Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, strongly criticized the Biden administration’s Federal Trade Commission, claiming they obstructed GOP House oversight.
He is now seeking additional communications that suggest progressive activists aligned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., might have influenced a senior official to align closely with FTC Chair Lina Khan due to concerns about “optics.”
Two letters obtained by Fox News Digital show Jordan’s response to Khan’s accusations earlier in the week. Khan accused Jordan of attempting to intimidate and harass career agency staff by threatening to subpoena FTC employees.
In his response, Jordan countered that Khan repeatedly tried to hinder the Committee’s oversight by making baseless allegations of ethical violations against the Committee’s professional staff and misrepresenting the Committee’s actions.
“The accusations in your recent letter are baseless and legally deficient,” Jordan wrote. “The oversight you are blocking concerns your mistreatment and mismanagement of career FTC employees, and your unusual response to this oversight, forces us to examine whether you and your senior staff are attempting to obstruct the Committee’s oversight to prevent potential embarrassment. This concerted effort to obstruct the Committee’s oversight must stop.”
Jordan alleged that Khan and her senior staff were actively trying to impede the committee’s oversight of the FTC.
“The Committee requires testimony from the FTC employees we have previously identified. Up to this point, you have baselessly refused to make these non-SES employees available, despite the Committee’s repeated efforts to accommodate the FTC’s interests. Your continued refusal to make these employees available will force the Committee to compel this testimony,” Jordan warned.
The Republican insisted that Khan furnish all documents and communications regarding “the committee’s requests for transcribed interviews with FTC employees” and “the FTC’s response to the Committee’s oversight of allegations of poor staff morale, mismanagement, and a toxic work environment within the FTC” by 5 p.m. on August 11.
He also reminded Khan that “every federal employee has the right to freely communicate with Congress without employer interference,” pointing out that annual appropriations bills indicate that withholding a federal employee’s salary for preventing agency staff from coming forward is a possibility.
In his letter to Bedoya, Jordan contends that recent disclosures of ex parte communications, including messages from Bedoya’s cell phone and email account, indicate a potential compromise of his role as a commissioner.
The Republican points to emails that suggest external progressive activists aligned with Warren might have exerted pressure on Bedoya to align closely with Khan. Two activists mentioned in the emails are Dan Geldon, Warren’s former chief of staff, and Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
According to the emails, Geldon allegedly discussed supporting Lina on specific matters in exchange for backing during Bedoya’s confirmation. Jordan requested Bedoya to provide copies of all sworn statements regarding FTC ethics and communications between him and his staff with Geldon and Green’s representatives by August 11th.
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“Although your cover letter revealing the ex parte communications says that you made no such representations, at a minimum the documents suggest a pre-existing relationship such that Mr. Geldon felt free to threaten you about your decisions as a Commissioner and remind you of a supposed discussion about the importance of following Chair Khan’s lead,” Jordan wrote. “Mr. Green likewise felt at liberty to remind you of the importance that optics of being aligned with Chair Kahn, and that you need to be a strong supporter of her. In short, these ex parte communications raise a potential appearance of partiality and prejudgment in any number of matters before the Commission.”
“Unfortunately, this episode is just one of the more recent examples of a pattern of concerning behavior and decision-making at Chair Khan’s FTC,” Jordan said. “Recent reporting revealed that Chair Khan declined to follow an ethics recommendation from the FTC’s Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO). You supported Chair Khan in her decision in that matter – a stance that may take on more significance given your ex parte communications regarding the importance that activists outside the FTC place in your being aligned in lockstep with Chair Khan and the need to ‘play a strong role alongside Lina Khan.’”
Fox News Digital reached out to the FTC regarding the letters, and the commission acknowledged receiving them but opted not to provide any comments. As for Warren’s office, they did not respond immediately to the request for comment.