GOP Oversight Demands Access to Unredacted Emails in Which VP Joe Biden Used an Alias From Nat'l Archives

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The House Oversight Committee is demanding that the National Archives produce unredacted version of various records pertaining to Joe Biden's interactions with Ukrainian officials while he was Vice President, and any other documents and communications in which Joe Biden used a pseudonuym or in which Hunter Biden, Eric Schwerin, or Devon Archer is copied.

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In a letter to NARA, the Committee requested unrestricted special access to the following items before August 31, 2023:

  • Complete, unredacted versions of all documents from Case Number 2023-0022-F; 
  • Any document or communication in which a pseudonym for Vice President Joe Biden was included either as a sender, recipient, copied or was included in the contents of the document or communication, including but not limited to Robert Peters, Robin Ware, and JRB Ware;
  • Any document or communication in which Hunter Biden, Eric Schwerin, or Devon Archer was included either as a sender, recipient, copied, or was included in the contents of the document or communication; and
  • All drafts from November 1, 2015 to December 9, 2015 of then-Vice President Biden’s speech delivered to the Ukrainian Rada on December 9, 2015.

Case Number 2023-0022-F is titled “Email Messages To and/or From Vice President Biden and Hunter Biden related to Burisma and Ukraine,” the letter explains. Those communications are published on NARA's website, but in a redacted form. The committee shared one example of why it needs full access to the originals: 

For example, an email bearing the subject “Friday Schedule Card,” is withheld in part under a “P6” and “b(6)” restrictions, denoting personal information regarding the subject under the PRA and FOIA respectively.  Attached to this email, and made available on the NARA website, is a document that indicates on 9:00 a.m. on May 27, 2016, Vice President Biden took a call with the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. It is concerning to the Committee, however, that this document was sent to “Robert L. Peters”—a pseudonym the Committee has identified as then Vice-President Biden. Additionally, the Committee questions why the then-Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden—and only Hunter Biden—was copied on this email to then-Vice President Biden.

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In the letter making the request, Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) reminded NARA that the House Oversight Committee has jurisdiction over NARA and that under House Rule X the Committee has broad jurisdiction to investigate any matter.

These specific records will assist the Committee in finding solutions to "deficiencies it has identified in the current legal framework regarding ethics laws and disclosure of financial interests related to the immediate family members of Vice Presidents and Presidents—deficiencies that may place American national security and interests at risk," the letter continues.

In particular, the Committee is concerned that foreign nationals have sought to influence U.S. policy by "engaging in lucrative business relationships" with the family members of high-profile politicians.

And, Comer said, despite Joe Biden's claims that he had nothing to do with Hunter Biden's business deals, there's a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

“Joe Biden has stated there was ‘an absolute wall’ between his family’s foreign business schemes and his duties as Vice President, but evidence reveals that access was wide open for his family’s influence peddling. We already have evidence of then-Vice President Biden speaking, dining, and having coffee with his son’s foreign business associates. We also know that Hunter Biden and his associates were informed of then-Vice President Biden’s official government duties in countries where they had a financial interest. The National Archives must provide these unredacted records to further our investigation into the Biden family’s corruption."

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While Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley gave the FBI some leeway earlier in the year when requesting documents, after the events and revelations of the last two months it doesn't seem likely they will give NARA the same leeway and will hold them to that August 31 date.

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