By Frank Fang
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said that “swift congressional oversight” is coming, after the White House revealed on Jan. 14 that additional pages of classified documents had been found at President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware.
“We first learned about the Penn Biden Center classified documents months after they were found in an unsecure closet,” Comer wrote according to a statement. “Then it took the White House weeks to inform the public about the documents found in President Biden’s Wilmington garage.
“And now days later, we are learning that there are more documents at the Wilmington residence. Are there more classified documents to be found?” Comer asked.
It has been a tumultuous week for the Biden administration, since White House lawyer Richard Sauber on Jan. 9 revealed that documents with classified markings were found at the president’s former office space at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington.
The timing of the revelation has raised some questions, given that the public didn’t become aware of the documents immediately after they were found. According to Sauber, the documents were found on Nov. 2, 2022—just days before the midterm elections—and were turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) the next day.
On Saturday, Sauber announced that five additional pages with classification markings were found in Biden’s Wilmington residence two days earlier, in addition to one classified document found there on Wednesday.
The six pages were found in a room next to the garage at his Wilmington residence, according to Sauber.
The potential mishandling of classified documents and other government records from the Obama administration is under investigation by a former federal prosecutor, Robert Hur, who was named as a special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Jan. 12.
“President Biden’s three strikes against transparency will be met with swift congressional oversight,” Comer wrote. “The White House, the National Archives, and the Justice Department failed to promptly inform Congress and the American people about mishandled classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as vice president.”
On Friday, Comer announced that his committee had already launched an investigation into Biden’s documents, in a letter to White House counsel Stuart Delery. The Kentucky Republican requested the White House to turn over a range of documents and other materials by Jan. 27.
“The Biden White House’s secrecy in this matter is alarming,” Comer added. “Equally alarming is the fact that Biden aides were combing through documents knowing there would be a Special Counsel appointed.
“Many questions need to be answered but one thing is certain: oversight is coming.”
Following the discovery of another batch of classified documents at Biden’s home, some Republican lawmakers took aim at the Department of Justice, wondering why FBI agents have not searched Biden’s home.
“More classified documents found in President Biden’s home, yet still no FBI raid—the double standard is apparent,” Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) wrote on Twitter. “Americans deserve to know why President Biden had these documents & who had access to them.”
Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) posted on Twitter, “WHERE IS THE FBI? TWO SYSTEMS OF JUSTICE!”
Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.) wrote on Twitter saying that Biden’s home “is a crime scene.”
“Why is the @FBI not raiding his home the same way they did President Trumps?” Harshbarger wrote. “The @FBI owes the American people answers.”
FBI agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in August 2022, seizing over 11,000 documents and photographs without classified markings and around 100 documents marked classified or top secret. However, Trump has said he declassified the materials when he left office.
In November, Garland appointed Jack Smith as special counsel overseeing DOJ probes related to Trump.
“Full FBI raid happens when?” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote on Twitter.
The House Judiciary Committee is conducting its own investigation into the discovery of classified documents at Biden’s home and former office.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman of the committee, and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) wrote a letter to Garland on Friday announcing the investigation.
“We are conducting oversight of the Justice Department’s actions with respect to former Vice President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, including the apparently unauthorized possession of classified material at a Washington, D.C. private office and in the garage of his Wilmington, Delaware residence,” the two lawmakers wrote.
“It is unclear when the Department first came to learn about the existence of these documents, and whether it actively concealed this information from the public on the eve of the 2022 election,” they continued. “It is also unclear what interactions, if any, the Department had with President Biden or his representatives about his mishandling of classified material.”
The committee requested a range of documents and communications by Jan. 27, including those among the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Executive Office of the President.
“We expect your complete cooperation with our inquiry,” they added.