Posted 74 days ago
The House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified records from his time as vice president, following the discovery of sensitive materials in an insecure closet at a think tank, with the panel chair expressing concern that Biden may have compromised sourced and methods in mishandling the documents.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) said in a statement on social media that he’s launching an Oversight Committee investigation into the matter and has demanded that the White House and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provide documents and information related to their handling of Biden’s classified document stash.
“The Committee is concerned that President Biden has compromised sources and methods with his own mishandling of classified documents,” Comer wrote in a Jan. 10 letter to White House Counsel Stuart Delery (pdf), while pointing out that Biden has previously called the mishandling of presidential records “totally irresponsible.”
A “small number” of classified documents were found on Nov. 2, 2022, in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement as Biden’s lawyers were clearing out the offices, according to a statement on Jan. 9 by Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president.
Sauber said the documents were in a “locked closet” at the think tank Biden used after he served as vice president and that the records were turned over to NARA a day after they were found.
For purposes of the committee probe, Comer requested that the White House provide a raft of information relating to the handling of the retrieved documents.
Comer requested all the documents retrieved from Biden’s personal office at the Penn Biden Center as well as all internal documents and communications regarding the recovered materials.
He’s also demanding a list of all the people who had access to Biden’s personal office at the think tank and all documents and communications between the White House and the Department of Justice or NARA regarding the classified document find.
Comer penned a separate letter to NARA’s Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall (pdf) in which he raised the question of “political bias” at the agency over what he described as “inconsistent treatment of recovering classified records” held by Biden and former President Donald Trump.
“NARA learned about these documents days before the 2022 midterm elections and did not alert the public that President Biden was potentially violating the law,” Comer wrote.
“Meanwhile, NARA instigated a public and unprecedented FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago—former President Trump’s home—to retrieve presidential records,” he continued, saying that this disparate treatment “raises questions about political bias at the agency.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to NARA and the White House for comment.
News of the Biden classified-document discovery has led to comparisons to Trump, who at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida kept materials with classified markings, which were seized in an FBI raid.
Trump, who is being investigated by the DOJ in connection with the incident but has not been charged, said he declassified the materials before he left office.
Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier assigned a special counsel to probe Trump over his document stash and has recently assigned a U. S. attorney in Chicago to review Biden’s materials and how they ended up at the think tank closet.
Republicans have argued that Trump has been treated more harshly over his document stash and that the DOJ and the mainstream media are handling Biden with kid gloves.
“Is the White House going to be raided tonight?” Comer said in a Fox News interview. “Are they going to raid the Biden center? I don’t know.”
“This is further concern that there’s a two-tier justice system within the DOJ with how they treat Republicans versus Democrats … certainly how they treat the former president versus the current president,” Comer added.
The Republican lawmaker added that in his research after the FBI’s search of Trump’s home in August, he found that “every president had accidentally packed documents that may or may not be considered classified,” adding, “but they weren’t raided.”
Democrats have defended Biden amid the fallout from the classified document find, pointing to the small number of documents found at the Biden-linked think tank compared to a larger volume held by Trump. They’ve also highlighted Biden lawyers’ cooperation with NARA and quick submission of the classified materials after their discovery, compared to a drawn out fight to get Trump’s documents, including by subpoena.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement that attorneys for Biden “appear to have taken immediate and proper action to notify the National Archives about their discovery of a small handful of classified documents so they could be returned to federal government custody.”... (Read more)