On Friday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the new Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, launched his first investigation, digging into the White House and Justice Department over their handling of the discovery of classified documents in the possession of President Joe Biden.
Jordan fired off a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, demanding all documents and communications between the DOJ, FBI, and the Executive Office of the president, surrounding Biden’s mishandling of classified documents after previously leaving the White House during his time as vice president under the Obama administration.
The Republican letter, co-signed by another top GOP member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), also demanded that Garland hand over details about the process that led them to appoint DOJ veteran and former Trump federal prosecutor Robert Hur to be the special counsel behind the investigation into Biden’s handling of classified records.
Lawyers for the president have admitted that records with classified markings on them were found in Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 2, just six days before the midterm elections, and have only come to light some two months later. More classified documents were found in Biden’s garage in Delaware on Thursday.
“We are conducting oversight of the Justice Department’s actions with respect to former Vice President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, including the apparently unauthorized possession of classified material at a Washington, D.C. private office and in the garage of his Wilmington, Delaware residence,” House Republicans told Garland in the Friday letter.
Late last year, Garland appointed prosecutor Jack Smith to take over the investigation of classified documents found in former President Donald Trump’s Florida home Mar-a-Lago. He selected Hur to be special counsel in the Biden investigation on Thursday.
Hur most recently served as the U.S. attorney for Maryland under the Trump administration and has previously worked for Trump’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and current FBI Director Christopher Wray during his time at the Justice Department.
The House Republicans told Garland that “the circumstances of this appointment raise fundamental oversight questions that the Committee routinely examines” and that “we expect your complete cooperation with our inquiry.”
“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,” the GOP letter to Garland said. “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.”
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