The National Archives has ignored a House Oversight Committee’s request for communications relating to the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center think tank, blowing past the deadline for providing the information.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., on Jan. 10 requested records detailing the National Archives’ interactions with President Biden’s lawyers and the Justice Department, setting a deadline for Jan. 24. Nevertheless, the deadline came and went Tuesday with no response from the archives, Comer says.
“The National Archives has not produced the requested documents to the Committee at this time,” a committee spokesperson told Axios late Tuesday. “Chairman Comer’s request still stands and anticipates moving forward with a transcribed interview with NARA’s general counsel soon.”
Comer’s Oversight Committee is the tip of the spear for Republicans seeking more information about Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has stonewalled questions about the documents in recent days.
Comer’s Jan. 10 request related only to the documents discovered at the Washington offices of the Penn Biden Center. Since then, however, three other batches of documents have been discovered at Biden’s private residence in Wilmington, Delaware, leading to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the matter.
The White House Counsel’s Office says the president is cooperating fully with the DOJ investigation, but many Republicans argue Biden is receiving softer treatment than former President Donald Trump did from both the National Archives and the DOJ.
Trump critics point to the former president’s refusal to hand over classified documents, however, which ultimately led to an FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence threw his hat in the ring this week with news that he discovered classified documents inside his own home in Carmel, Indiana. Pence’s legal team immediately notified the DOJ and handed over the documents before notifying Congress late last week.
Pence’s team said that although the documents bear classified markings, the Department of Justice or the agency that issues the documents will need to make a final determination on whether the documents are considered classified or not.
The DOJ has opened investigations into both Trump and Biden but has yet to announce an investigation into Pence.
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