White House Leaks Story on Records Requests: ‘Clearly a Planned and Coordinated Effort,’ House Republicans Say

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A report on White House letters dismissing two representatives’ records requests has triggered backlash among House Republicans. The GOP Judiciary Committee said the White House leaked the story to Politico before sending the letters to Republican Reps. James Comer of Kentucky and Jim Jordan of Ohio.

“Just before dawn at 4:33 a.m., the White House informed us they will not provide the answers we have been seeking for the American people on important issues such as the border and fentanyl crises, the energy crisis, botched Afghanistan withdrawal, COVID origins, and the Biden family’s influence peddling,” Comer, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said in a Thursday statement.

The House Republicans added on Twitter that Politico did not ask the representatives for comment until after the story was published Thursday morning, which a spokesman for Comer confirmed in an email to The Daily Signal. “This was clearly a planned and coordinated effort between the White House and ‘journalists’ at Politico,” the GOP Judiciary Committee wrote.

Politico correspondent Heidi Przybyla said the outlet exclusively obtained the letters White House Special Counsel Richard Sauber sent to Comer and Jordan. Sauber wrote that the representatives’ previous records requests were not part of the congressional oversight process in the 117th Congress.

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“Sauber described such requests as constitutionally illegitimate because both Jordan, who is expected to chair the House Judiciary Committee, and Comer, who is expected to head the Oversight Committee, made them before they had any authority to do so,” Przybyla explained.

Jordan, who serves as the current ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, sent an oversight request to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain in November. Jordan asked White House officials to testify at the beginning of the 118th Congress on the Biden administration’s “misuse of federal criminal and counterterrorism resources” to target parents at school board meetings.

Comer’s oversight initiatives include a November letter that he and other Republicans sent to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting information on the Biden administration’s plans to secure the border.

“President Biden promised to have the most transparent administration in history but at every turn the Biden White House seeks to obstruct congressional oversight and hide information from the American people,” Comer said Thursday in response to Sauber’s letter.

 “Why is the Biden Administration hiding this information? Republicans are undeterred by the Biden Administration’s obstruction and will continue pressing for the answers, transparency, and accountability that the American people deserve.”

Politico, Heidi Przybyla, and the White House did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment by publication.

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