreign actors and foreign intelligence. And if there are loopholes or areas in which they are prosecuting U.S. citizens that are either , or areas that we believe are in fact violating the intent of the authorities they have, we will change the laws,” he said.
The congressman also pointed out that the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2022 included a provision requiring the director of national intelligence to provide an annual report on “all domestic activities undertaken by the intelligence community.”
However, the June 13 deadline has passed and Congress has yet to receive the legally required report from the ODNI.
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“Those are the two that we had absolute bipartisan and bicameral support for. And it was very important to put that on record and pass it on to the administration as we look to our investigation next year,” he said. for follow-up.
Both inquiry resolutions will be formally referred to the House floor and placed on the calendar Tuesday, but it will be up to Speaker Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to decide whether they should be put to a vote.