The Justice Department told the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, that it «stands ready» to work with congressional investigators, but cautioned that it will not share information about ongoing cases, according to a letter obtained. by NBC News.

Jordan wrote to US Attorney General Merrick Garland on January 17, demanding documents and testimony related to a number of issues he had inquired about last year, when Republicans did not control the House. They included information on immigration enforcement at the southern border, investigations into threats against school boards, and some investigations known to be active, including the department’s criminal probe into classified documents recovered from former President Donald Trump’s Florida resort. Trump last year.

In a January 17 letter responding to Jordan’s requests, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Carlos Urierte said that «we are committed to cooperating with the Committee’s legitimate efforts to seek information, consistent with our obligation to protect the confidentiality interests of the Executive Power».

Those confidentiality interests include not disclosing information about ongoing investigations, Urierte said.

That would likely include another matter Jordan’s committee is investigating: the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation of classified Obama-era documents found at President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and his former office in Washington. Jordan sent Garland a letter demanding information on that investigation last week.

Representative Jim Jordan speaks at the Capitol
Representative Jim Jordan speaks at the US Capitol on January 9, 2023.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

“In accordance with long-standing policy and practice, any request for oversight must be weighed against the Department’s interests in protecting the integrity of its work. Longstanding Department policy prevents us from confirming or denying the existence of pending investigations in response to congressional requests or from providing nonpublic information about our investigations,» the letter said.

He cites earlier documents stating that “the policy of the Executive Branch throughout our nation’s history has generally been to refuse to provide congressional committees with access to, or copies of, open law enforcement files, except in extraordinary circumstances”.

The letter also requests adequate time for officials to prepare for questioning before the committee. It says the department will not make lower-level agents available for interviews or testimony.

“The Department has long insisted that congressional committees send a written invitation for public testimony at least two weeks before the hearing date,” the letter said.

The letter also asked that the panel prioritize its long list of requests.

«Prioritization is critical to an efficient adaptation process. It allows the Department to focus its limited resources on the information most relevant to the Committee’s investigations. Without prioritization, requests will take longer to resolve and are more likely to yield irrelevant information» said he said the letter.

The committee responded in a tweet later Friday, saying, «Why is the Department of Justice afraid to cooperate with our investigations?»