April 5, 2024 – Federal judge appointed by Joe Biden calls out corrupt DOJ for subpoena double-standard

In Email/Dossier/Govt Corruption Investigations, Featured Timeline Entries by Katie Weddington

Judge Ana Reyes (Credit: public domain)

A federal judge appointed by President Joe Biden, Ana Reyes, criticized the Justice Department’s apparent double standard regarding the enforcement of subpoenas. The criticism came during a hearing on the House Judiciary Committee’s lawsuit, which sought to compel testimony from two DOJ attorneys, Mark Daly and Jack Morgan, as part of its investigation into the Biden family and the impeachment inquiry into the president.

Reyes’ remarks seemed to reference the case of Peter Navarro, a former Trump advisor currently serving a four-month prison sentence for contempt of Congress after refusing to comply with a subpoena related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Navarro argued that he could not cooperate with the committee because former President Trump had invoked executive privilege, an argument that lower courts have rejected.

The judge expressed her astonishment at the DOJ’s stance, particularly in light of Navarro’s conviction and the fact that former White House adviser Steve Bannon received a similar sentence for the same charge. “I think it’s quite rich you guys pursue criminal investigations and put people in jail for not showing up,” Reyes said. “And now you guys are flouting those subpoenas.”

Daly and Morgan were subpoenaed for their firsthand knowledge of the Justice Department’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes while he served on the board of Ukrainian company Burisma. The committee claims that the team, which included Daly and Morgan, initially recommended charges against Hunter Biden but later reversed their decision, allowing the statute of limitations to expire.

Justice Department attorney James Gilligan attempted to justify the DOJ’s decision to defy the subpoena, citing a Trump-era Office of Legal Counsel opinion that executive branch employees could ignore such subpoenas if Justice Department lawyers were not allowed to be present during their testimony. However, Reyes was unimpressed with this reasoning and was astonished that Gilligan would not commit to instructing Daly and Morgan to testify if the committee were to drop its insistence that government counsel not be in the room for their depositions.

The judge’s criticism highlights the ongoing tensions between the executive and legislative branches and raises questions about the consistency of the Justice Department’s enforcement of subpoenas. (Discern Report, 4/06/2024)  (Archive)

(…) “I don’t think the taxpayers want to fund a grudge match between the executive and the legislative about when someone has to show up or not show up to a subpoena, when at the end of the day none of this is gonna get decided anytime soon,” she said. “I’m confident that you’re not keeping the impeachment inquiry open long enough for the DC Circuit to render a decision.”

Matthew Berry (Credit: public domain)

Reyes ordered Gilligan and House General Counsel Matthew Berry, along with two witnesses, to meet on Wednesday to try and negotiate a compromise.

If no compromise can be reached, Reyes threatened to put the two witnesses under oath in a future hearing to answer questions about whether Gilligan and Berry negotiated in good faith. Additionally, the parties would be required to submit an estimate of how many hours attorneys will spend working on this case so that Reyes can keep track of how much money the case is costing taxpayers.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment on the hearing, citing ongoing litigation. The House Judiciary Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday evening. (Read more: NBC News, 4/05/2024)  (Archive)