Tuesday 10 January 2023

Republicans to Investigate Classified Documents Found at Penn Biden Center

 Republicans in Congress say they will investigate the matter of classified documents found at the University of Pennsylvania’s Biden Center for Diplomacy from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said Monday evening that his committee will send a letter to the National Archives and Records Administration demanding answers and is open to hearings depending on where the investigation leads.

“President Biden has stated that taking classified documents from the White House is ‘irresponsible,'” Comer said in a statement, according to Fox News. “Under the Biden Administration, the Department of Justice and National Archives have made compliance with the Presidential Records Act a top priority.

“We expect the same treatment for President Biden, who has apparently inappropriately maintained classified documents in an insecure setting for several years,” he added.

Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) tweeted: “Joe Biden took classified documents to his private office and LIED about it to 60 minutes. Why isn’t the FBI raiding Biden’s Delaware homes right now? House GOP will investigate!”

CBS News first reported Monday that President Joe Biden’s lawyers discovered back on November 2, 2022 — right before the midterms — a batch of documents with classified markings from the time when Biden was vice president when clearing the center in Washington, D.C.

Biden used the center from mid-2017 until he began his 2020 presidential campaign, according to Biden’s lawyer Richard Sauber. Sauber said the documents were  locked in a closet in one of Biden’s private offices.

A reporter attempted to ask Biden about the documents before he was to begin a meeting with the Mexican president, but was rushed out of the room along with all press:

House Republicans decried the hypocrisy between the National Archives’ treatment of the documents found at the Penn Biden Center with classified markings found last year at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) tweeted that as vice president, Biden did not have the authority to declassify classified documents.

“Biden stole classified documents and stored them at his think tank while he was VP,” he tweeted, before questioning the center’s status as a “think tank” and adding that it received $54 million in funding from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) also noted Biden did not have the power to declassify as presidents do.

“Joe Biden stole classified documents. This is a very serious crime. DOJ & NARA can’t sweep this under the rug AND persecute Trump,” she tweeted.

Numerous Republicans accused the Justice Department of having different standards of justice for Trump and Biden. The DOJ had convened a grand jury to look into Trump retaining any classified documents, and the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago to look for them.

Dan Bishop (R-NC) tweeted, “Two tiers of Justice cannot stand.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) defended Biden.

At least two House Democrats expressed concern, albeit somewhat muted.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told CNN: “Obviously if there are classified documents anywhere they shouldn’t be that’s a problem and a deep concern.” However, he equivocated on whether there should be an investigation. “I probably don’t want to say more [until] I have a chance to read the article.”

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) told CNN: “Classified information needs to stay in secure spaces.”

Several Republicans senators also weighed in on the matter, although since they do not control the Senate, they cannot initiate investigations or hearings.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), however, did call for the convening of a grand jury.

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted sarcastically asking when the FBI would raid one of Biden’s homes:

However, he then struck a pessimistic note that anything would be done, tweeting:

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