(Bloomberg) -- House Republicans are launching an investigation into the activities of President Joe Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry, including any dealings with the Chinese Communist Party and left-wing environmental groups.
House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, demanded in a letter Thursday that Kerry turn over information by Feb. 16 about his office’s actions, spending and staffing. Comer said Kerry had ignored previous requests.
Kerry is a former secretary of State, US senator and the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.
A State Department representative would not comment directly on the Comer letter, but said the climate envoy’s office was committed to discussing its international efforts with Congress.
In his letter, Comer said Kerry’s current cabinet-level post does not require Senate confirmation, yet appears to be giving him the ability to bind the US to international agreements.
Comer alleged that Kerry downplays China’s human rights violations and antagonism against the US “while promoting climate negotiations that the CCP does not even appear interested in entering.”
“To date, you have failed to respond to any of our requests. Yet, you continue to engage in activities that could undermine our economic health, skirt congressional authority, and threaten foreign policy under the guise of climate advocacy,” Comer wrote.
The material requested includes all documents and communications between Kerry’s office and any third party — including but not limited to any environmental advocacy group or foreign government official.
It also seeks information from Kerry’s office budgets, as well as a full list of employees, titles and salaries. Comer also wants all documents and communications regarding Kerry’s domestic and international travel as special envoy.
Comer said the documents would provide “necessary transparency” and also “enable long-overdue oversight of your office.”
--With assistance from Jennifer A. Dlouhy.
(Updates with State Department response, in third paragraph.)
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