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Making sense of all the investigations being launched in Washington this year

From inquires into President Biden to probes into issues on the southern border, 2023 could be the year of the investigations.
Virus Outbreak Washington
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 07:32:50-05

WASHINGTON — A special counsel investigation looking into the current president. A special counsel investigation looking into a former president. Congressional inquires into Afghanistan and the southern border.

Less than three weeks into the new year, all these investigations are starting to stack up in Washington.

So which ones should you be paying attention to? And which investigations could have the support of both parties?

INVESTIGATIONS GALORE

It's becoming increasingly hard to keep track of all the investigations unfolding in Congress.

When Republicans took over the House, some inquiries, like the committee that looked into the January 6th attacks, went away. However, new committees, like the "Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government," have formed in their place.

Indeed, investigations are only just beginning in Washington.

The probes range from inquiries into President Joe Biden and his family's business dealings to Biden's use of classified documents in the years after he left the White House as vice president.

There are inquiries into the spike in migrants at the southern border, the withdrawal from Afghanistan and political bias at the Department of Justice.

Another folder on social media companies and their influence has been created too.

WHY THEY MATTER

These investigations will be some of the most newsworthy events that come out of Washington these next few years.

With Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans over the House, issuing a subpoena and forming a select committee will be easier than passing major pieces of legislation.

So which ones should you pay attention to?

While it may be easy to dismiss many of the probes as too political, new information can emerge from them, since Congress has the power to subpoena, and lying can result in jail time. One investigation you may want to watch is the one into social media companies.

Democrats and Republicans have been trying to better understand, for years, what makes it onto someone's news feed.

Republicans have already written to former executives at Twitter looking into whether some stories involving Biden's son, Hunter, were censored. Democrats, meanwhile, are interested in why hate speech can so easily spread online.

One social media site in the U.S., TikTok, is facing even more scrutiny, with Democrats and Republicans worried it is too closely connected to the Chinese Communist Party.

Several states have already banned state employees from using TikTok on official devices and Congress is mulling over the idea of even more restrictions.

Of course, all these inquiries are merely investigations led by Congress.

The attorney general is leading other, less public, inquiries as well. Chief among them is the special counsel investigations into Biden, as well as former President Donald Trump.

Those cases could be concluded by the end of this year.