WASHINGTON — Republicans said Sunday the White House must provide more information about President Joe Biden’s handling of classified information because Biden allies said the GOP was trying to use the case to undermine an investigation. on Donald Trump and top secret documents.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said he wanted to know who might have had access to classified documents the former vice president had in his personal possession. Republicans also want to know how secret documents got to Biden’s office and Delaware residence in the first place.
“We have a lot of questions,” Comer told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Sunday asking for more information, Comer wrote that “Biden’s mishandling of classified documents raises questions as to whether he has compromised our national security.” .
The Biden papers: Additional classified documents found at Biden’s home in Delaware
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Democrats said the president and his lawyers turned over classified documents as soon as they were discovered, a marked contrast to how Trump handled sensitive documents that should have been sent to the National Archives.
“We have to keep a sense of proportion and measure what we’re talking about,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., one of the lead Democrats on the oversight committee, also speaking on CNN.
Biden pledges to cooperate with special counsel
Attorney General Merrick Garland, seeking to avoid a conflict of interest, appointed a special counsel to review Biden’s handling of classified documents.
In a series of statements over the past week announcing the discovery of new classified documents, the White House said it had turned over the documents and was cooperating with government authorities.
He did not respond to House Republican requests for more information.
“The White House will cooperate with the newly appointed special adviser,” a written statement from Richard Sauber, a special adviser to the Biden administration, said Saturday.
Republican House investigations take shape
During last year’s congressional elections, Republicans frequently threatened to investigate Biden if he won a majority in the House. Their litany of proposed investigations range from the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2021 to the international business dealings of the president’s son, Hunter Biden.
The prospect of an investigation into the documents arose last week when the White House made a series of announcements that officials had discovered classified documents among files stored in a Biden office at a University facility. of Pennsylvania in Washington, DC, and his residence in Wilmington, Delaware, including his garage.
Congressional Democrats have said they don’t want a House probe to affect the special counsel’s investigation.
Trump and the classified documents
Legal analysts have pointed to a key difference in the documents cases involving Trump and Biden: Trump is also being investigated for obstruction of justice,
The former president repeatedly refused to hand over documents at the request of the National Archives. This led to the high-profile raid in August of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump and his allies said the former president was held to a different standard. In an article on Truth Social, Trump slammed Biden on the matter, but also said “I did NOTHING wrong.”
Democrats have said Trump is also risking national security by handling classified information.
The differences:Charts: How Biden’s case differs from classified Trump documents seized at Mar-a-Lago
Another special tip:Attorney General Merrick Garland appoints special counsel to investigate classified Biden documents
During his appearance on CNN, Comer didn’t accuse Biden of breaking the law — “well, we don’t know exactly yet” — and said he was less concerned about Biden’s documents than he was. appearance of injustice towards Trump.
“It seems political here,” Comer said. “It sounds hypocritical. It feels like a double standard.”
The White House pointed to Comer’s statement to question the motives of the House Republican inquiry. “I would just refer you to what Congressman Comer himself said to CNN this morning: ‘At the end of the day, my biggest concern is not the classified documents to be honest with you,'” said White House spokesman Ian Sams. “That says it all.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, who has played a major role in numerous Trump investigations, said Republicans are the hypocrites, promoting the Biden investigation while downplaying Trump’s actions regarding classified information.
“I think Congress should handle both situations the same way,” Schiff said.
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