DOJ stonewalls GOP request for more information on classified Biden documents
The Justice Department on Monday denied Rep. Jim Jordan’s request for more details on their handling of President Joe Biden‘s classified files, saying it would not provide him with ‘non-public information’ since there is a special counsel investigation.
‘The Department’s long-standing policy is to maintain the confidentiality of such information regarding open matters,’ the assistant attorney general wrote to Jordan, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Jordan had written to Attorney General Merrick Garland, asking for all documents and communications (both internal and external) between the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Executive Office of the President about the classified material discovered in Biden’s personal possession.
But the agency stonewalled his request, citing Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation and arguing they don’t want to create the appearance of Congress using improper influence.
‘Disclosures to Congress about active investigations risk jeopardizing those investigations and creating the appearance that Congress may be exerting improper political pressure or attempting to influence Department decisions in certain cases,’ Carlos Felipe Uriarte, the assistant attorney general, wrote.
The Justice Department on Monday denied Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio (above) and his request for more details on their handling of President Joe Biden’s classified files
Hur is starting at the Justice Department this week, having to wrap up his work at a private firm before he started his investigation.
Jordan’s spokesman fired back, accusing the agency of a double standard.
‘Our Members are rightly concerned about the Justice Department’s double standard here, after all, some of the Biden documents were found at a think tank that’s received funds from communist China. It’s concerning, to say the least, that the Department is more interested in playing politics than cooperating,’ said Jordan spokesman Russell Dye in a statement.
It’s unclear if Jordan will subpoena the documents he’s looking for, which include documents related to the appointment of Hur as special counsel as well as the selection of Trump-appointed US Attorney John Lausch to lead the initial review of the case.
Last week Jordan told CNN he would consider such a move if the DoJ denied his request.
‘We’ll see, but we’re definitely looking at asking for documents via subpoena,’ he said. ‘But we don’t know whether that will happen yet.’
A special counsel is investigating President Joe Biden’s (above) possession of classified material
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsels to investigate both Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Jordan has targeted President Biden and his family now that Republicans have control of the House and he, as the chairman of a powerful committee, has subpoena power.
In addition to his perch atop the Judiciary panel, Jordan is the head of a special committee investigating the ‘weaponization’ of the federal government. The Justice Department and other agencies are the target of that panel as many Republicans argue the federal agencies unfairly went after former President Donald Trump.
Jordan was one of Trump’s biggest defenders on Capitol Hill and will now led the charge into investigating the federal government.
After ignoring requests to turn over presidential records, the Department of Justice authorized a warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. As a result of the search, a Special Counsel to oversee the probe was appointed.
A photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. The probe into the presence of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago continues.
And the Justice Department’s response in this matter could be an indication of how the agency will handle future requests from Republicans, showing how a special counsel can complicate the GOP’s own probes.
Jordan got into a heated debate on the documents investigation on Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press with host Chuck Todd.
‘The FBI raided the home of a former president 91 days before an election, took the phone of a sitting member of Congress and on and on,’ Jordan said of Trump.
But Todd pushed back, noting the National Archives had requested the return of the Trump documents, which is required under the Presidential Records Act.
‘There was nine months between the initial action,’ Todd said. ‘The Archives requested documents before they even turned it over to the Justice Department. The subpoena was issued 60 days before they actually executed a subpoena.’
‘They raided Trump’s home. They haven’t raided Biden’s home,’ Jordan argued.
‘Because Biden didn’t defy a subpoena, congressman,’ Todd replied.
The Justice Department spent 13 hours earlier this month searching Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home, where they found another cache of classified documents.
In total, there have been five discoveries of classified materials in Biden’s possession: at the Penn-Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C.; in Biden’s garage at his Wilmington, Del., home; one document discovered in his ‘personal library’ in the same home; four more documents found in his home; and then another six found when the Justice Department did another search of his Wilmington residence.
Biden turned over his documents when his lawyers found them and voluntarily gave the FBI access to his Wilmington, Delaware, home, to search for more.
Ultimately, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to look into both Trump and Biden.
Jordan is not the only Republican investigating the matter – Rep. James Comer, the chairman of the House Oversight committee, has asked for visitor logs to Biden’s private homes and think tank office.
The White House says such records don’t exist.
The administration also stresses Biden has complied with all legal procedures.