Abbott Says Biden Is Putting America ‘At Risk’ With His Border Policies, You Agree?

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes criticized the Justice Department for not allowing two tax division employees, Mark Daly and Jack Morgan, to attend depositions for a Republican-led impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden. The House Judiciary Committee, probing potential preferential treatment by the Justice Department towards Hunter Biden and possible abuse of power by President Biden, had subpoenaed the attorneys. Despite being summoned twice, the latest being March 1, Daly and Morgan failed to appear.

Judge Reyes highlighted the inconsistency, referencing a past incident where failure to respond to a congressional subpoena resulted in imprisonment, alluding to Peter Navarro, a former Trump adviser, who was jailed for contempt of Congress.

The hearing marked the first court appearance for both parties since the lawsuit was filed by the House Judiciary Committee. Reyes expressed frustration over the Justice Department’s reluctance to allow the deposition of its attorneys, questioning the perceived intrusion given that objections to most questions were expected.

James Gilligan, representing the Justice Department, expressed concerns over the precedent of Congress questioning staff attorneys in an ongoing criminal investigation. Reyes countered, emphasizing the Justice Department’s own practices of subpoena enforcement and accused it of employing double standards.

Reyes also critiqued the House Judiciary Committee for engaging in what she deemed a costly legal battle over subpoena compliance, doubting the timely resolution of the matter and its impact on the impeachment inquiry.

She mandated a meeting between Gilligan, House General Counsel Matthew Berry, and other involved parties to seek a settlement. Failing which, Reyes warned of potential court-compelled testimony to ascertain the sincerity of their negotiation efforts, also demanding an account of the legal costs involved.

The Justice Department refrained from commenting due to the active litigation, while the House Judiciary Committee has yet to respond. The GOP-led impeachment inquiry, lacking concrete evidence against President Biden, may lean towards criminal referrals rather than impeachment, considering the anticipated ineffectiveness of an impeachment trial in the Senate. This strategy shift comes amid developments that key informant Alexander Smirnov, significant to the inquiry’s initiation, faced charges for allegedly providing the FBI with false information during the 2020 campaign.