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 Trump and then-Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland obtained by The Hill, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (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 Johnson (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 Tanden, President Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, digging up old tweets criticizing Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas).
Tanden ultimately withdrew her nomination and is now serving as a senior White House adviser.
– Harper Neidig contributed.