Since fresh records were discovered at President Joe Biden‘s Delaware property, newly empowered House Republicans on Sunday demanded the White House released over all information relating to its searches that identified secret documents at Biden’s home and previous workplace.
Comer, R-Ky., has demanded access to any records and correspondence pertaining to the Biden team’s searches, as well as visitation logs of the president’s house in Wilmington, Delaware, beginning on January 20, 2021. He explained that finding out who had access to the sensitive files and how they got there was the primary objective.
On Saturday, the White House announced that, on Thursday, the same day a special counsel was appointed to investigate, it had found five more pages of secret material at Biden’s house.
Biden’s “mishandling of sensitive materials raises the issue of whether he has compromised our national security,” Comer wrote to White House chief of staff Ron Klain on Sunday, criticising the searches conducted by Biden representatives as the Justice Department was beginning its investigation. By the end of the month, Comer insisted, the White House must provide overall relevant material, including visitor records.
While discussing the situation on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Comer called Biden’s house a “crime scene,” but he admitted that it was unclear whether any laws had been broken.
A spokesman for the United States Secret Service Anthony Guglielmi stated on Sunday that despite providing protection for the president’s home, the agency does not keep visitor logs.
The fact that it is a private home is the reason why Guglielmi and his family do not keep their own visitor logs. He also mentioned that the CIA does conduct screenings of visits to the president’s properties, but does not keep records on them.
The White House has confirmed that, since Trump took office, Biden has not kept separate records of who has visited his home.
For “grave national security threats and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visits annually,” President Donald Trump’s administration decided early in his presidency that they would not reveal visitor data.
The Democratic administration of President Barack Obama first resisted attempts by Republicans in Congress and Democrats in opposition to provide visitor information. Until it was forced to do so in a court case; then, in December 2009, it started revealing the logs freely; now, it updates its website every three to four months with new information.
Presidential executive privilege allows the logs to be concealed, according to a 2013 ruling by a federal appeals court. Biden’s current attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland, authored that unanimous opinion.
Sams said, in response to Comer’s request for search logs and communications, “I would simply point you to what Congressman Comer himself told CNN this morning: ‘At the end of the day, my biggest concern isn’t the secret papers, to be honest with you.'” What else can I say?
During his appearance with CNN, Comer also said that Republicans in the House did not have faith that the Justice Department would conduct a thorough investigation into the topic of Biden’s sensitive information. On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee asked Garland to provide details about the investigation into the discovery of records and Garland’s hiring of special counsel Richard Hur to lead the inquiry.
The chairman of the committee, Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that White House officials “may say they’re being honest, but it’s everything but.”
A check of Biden’s private library turned just six pages of classified records during his service as vice president in the Obama administration, White House counsel Richard Sauber said in a statement released on Saturday. Previous White House statements had indicated there was only one page there.
This latest revelation followed the finding of files in Biden’s garage in December and his old offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC in November.
According to Sauber, Biden’s private attorneys, who lacked security clearances, gave up their investigation after discovering the first page on Wednesday night. On Thursday, while helping the Justice Department retrieve the remaining items, Sauber uncovered them.
However, Sauber did not elaborate on the White House’s two-day delay in providing an updated accounting. The White House has been under fire for more than two months now because of how slowly they responded to the discovery of the first batch of documents in Biden’s office.
Maryland Democrat and House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair Jamie Raskin said the Justice Department had done the right thing by appointing special counsels to “get to the bottom” of the classified documents mishandling scandal involving former Vice President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump’s private club and residence in Florida.
But Raskin also highlighted major distinctions between the two cases, such as how Biden’s staff willingly handed over materials to the National Archives while Trump’s team has repeatedly refused to do so.
Comer refused to say Sunday whether or not his oversight committee will look into Trump’s handling of secret documents.
He said that the Democrats had already spent six years researching Trump, so there was no need to devote further resources to the task.