Republicans target Trump critic's role at DOJ

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are targeting a former CNN legal analyst and outspoken critic of the Trump administration who has joined the Biden team in a top national security role.

Susan Hennessey, a former attorney with the National Security Agency, joined the Department of Justice's (DOJ) national security division last month after stints at the Brookings Institution and Lawfare. Republicans are now asking the DOJ to turn over information on her hiring.

GOP lawmakers are focused on comments she made over the last four years where she was a frequent critic of former President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE and then-Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump: Washington/Lincoln ticket would have had hard time beating me before pandemic Trump says Barr 'never' told him he thought he'd lose election Speeches aren't enough: Biden must ditch bipartisanship, endorse ending filibuster MORE’s handling of the investigation by former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE.


In a letter to Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandBiden administration moves to withdraw death penalty requests in seven cases Federal gun trafficking strike forces launched in five cities Garland restricting DOJ contact with White House officials MORE obtained by The Hill, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDemocrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe, eyeing new GOP reinforcements S.E. Cupp: 'The politicization of science and health safety has inarguably cost lives' GOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto MORE (R-Ohio) argues Hennessey’s Twitter feed “raises serious concerns about potential political bias.”

“In several recent Justice Department investigations involving national security matters, Ms. Hennessey has been an outspoken and partisan critic of Republicans,” he wrote in a letter also signed by Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonGOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Republicans divided on how hard to push vaccines McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (R-La.).

“Your decision to hire Ms. Hennessey to a senior position within the [national security division] suggests that rather than execute the law impartially and without fear or favor, you intend to continue the Obama-Biden Administration’s politicization and weaponization of our national security laws.”

The Hill has reached out to the DOJ for comment. 

Jordan was one of Trump’s key allies during the Mueller investigation and a staunch defender of the former president during both of his impeachments.


The letter asks the DOJ to further explain Hennessey's role within the national security division and confirm that she was hired as a Schedule C political appointee.

It also focuses on a Fox News article noting fluctuations in Hennessey’s total number of tweets.

Hennessey’s account currently shows 242 tweets, while internet archive Wayback Machine shows she had over 39,000 tweets as recently as November 2020.

“From the timing and volume of deletions, we can only conclude that Ms. Hennessey took such drastic steps to erase her past controversial statements about national security matters and hide her political bias,” the wrote, asking whether “the Justice Department or any component of the Biden-Harris Administration requested, directed, or suggested that Ms. Hennessey delete her tweets.”

This isn’t the first time Republicans have turned to past tweets to go after a Biden administration hire. The GOP combed through the Twitter account of Neera TandenNeera TandenThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Schumer back down on his deadline? Biden's budget vacancy raises eyebrows White House releases staff salaries showing narrowed gender pay gap MORE, President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense: Senate panel adds B to Biden's defense budget | House passes bill to streamline visa process for Afghans who helped US | Pentagon confirms 7 Colombians arrested in Haiti leader's killing had US training On The Money: Senate braces for nasty debt ceiling fight | Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan deal | Housing prices hit new high in June Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks MORE’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, digging up old tweets criticizing Republicans such as Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis US, Germany reach deal on controversial Russian pipeline State, Dems call out Cruz over holds ahead of key Russian talks MORE (Texas). 

Tanden ultimately withdrew her nomination and is now serving as a senior White House adviser. 

– Harper Neidig contributed.