WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly empowered House Republicans on Sunday called on the White House to turn over all information related to its research that uncovered classified documents at the home and former office of President Joe Biden following more documents found at his Delaware residence.
“We have a lot of questions,” said Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.
Comer, R-Ky., said he wanted to see all documents and communications related to the Biden team’s research, as well as logs from visitors to the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, from January 20, 2021 through today. today. He said the aim was to determine who might have had access to classified documents and how the documents got there.
The White House said Saturday it uncovered five additional pages of classified documents at Biden’s home on Thursday, the same day a special counsel was appointed to look into the case.
In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Sunday, Comer criticized the searches carried out by Biden’s representatives as the Justice Department began to investigate and said that “Biden’s mishandling of documents classified raises the question of whether he compromised our national security.” Comer demanded that the White House provide all relevant information, including visitor logs, by the end of the month.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Comer called Biden’s home a “crime scene,” though he acknowledged it was unclear whether any laws had been broken.
“What worries me is that the special advocate was called, but a few hours after that we still had the president’s personal attorneys, who have no security clearances, still rummaging through the residence of the president, looking for things – I mean it would basically be a crime scene, so to speak,” Comer said.
While the US Secret Service provides security for the president’s private residence, it does not keep visitor logs, agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Sunday.
“We do not maintain our own visitor logs independently, as this is a private residence,” Guglielmi said. He added that the agency screens visitors to the president’s properties but does not keep records of those checks.
White House officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Biden independently kept records of people who visited his residence.
Asked about Comer’s request for logs and communications regarding the search for documents, White House spokesman Ian Sams replied, “I would just refer you to what Congressman Comer himself has told CNN This Morning: “At the end of the day, my biggest concern is ‘t the classified documents to be honest with you. That says it all.
In that CNN interview, Comer added that House Republicans don’t trust the Justice Department to give the issue of Biden’s classified documents an appropriate level of scrutiny. On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to turn over information related to the discovery of documents and Garland’s appointment of special counsel Richard Hur to oversee the investigation.
White House officials “can say they’re being transparent, but that’s anything but,” committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
White House lawyer Richard Sauber said in a statement on Saturday that a total of six pages of classified documents from when Biden was vice president in the Obama administration were found during a search of Biden’s private library. The White House had previously said only one page was found there.
The latest disclosure added to the discovery of documents found in December in Biden’s garage and in November in his former offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington.
Sauber said Biden’s personal attorneys, who lacked security clearances, stopped their search after finding the front page Wednesday night. Sauber found the remaining material Thursday, while facilitating their recovery by the Justice Department. Sauber did not explain why the White House waited two days to provide updated accounting. The White House is already under scrutiny for waiting more than two months to acknowledge the discovery of the initial group of documents in Biden’s office.
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, says the Justice Department rightly appointed special advisers to ‘get to the bottom’ of the classified documents case Biden as well as in a separate investigation into the mishandling of classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s private club and residence in Florida.
But Raskin also pointed to key differences between the two cases, including the fact that Biden’s team readily turned over documents to the National Archives compared to Trump’s repeated resistance to such requests.
“We have to keep a sense of proportion and measure what we’re talking about,” Raskin told CNN.
When asked on Sunday whether his oversight committee would also investigate Trump’s handling of classified documents, Comer objected.
“There have been so many investigations of President Trump, I don’t think we need to spend a lot of time investigating President Trump because the Democrats have been doing that for the last six years,” he said. -he declares.
Madhani reported from Wilmington, Delaware.