Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan is demanding documents from the DOJ related to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate classified documents found in President Joe Biden’s private office and garage.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur on Jan. 12 to investigate the handling of documents found in the president’s office at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as other documents found in the president’s garage at his Wilmington, Delaware residence. Although the University of Pennsylvania documents were found in November, their apparent mishandling was not made public until Jan. 9.
“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 elections,” Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson wrote Friday in a letter to Garland. “The Department’s actions here appear to depart from how it acted in similar circumstances.”
#BREAKING: @Jim_Jordan and @RepMikeJohnson launch first investigation into @JoeBiden’s classified documents scandal. pic.twitter.com/sR8E5J2ZTd
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) January 13, 2023
Biden and his allies have argued that the documents remained secure and that the president and his legal team have been forthcoming with the DOJ. Federal law prohibits the removal of classified “documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location.”
“My Corvette’s in a locked garage, okay? So it’s not like they’re sitting out on the street,” Biden said Thursday. “As I said earlier this week, people know I take classified documents and classified material seriously. I also said we’re cooperating fully and completely with the Justice Department’s review.” (RELATED: Dem Rep Claims Classified Docs Could Have Been ‘Planted’ In Biden Garage)
Republicans have compared Biden’s apparent mishandling of classified documents to former President Donald Trump’s. The Federal Bureau of Investigation removed eleven sets of classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August, and the former president’s attorneys turned over 184 classified documents to the National Archives and Records Administration in January 2022.
Jordan and Johnson are also requesting information about the appointment of U.S. Attorney John Lausch, who investigated the alleged mishandling before Hur’s appointment, as well as any communications between the DOJ and the White House about the documents.
“The American people deserve transparency and accountability from our most-senior executive branch law enforcement officials,” the two Republicans wrote.