Monday, March 4, 2024

House Republicans Investigating DOJ Inspector General for ‘Conflict of Interest’

'...sacrifice the OIG’s independence to assist the FBI in advancing such a politically charged matter... '

(Headline USA) Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, announced this week that he and other House Judiciary Committee Republicans are opening an investigation into Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz following a report that his office was involved in the seizure of Rep. Scott Perry’s, R-Penn., cell phone.

Perry, who is the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, was served with a warrant for his cellphone by three FBI agents while he was traveling with his family earlier this month. The warrant was related to a federal investigation into alleged efforts to “overturn” the results of the 2020 election results. A lawyer for Perry said he was not a direct target of the inquiry.

A later report revealed the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General laboratory was used by the FBI to conduct a forensic review of Perry’s phone. This is unusual, since the Office of the Inspector General is only responsible for investigating alleged wrongdoings within the Justice Department.

The report has created “a serious conflict of interest for the OIG in reviewing the department’s actions,” Jordan said in a letter.

“The OIG’s assistance to the FBI in imaging Representative Perry’s phone — in addition to posing questions about why the nation’s top law-enforcement agency cannot perform this task itself — raises serious concerns about why you would be willing to sacrifice the OIG’s independence to assist the FBI in advancing such a politically charged matter,” Jordan wrote.

Because of the OIG’s involvement, Horowitz and his office appear to be “directly involved with seizing and imaging the phone of a Member of Congress. The OIG is now conflicted from reviewing the basis and propriety of the FBI’s controversial decision to seize Representative Perry’s phone,” he added.

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