GOP-led House panel sues Hunter Biden tax prosecutors in standoff with Justice Department over testimony

GOP-led House panel sues Hunter Biden tax prosecutors in standoff with Justice Department over testimony - Politics - News

House Judiciary Committee Initiates Legal Battle Against Justice Department Tax Prosecutors Over Hunter Biden Investigation

The House Judiciary Committee has initiated a legal performance against two tax prosecutors, Mark Daly and Jack Morgan, from the Justice Department who have been involved in the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax offenses. This lawsuit marks an escalation of tensions between Congress and the Biden administration over separation of powers, as the Republicans in the committee have been seeking to interview these prosecutors since September as part of their impeachment inquiry.

The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee filed the lawsuit in Washington, DC’s federal court to compel Daly and Morgan to testify regarding their meetings and conversations with federal investigators and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) protracted decision-making before charging Hunter Biden for tax avoidance. The committee believes these two career prosecutors may hold crucial information, and they have been a focus of investigation following allegations from IRS whistleblowers that Daly and Morgan initially supported charging the president’s son for tax crimes but later changed their recommendations.

The lawsuit seeks an immediate order from the court compelling Daly and Morgan to appear for testimonies. However, the outcome of this legal action is uncertain as similar cases often serve as political tactics in power struggles between Congress and the executive branch when controlled by opposing parties.

The House Judiciary Committee has been locked in a standoff with the DOJ over access to these officials’ testimony. The DOJ has consistently denied the committee’s subpoenas, maintaining that these employees cannot testify about their official work and that the subpoenas are invalid. The House had demanded that Justice Department lawyers not be present during the depositions of DOJ prosecutors, a directive the Justice Department found objectionable.

Lawyers for the House argue in the lawsuit that Daly and Morgan defied the subpoenas by adhering to the DOJ’s unlawful instructions, stating, “They defied the Subpoenas because they elected to comply with DOJ’s baseless and unlawful direction not to appear. Regardless of what information Daly and Morgan will disclose, or who may accompany them, they still must appear.”

The DOJ’s stance is that it cannot make Daly and Morgan available for depositions due to concerns over taxpayer privacy, secrecy protections around criminal investigations, and constitutional considerations related to the separation of powers between Congress and the executive branch. Daly’s attorney, Robert Driscoll, urged a negotiated resolution in a letter to the committee last fall, stating that “It is not up to Mr. Daly.”

This lawsuit marks the second time the Republican-led House in the current Congress has gone to court to enforce subpoenas of witnesses. Earlier this year, the Judiciary Committee sued for an FBI agent’s testimony in an investigation of the Biden administration regarding its approach to tech companies and contact speech. This lawsuit is still in its earliest stages.

Historically, Congressional subpoena lawsuits have ended unsuccessfully when a court is asked to intervene and instead typically end with a negotiated agreement between the executive branch and Congress. The McGahn subpoena standoff, which involved former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn, came closest to generating binding law from the federal judiciary on Congress’ subpoena power. However, there isn’t any definitive legal precedent from the courts regarding whether the House possesses the ability to sue to enforce its subpoenas.