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House Republican demands Garland appoint special counsel to investigate Biden over stalled Israel aid

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Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., is demanding that Attorney General Merrick Garland appoint a special counsel to investigate President Biden for stalling military aid to Israel. 

In a letter to Garland sent Tuesday, Tenney wrote with ‘grave concern regarding President Biden’s recent announcement to freeze the delivery of 1,800 2000-lb bombs and 1,7000 500-lb bombs that were appropriated for by Congress and set to be delivered to Israel.’

‘This wrong headed and dangerous policy decision comes on the heels of the decision to the delay on the pending sale of Joint Direct Arrack Munitions (JDAMs) and Small Diameter Bombs (DSBs) to Israel. This delayed action by the Administration is arguably a violation of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (ICA) and subsequent Supreme Court case law,’ she said in the letter, which was obtained by Fox News Digital.

The ICA ‘outlines clear requirements for any deferral of budget authorities by the President and these requirements have been ignored by the Biden administration,’ Tenney wrote. ‘As such, I therefore demand that a special counsel be appointed to investigate, and if necessary, prosecute, any illegal actions by President Biden or his staff concerning the inexplicable delay of aid to Israel.’ 

The letter noted how on April 23, the House ‘overwhelmingly’ passed H.R. 8034, the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024, which was signed into law as part of a larger emergency aid package. 

‘This bill appropriated funds in support of Israel’s ongoing military operations against Hamas. Congressional intent with this legislation is clear: this aid is urgently needed and must be delivered as expeditiously as possible. However, instead of following the law, the Biden administration has delayed the delivery of this essential aid that has already been obligated,’ Tenney wrote. 

The congresswoman, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, further alleged that Biden’s ‘action through inaction’ by holding off on approvals and other aspects of the weapons transfer process violates the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, especially since the president ‘has failed to send a special message to Congress as required by law.’ 

‘The decision to delay aid to Israel also undermines the principles of separation of powers outlined by the Constitution,’ Tenney wrote. ‘Congress appropriated this aid to be obligated and expended expeditiously, and yet the Biden administration is unnecessarily delaying the expenditure of this aid. This potential violation of statute and dangerous failure to comply with Constitutional precedent by the Biden administration must be fully investigated by a special counsel. Due to the grave urgency of this issue, I demand that a special counsel be appointed immediately to investigate and prosecute any wrongdoing.’ 

Fox News Digital reached out to the Justice Department and White House for comment on the letter, but they did not immediately respond.

Tenney’s letter was sent as reports claimed the Biden administration told key lawmakers it would send more than $1 billion in additional arms and ammunition to Israel. It was not immediately known how soon the weapons would be delivered, and the president put another arms transfer, consisting of 3,500 bombs of up to 2,000 pounds each, on hold earlier this month, citing concern for civilian casualties in Gaza. 

The Wall Street Journal first reported about the new package, said to include about $700 million for tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds. The Associated Press later reported the same, citing three congressional aides. Tenney’s office told Fox News Digital, however, that the congresswoman’s letter still stands, as regardless of the new aid, Biden did withhold weapons and is withholding others. Two congressional aides told the Associated Press that the new $1 billion shipment is not part of the long-delayed foreign aid package that Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed last month. It wasn’t known if the shipment was the latest tranche from an existing arms sale or something new.

The Biden administration has come under criticism from both sides of the political spectrum over its military support for Israel’s now seven-month-old war against Hamas in Gaza — at a time when Biden is battling for reelection against former President Donald Trump.

Some of Biden’s fellow Democrats have pushed him to limit transfers of offensive weapons to Israel to pressure the U.S. ally to do more to protect Palestinian civilians. Anti-Israel protests on college campuses around the U.S. have echoed the same sentiment this spring. 

Republican lawmakers have seized on the administration’s pause on the bomb transfers, saying any lessening of U.S. support for Israel — its closest ally in the Middle East — weakens that country as it fights Hamas and other Iran-backed groups. In the House, they are planning to advance a bill this week to mandate the delivery of offensive weaponry for Israel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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