PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida — House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Breitbart News exclusively in an interview that House Republicans have sent dozens of “preservation notices” across the federal government to agencies and departments throughout Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration ordering them to preserve documents in anticipation of eventual subpoenas from House Republicans after the 2022 midterm elections. What’s more, McCarthy said he is tasking every House committee with fully engaging in oversight matters — rather than just running everything through the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform — broadening the use of the levers of congressional authority to engage in a massive and unprecedented effort to rein in the Biden administration’s waste, fraud, and abuse of power.
“First we’re focused on the biggest issue drivers because we want to win elections,” McCarthy told Breitbart News. “Inflation, that’s the number one and we’re beating them by more than 20 points, crime, the border, fentanyl, energy independence, and we’re going to put that all in the Commitment to America. But what we’re also going to have too is our Accountability Project. So, every single committee has an oversight subcommittee. Most people think when you come to Congress if you want to do oversight you go to the Oversight Committee. No — every committee has one.”
McCarthy’s interview, at the House GOP retreat here at the Marriott at Sawgrass just outside Jacksonville where weeks ago pro golfers competed in the TPC (The Players Championship) tournament, focused heavily on oversight preparation that Republicans are planning for if and when they retake the U.S. House majority. Republicans are five seats away from a majority, and with Biden’s approval rating tanking and generic ballot polling showing a consistent GOP lead over Democrats, the GOP is confident it can pull off a midterm win and retake control of at least the lower chamber of Congress if not the U.S. Senate as well. With a majority comes the gavels on committees and the ability to compel document production and witness testimony, as well as to call hearings and set the agenda for Congress, something Republicans have not had since the 2018 midterms saw the Democrats sweep back into power. At the GOP retreat, in addition to finalizing the “Commitment to America” House GOP agenda — a product expected to be very similar to Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Contract with America — McCarthy is sharpening members’ oversight skills by holding training sessions for House Republicans so they’re ready to hit the ground running on day one rather than letting Biden and his allies drag out document requests and subpoena cooperation for months on end when the GOP gets the gavels back.
“What I’m doing here at this retreat, it’s one of the biggest breakouts apart from the policy, we’re going to have training and bring in some old experts and walking them through some examples so they can look at this is how to do it and I’m making everybody do that,” McCarthy said. “We’ve got [James] Comer, we’ve got [Jim] Jordan, we’ve got staff, and we’ve got some outside people coming in. We’re showing them some of the things that we’re going to research and how, and we’re starting now — you don’t wait because they’ll run out the time on you.”
McCarthy noted, too, that Republicans across Congress have sent dozens of “preservation notices” to key agencies and departments across government — and he is training the entire conference to help lead on this.
“What I’m doing at this retreat is we’re going to treat every single committee — and train every single member — how to do oversight and how to hold the administration accountable,” McCarthy said. “They’re going to get the training tools now, start building the cases now, and then what we’ll have to do when we come in then we’ll have the power of subpoena that we don’t now. But what can we all gather? We’ll make them hold the information. We’ve sent a number of the information requests — we sent them letters to keep the documents, preservation notices.”
Some particular things McCarthy mentioned that House Republicans intend to investigate include the origins of the coronavirus pandemic in Communist-controlled China, the efforts by the Biden Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland to target parents at the behest of the National School Board Association (NSBA), and the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“A few key things we’re focused on are the origin of COVID, the Attorney General going after parents — think about that,” McCarthy said. “Why did that letter get created and signed? Why did the Secretary of Education — why was he involved? All that process of them going after parents. Afghanistan — who made those decisions coming in and the process, right? These are a few key ones and we’ve got more going.”
McCarthy also said the Biden family’s deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party’s senior most intelligence community officials — as evidenced by Breitbart News contributor Peter Schweizer’s bestselling book Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win — will be a top investigation topic as well. He also mentioned investigating Big Tech and the media efforts to keep the Hunter Biden laptop story that the New York Post broke before the 2020 election from the American people.
“I think any of those issues we need the basis of it,” McCarthy said when asked about that. “Why did the New York Times say it was not right? Why did Twitter withhold the information from coming forward in the article from the New York Post that they had done before? Now, if it’s true, we need to follow it and see what happened in there and see what’s inside those.”
A lot of the members of the House GOP conference are new and were not in Congress during the Barack Obama administration oversight battle days when scandals such as Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, and the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups broke out. McCarthy said he wants Republicans to learn from the past as they proceed into the future.
“What I found in the majority there was it took so long to get the bottom of everything because they withheld everything,” McCarthy said. “We want to learn from the past and apply it to a changing future and be better prepared when we take over now. There’s a lot of research we are doing now. When we have subpoena power, we can utilize that to get the information we don’t have. But we’re gathering a lot already. I don’t know what new thing could erupt but as we gather information that’s when we find out about something else. We may find one or two new things that the public doesn’t know about as we gather information now. If I have more members who understand how to do that research, we’re only stronger.”
Most importantly, McCarthy said, is having the House Republicans ready to “hit the ground running” immediately after the midterms.
“There’s a couple of things I’ve looked at. I’m bringing experts in from before who have done it to show them the path and how you do it correctly,” McCarthy said. “How do you gather the information you use? How do you find information that you haven’t thought about? When you have every committee doing oversight in their jurisdiction, we’re doing that. There’s people who have been here for a while who have never done it. So we’ve got to teach them. The other thing you have to have too is you have to have the right staff there. So the other thing you have to do if we take the majority, and we’re identifying this now, is who would be some of the staff members to oversee that subcommittee and then who can be the best members to serve as the chairs of those subcommittees? What is the best information we can put together now? We’re putting all that together so we can hit the ground running at the very beginning.”