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House Republicans sue Justice Department attorneys Hunter Biden probe

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The House Judiciary Committee sued a pair of Justice Department attorneys Thursday in an effort to compel their testimony in the GOP-led panel’s investigation of Hunter Biden.

The lawsuit alleges that Mark Daly and Jack Morgan, two of the Justice Department’s tax division attorneys, defied subpoenas to testify in the committee’s probe into whether the president’s son received “special treatment,” from the Justice Department and whether President Joe Biden abused presidential power to “impede, obstruct, or otherwise influence” investigations into Hunter Biden.

The suit asks the court to compel Daly and Morgan to comply with the subpoenas and testify before the panel.

“The Judiciary Committee has attempted to make reasonable accommodations for Daly’s and Morgan’s testimony, but those efforts are at an impasse, and Daly and Morgan continue to refuse to appear for their depositions,” the lawsuit said.

The legal effort by Republicans comes after the House Judiciary Committee has twice issued subpoenas for the two Justice Department lawyers to appear for testimony, first in September and then in February. The most recent depositions were scheduled for March 1.

According to the lawsuit, the attorneys “have firsthand knowledge of the irregularities in DOJ’s investigation that appear to have benefited Hunter Biden,” and about one U.S. attorney’s actions as they related to special counsel David Weiss bringing the charges.

The House Judiciary Committee declined to comment further on its lawsuit when reached by NBC News.

Biden pleaded not guilty to nine tax-related charges in California, including three felony counts, when he was arraigned in January. He also faces federal gun charges that include an allegation that he possessed a firearm while using a narcotic. Biden has pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.

In a statement Thursday, a Justice Department spokeswoman said the DOJ has made significant efforts to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee and “took the extraordinary step of making six supervisory employees available to testify on appropriate topics last year.”

“It is unfortunate that despite this extraordinary cooperation from senior DOJ officials, the Committee has decided, after waiting for months, to continue seeking to depose line prosecutors about sensitive information from ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions,” she said. “We will continue to protect our line personnel and the integrity of their work. We will review the filings and respond in court.”

The statement appeared to echo a DOJ letter to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, last month from its chief of congressional affairs, that was obtained by NBC News.

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte wrote in the letter that the DOJ had “taken extraordinary steps” to assist the committee’s probe, including permitting the testimony of Weiss, who’s leading the investigation into Hunter Biden.

That letter also indicated that the attorneys sought for depositions were not responsible “for the Department’s responses to congressional inquiries, including on this matter.”

Matthew Graves — the U.S. attorney referenced in Thursday’s lawsuit — testified on Capitol Hill in October about the Biden investigation, telling lawmakers that he never stood in the way of Weiss bringing charges against the president’s son, according to a transcript reviewed by NBC News.

House Republicans have taken aim at Biden as part of their impeachment inquiry into his father which has yet to provide any evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Their investigation faced a major setback last month when former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, whose claims played a prominent role in stirring the probe, was indicted and accused of feeding false information to the FBI about Joe Biden and his son during the 2020 presidential campaign.



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