Congressional Hearings -- Do Them Right or Not at All
At the Federalist, Jordan Boyd offers up a proposed agenda for the new House of Representatives. The Republicans have won a majority. How great is still to be determined. Officially the count is 218, but Lauren Boebert’s opposition, Adam Frisch, conceded. If the certification matches the ballot count that would make the total 219, and they are still counting two districts in California in which the Republican candidates are leading so the count may be as high as 221.Certification of results in at least one county in Arizona are being held up pending examination of the voting machines, and other counties may follow. So the final totals the Republican majority are still not known.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy already released an agenda he thinks Republicans should execute come 2023, but his legislative desires for a red House are too innocuous and unlikely to survive a Democrat Senate and presidency anyway.
“Innocuous” desires are not the only reason. Since the article was written, new information from Fankie Stockes of The National File suggests McCarthy has some explaining to do. His plan is innocuous, it seems, by design.
Ryan Salame, an executive at the now-crashed cryptocurrency outfit FTX, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to funds controlled by McCarthy and allied groups that used that money to advance his candidacy as speaker.
Armed with corrupt FTX crypto money, Kevin McCarthy spent the 2022 midterms picking winners and losers, with his long-term speakership fantasies at the top of his agenda.
America First candidates and others who couldn’t be controlled by the establishment or, more importantly, couldn’t be bribed into supporting McCarthy for speaker, were sold down the river.
The seats they were fighting for were surrendered to Democrats, and conservatives “in the know” spoke of a “power-sharing” agreement between McCarthy and Democrat leadership, which now appears to be materializing.
Assuming, for the sake of discussion, Republicans can overcome McCarthy and his presumed uniparty aspirations, Boyd argues that the limitations on legislative ability and to keep the promises the party made to voters it must “punish the Biden bureaucracy and its Democrat allies for creating endless crises.”
Boyd’s agenda is the following, not necessarily in the order he ranked them:
- Impeach Joe Biden
- Impeach Merrick Garland. Impeachment is something McCarthy said earlier he would not want to start with. I hope he will change his mind, because I think it essential.
- Defund the FBI
- Disband the J6 Committee
- Probe the Biden family business
- Subpoena COVID Tyrants -- Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx, former CDC Director Robert Redfield “who lied about the origins, research, effects and mitigation of COVID-19.”(In this regard we have learned that the odious FTX crowdfunded studies “through TOGETHER Trial falsely claiming hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin weren’t effective Covid treatments.”)
- Impeach Myorkas and others over failures to secure the border.
I’d add to his list an investigation of FTX and how the regulators and investment houses and media (which apparently also got FTX funds as they were acting as touts for this Ponzi scheme) enabled this hustle which cost investors billions of dollars.
He has other suggestions as well, like drastically limiting federal spending, but let’s concentrate on the hearings for right now.
Apart from the fact that speaker-to-be McCarthy doesn’t seem inclined to proceed this way , a master propagandist, David Brock, has just announced that he has left his perch as head of Media Matters to mount a multi-million dollar campaign to undermine GOP investigations.
Now, his new group “Facts First USA” and the White House appear to be working together to hobble any investigation into the Biden regime’s rampant malfeasance. Together, they are reportedly assembling opposition research intended to cast Republicans conducting oversight as hypocrites, “pointing to those who defied subpoenas in the congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.”
Brock put out a 15 page memo titled, “A SWAT Team to Counter Republican Congressional Investigations,” which has been “circulating among major Democratic donors, members of Congress, and others,” according to the Times.
“The White House cannot be the sole nucleus for publicly responding to the onslaught of congressional investigations,” the memo reads. Brock said his group “intends to work with the White House where appropriate but will make our own judgments.”
Brock listed the likely chairs of key House committees as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Judiciary; Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Administration; James Comer, Oversight (R-Ky.); Michael Turner (R-Ohio), Intelligence; Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.), Energy and Commerce Committee; and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Foreign Affairs Committee, and complained that they will use “their new perches” to “engage in wide-ranging investigations that serve political ends.”
Given how successfully the major media and the largest social media fora have buried anything critical of the president and his party, investigations will need very skillful and hard-hitting spokespersons to break through the information wall, especially given the long history of the media serving as Brock’s handmaids.
And let’s face it: most congressional hearings are little more than an opportunity for members to dash in, make cameo appearances for the home folks, and move out when the cameras are otherwise focused. You cannot conduct sensible hearings this way: Each important investigations committee should hire skilled litigation lawyers to conduct the committee hearing. Member active participation should be off camera -- providing the designated questioner with relevant information and questions they find concerning of the witness. It’s a rare member of Congress who can do this -- Trey Gowdy, Rand Paul, and Elise Stefanik come to mind as good interrogators, but better to have someone outside doing this, someone who can devote full time to the task. There is precedent for this. If you recall, Senator Mike Mansfield selected Sam Ervin to chair the Watergate hearings.
A couple of congressmen have already announced their intention to conduct investigative hearings, as is their wont, but if they don’t or won’t do it right, don’t bother.