House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan has launched an investigation into President Biden‘s mishandling of classified documents, notifying Attorney General Merrick Garland in a letter.
Mr. Jordan, Ohio Republican, on Friday demanded all documents and communications between the Department of Justice, the FBI and the executive office of the president, as well as information on the appointment of Robert Hur as special counsel into the matter. Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana also signed onto the letter.
“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,” the lawmakers wrote.
They also raised questions about Mr. Hur‘s appointment, which they said raises “fundamental oversight questions” in line with the duties of the Judiciary Committee.
Mr. Jordan raised concerns over the Justice Department’s potential concealing of information. He also reiterated the administration’s failure to respond to the committee’s inquiries over the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida last summer.
The Republicans gave Mr. Garland a deadline of 5 p.m. Jan. 27 to hand over the materials.
The action marks Mr. Jordan’s first foray into holding the Biden administration and his agencies accountable, as he promised to do while vying for the top spot on the panel.
Mr. Biden acknowledged this week that he had documents with classified markings from his time as vice president in his personal library and has been under scrutiny over the mishandling of such materials. He later conceded that a second batch of classified documents was found at his home in Wilmington.
Federal law strictly forbids the removal or retention of classified documents or materials outside secured locations without authorization, which Mr. Biden would not have had during his tenure in the Obama White House or as former vice president.
Mr. Biden said he is “cooperating fully and completely” with the Justice Department’s investigation of how the classified information and government records were stored in his home.
Mr. Garland said he was confident in Mr. Hur‘s appointment as special counsel and that he would handle the case in an “evenhanded” manner.
Mr. Hur was nominated to be U.S. attorney in Maryland by Mr. Trump in 2017. He served in the role until his resignation in 2021.
• Mica Soellner can be reached at email@example.com.
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