The Department of Justice informed the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday night that it would not cooperate with subpoenas for two FBI agents involved in the department’s investigation of Hunter Biden because of the committee’s stipulations for their depositions.
Carlos Uriarte, DOJ assistant attorney general, claimed in a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner to committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) that his subpoenas to the two agents “lack legal effect and cannot constitutionally be enforced” because Jordan had prohibited DOJ lawyers at their depositions.
“The subpoenas issued by the Committee prohibit the attendance of agency counsel at appearances by two FBI employees where the Committee has indicated it will ask questions regarding information they learned within the scope of their official duties, including regarding the ongoing criminal investigation,” Uriarte wrote.
He also noted that compelling testimony from the pair of FBI officials, special agents Thomas Sobocinski and Ryeshia Holley of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, was “premature” because the DOJ was open to continuing “discussions” with Jordan.
Jordan’s deposition rule aligns with House rules, which do not permit department counsel at depositions. The DOJ and the committee could, however, negotiate to have Sobocinski and Holley appear voluntarily with DOJ lawyers instead of appearing in the form of a deposition.
Uriarte indicated that negotiations were plausible. And while he was deferential to the committee’s oversight authority throughout the letter, he also continuously warned that the DOJ’s Biden investigation, led by newly appointed special counsel David Weiss, was ongoing and that information flow would be limited during that time. (Read more: The Washington Examiner, 9/01/2023) (Archive)