It's been a wild week for the Biden administration. On Monday, it was revealed that President Joe Biden had taken classified documents after serving as vice president in the Obama administration. The story only got worse for the president from there, as we learned about even more documents. While Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced the appointment of a Special Counsel, that's not the end of it, as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), now the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is also launching an investigation.
On Friday, Jordan and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), who also sits on the committee, sent a letter to Garland demanding the documents and communications between the Department of Justice (DOJ), FBI, and Executive Office of the President. The letter also requests information about that Special Counsel, Robert Hur, as Jordan and Johnson believe that "circumstances of this appointment raise fundamental oversight questions that the Committee routinely examines."
On November 2, 2022, Biden's personal attorneys reportedly discovered the classified files at the Biden Penn Center. The National Archives Office of Inspector General soon after contacted the DOJ to inform them that classified documents were discovered there. All of this took place just days before the midterm elections, though we conveniently did not learn about this breaking news until January, over two months later.
Jordan and Johnson's letter references that timeline. "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," it reads. "It is also unclear what interactions, if any, the Department had with President Biden or his representatives about his mishandling of classified material. The Department’s actions here appear to depart from how it acted in similar circumstances," the letter goes on to read.
The letter also references how the FBI raided former and potentially future President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in August of last year, with Biden thinking it appropriate to criticize his predecessor despite the hypocrisy involved on his part.
"In fact, on August 8, 2022, despite the publicly available evidence of President Trump's voluntary cooperation, you personally approved the decision to seek a warrant for excessive and unprecedented access to his private residence. On August 15, 2022, Committee Republicans wrote to you and FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting documents and information related to the FBI's raid of President Trump's residence. The Department and FBI have failed to sufficiently comply with this request. Our requests remain outstanding," it reads.
The congressmen are asking for Garland to reply to the following questions by January 27, 2023 at 5:00pm:
1. All documents and communications referring or relating to the appointment of Robert K. Hur as Special Counsel, including but not limited to any memoranda regarding his appointment;
2. All documents and communications referring or relating to the selection of John R. Lausch, Jr. to examine matters relating to President Biden's mishandling of classified material, including but not limited to any memoranda regarding his selection;
3. All documents and communications between or among the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the Executive Office of the President referring or relating to material with classified markings found at the Penn Biden Center and the Biden residence in Wilmington, Delaware;
4. All documents and communications between or among the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or attorneys or representatives of President Biden, including but not limited to White House attorney Richard Sauber, referring or relating to material with classified markings found at the Penn Biden Center and the Biden residence in Wilmington, Delaware;
5. All documents and communications referring or relating to the physical storage of material with classified markings found at the Penn Biden Center and the Biden residence in Wilmington, Delaware; and
6. All documents and communications referring or relating to the discovery of material with classified markings found at the Penn Biden Center and the Biden residence in Wilmington, Delaware, including the circumstance of how President Biden’s personal attorneys came to discover classified material in unsecure settings.
Although Democrats performed better than expected in the midterms--something that could potentially have changed had this breaking news come out at the time--Republicans were at least able to retake the majority in the House.
Given how White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has proven to be particularly useless on the matter, even taking a tone with reporters who continue to press her about the president taking classified documents, House Republicans may be the only real hope to getting to the bottom of this.
Jean-Pierre, as Townhall has highlighted in write-ups of this week's press briefings, continues to claim that the White House is being "transparent." The press secretary dared to make such a claim despite how, as Spencer highlighted earlier on Friday, she continued to rebuff reporters and seemed hesitant to bring in Richard Sauber, Biden's counsel.
If the White House is being "transparent" about anything, it's that they have no interest in being transparent after all.