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A Guide to Republican Investigations into the Biden Classified Documents Scandal

A Guide to Republican Investigations into the Biden Classified Documents Scandal

Republicans in Congress are seeking answers about President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents on multiple fronts, as the White House continues to push the public on the case.

House Republicans had spent months carefully planning the investigations they would launch if their party won a majority in the lower house in November.

And while those investigative goals remain priorities, including an investigation into the border security disaster, which the House Oversight Committee has already launched, the Biden documents case has consumed much of the major committees’ early efforts. of the Chamber.

In the Senate minority, Republicans are also launching an investigation into the Biden documents case.

The involvement of a special counsel has complicated the issue by giving the White House a messaging shield behind which to hide and exempting the Justice Department from some obligations to cooperate.

But Republicans are still working to get what they can from the agencies involved in the discovery and oversight of Biden’s improperly stored classified documents.


Led by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), the House Judiciary Committee has focused more on how the Justice Department conducted itself than on the merits of the law enforcement case against Biden.

Jordan announced on January 13 that his committee’s first investigation would involve the documents saga, signaling its importance to Republicans.

In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland that same day, Jordan and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) asked the Justice Department to provide any documents related to Garland’s appointment of special counsel Robert Hur and any internal communications from the DOJ on how the early days of the investigation unfolded out of public view.

Members of the GOP Judiciary Committee also requested information related to the Justice Department’s knowledge of how Biden’s team stored classified information in both his private office in Washington, D.C. and his residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

Jordan set a Jan. 27 deadline for the Justice Department to comply.


House Oversight Committee Republicans have taken several different routes in their efforts to get more information from the Biden administration.

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) wrote a letter to the National Archives two days before Garland’s appointment of Hur as special counsel.

In it, Comer questioned the agency’s “inconsistent treatment” of Biden and former President Donald Trump, the latter of whom eventually faced an FBI raid over a document dispute that began with a referral of the National Archives.

Comer asked Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall for communications between National Archives staff and between the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of the classified documents in Biden’s office in Washington, DC. At the time, the existence of additional classified documents at Biden’s private residence was not yet known.

National Archives officials missed a Jan. 24 deadline set by the House Oversight Committee to turn over information related to the Biden classified documents scandal in the first of what could be many attempts to slow down the responses under the Biden administration.

Comer said his panel wanted to investigate possible “political bias” at an agency that had kept the status of the Biden dossier hidden from the public for more than two months.

The National Archives previously responded on Jan. 18, denying the charges of bias and telling Comer that any future document requests would need the signature of the special counsel’s office to be served.

Comer has also sent several requests to the White House counsel’s office about who searched for classified documents and when.

The House Oversight Chairman asked the White House counsel to provide a list of all classified documents recovered from both the Washington, D.C. office and the Wilmington home, as well as a list of the names and security clearances for document search assistants. .

Comer offered a January 27 deadline for that request.

White House counsel Stuart Delery responded Monday and pledged to work in “good faith” to meet Comer’s requests.

Locked in by the White House’s insistence that no visitor records exist for the Wilmington home, Comer this week pressed the Secret Service to provide information on who has visited the president’s private residence since he left the vice president’s office in 2017, given that the classified records of the immediate. before this time it appeared in the Wilmington garage and other rooms.

Comer gave the Secret Service a Feb. 6 deadline for that request.


House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) pressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken for information about classified documents in the private office in Washington, DC, in a letter Monday.

“The Committee on Foreign Affairs is concerned about the national security and foreign policy implications of classified documents found at the Penn Biden Center, where you and several senior State Department officials worked prior to your current appointments to office. executive,” McCaul wrote in the letter. in Blinken.

The Penn Biden Center was the nonprofit academic organization that housed Biden and some of his aides during his four years out of office, and the center’s office in Washington, D.C., housed classified information until lawyers de Biden discovered it in November.

McCaul asked Blinken for any correspondence he had since November about the documents found in the office of the Penn Biden Center, which he ran before rising to head the State Department.

The letter set a February 6 deadline for Blinken.


Not to let their subpoena-wielding House colleagues have all the fun, Senate Republicans have also engaged the Biden administration in the classified documents imbroglio.

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) wrote a letter to the Secret Service on Monday requesting “a full and complete list of all individuals who entered the locations where the records related to then-Vice President Biden’s tenure has been identified.

Grassley is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Johnson is the top Republican on the investigative subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Grassley and Johnson gave the Secret Service a Feb. 2 deadline for their request.

Also on Monday, Grassley and Johnson wrote a separate letter to the National Archives seeking information about the agency’s effort to recover records from Biden’s time as vice president.

Republicans asked, among other things, for a detailed timeline of the agency’s efforts to retrieve Biden’s classified records and a list of locations other than those under investigation where Biden kept government records since he left office. the Obama administration.

That request also gave the National Archives a February 2 deadline.

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