Republicans in the House of Representatives said on Friday that they will be conducting an investigation into how Vice President Joe Biden handled sensitive materials discovered in his private office and garage at his Delaware residence.
The House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting records on the discovery of the papers and Garland’s hiring of special counsel Richard Hur to evaluate the materials’ management.
The letter asks the Justice Department to provide the records by January 27 at the latest, arguing that “the American people demand openness and accountability from our most senior executive branch law enforcement authorities.”
On Friday morning, the House Oversight Committee also launched its own probe into the files. Rep. James Comer, a Republican from Kentucky and the committee’s chair, wrote to the White House to inquire about the documents’ contents and origins.
The White House has been silent on the matter.
Which records are the GOP looking to break?
The White House was subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee to reveal the papers’ particular contents and the measures taken in response to their discovery.
A whole set of secret files that were uncovered.
The names of those assigned to the document review team.
A directory of all the places we looked at.
Discussions over the newly discovered records between the White House and the Department of Justice or the National Archives and Records Administration.
The House Judiciary Committee is investigating the Department of Justice and has requested the following information:
Evidence supporting Hur’s appointment as special counsel by Garland.
Secret White House, Justice Department, and FBI communications regarding the sensitive files.
Everything that might shed light on where and how Biden kept his confidential files at his private office and his residence in Delaware.
Biden’s private lawyers uncovered all correspondence and paperwork about the discovery of the secret materials.
In his letter, Comer connected the records to the committee’s planned investigation of President Obama’s son, Hunter Biden, and his business transactions. The House GOP alleges parallels of Mar-a-Lago, but different treatment.
The letter expressed worry that President Biden had kept sensitive information in the same place where his son was living while doing international business negotiations with U.S. foes.
House Republicans are scrutinizing the finding of the records extremely closely, drawing parallels to the Justice Department’s investigation into former president Donald Trump’s handling of secret data.
According to the Judiciary Committee’s letter, “the Department’s actions here appear to diverge from how it operated in previous cases.”
Records information has Biden expressing amazement.
On Monday, the White House acknowledged that a box containing secret materials from Biden’s time as vice president had been found in a storage room attached to a Washington office that Biden had used before his presidential campaign. According to the White House, the records were sent to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) without delay.
Vice President Biden expressed his “astonishment” at the finding of the documents. Donald Trump’s “irresponsibility” in keeping secret papers at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida was a major point of contention between him and his successor.
While packing papers at the Penn Biden Center office in Washington, D.C., Biden’s personal attorneys reportedly discovered the documents on November 2. Biden utilized the office from the conclusion of the Obama administration in 2017 until the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2020. The White House has only indicated there was a “limited number,” without specifying how many or what kind of papers were involved.
According to a White House statement, “the records were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the archives.” After this was uncovered, “the president’s personal counsel has collaborated with the Archives and the Department of Justice in a process to guarantee that any Obama-Biden administration papers are appropriately in the hands of the Archives.”
A distinct contrast to the Trump case
The Trump records were found by FBI investigators searching Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in August for evidence of Espionage Act breaches or obstruction of justice.
Jack Smith, a special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to look into the Mar-a-Lago files, as part of a larger investigation of Trump’s involvement in the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
There were perhaps one hundred secret files among the Trump administration papers the FBI took from Mar-a-Lago. Investigators have been unable to find evidence supporting Trump’s claim that he declassified them before leaving the White House.