House Oversight Committee to Investigate Biden Documents Marked Classified

House Oversight Committee to Investigate Biden Documents Marked Classified

House Oversight Committee to Investigate Biden Documents Marked Classified

The Republican-led House Oversight and Accountability Committee has launched an investigation into documents marked classified as being found in a private office once used by President Joe Biden. CBS News has learned that these documents were marked with different classification levels, some of which were designated as highly classified.

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FILE: Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) speaks during a House Oversight Committee hearing at the Rayburn House Office Building on December 14, 2022 in Washington, DC.

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In a letter to Stuart Delery, White House counsel Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky wrote that the committee “is concerned that President Biden has compromised sources and methods ( intelligence) with its own mishandling of classified documents”.

Comer is asking the White House to turn over all documents and communications related to classified documents found in Mr. Biden’s personal office — including the classified documents themselves — by Jan. 24. The documents were turned over to the National Archives on Nov. 3, according to a White House statement. They are believed to be being held in a secure facility in Washington.

He also requests a list of people who had access to the office space and any communication related to the documents between the White House, the National Archives and the Department of Justice.

The application did not include a subpoena.

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The House investigation comes about 24 hours after CBS News first reported that the Justice Department was reviewing about 10 documents marked classified that were found at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, DC, where Mr. Biden worked between 2017 and 2019. The documents stem from Mr. Biden’s tenure as vice president, two sources said.

The documents were found in a locked closet by Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys who were clearing the space on Nov. 2, according to a statement from White House attorney Richard Sauber. The lawyers stopped their work and informed the White House attorney of the discovery.

The White House attorney then informed the National Archives, the federal agency responsible for securing and preserving presidential and vice-presidential papers. The Archives referred the case to the Department of Justice.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has assigned John Lausch, Jr., the Chicago-based U.S. attorney, to review the classified documents and investigate how they ended up in the president’s private office. The FBI is participating in the review, which is expected to wrap up soon.

A source close to the investigation told CBS News that Justice Department officials are investigating whether there are other classified documents in other locations.

Comer sent a second letter to the National Archives on Tuesday saying his committee would also investigate “whether there is political bias” within the agency. It alleges “inconsistent handling of the recovery of classified records held by former President Trump and President Biden.” The letter also requests agency documents and communications within 14 days and testimony from senior Archives officials by January 17.

In August, the FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate that yielded more than 100 documents marked classified. The seizure came after a year of resistance by Trump and his officials to federal efforts to retrieve documents from the Trump administration. In total, over 300 documents with classified marks were recovered from Mar-a-Lago.

A special counsel is investigating Trump’s handling of classified material.

Comer’s interest in Biden’s documents contrasts with his reaction to Trump’s records. In late November, Comer told CNN that investigating the Trump documents would be “not a priority.” He said, “I’m not involved in a lot of the drama from the last administration.”

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