Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the new head of the House Oversight Committee, spoke with CBS’s Catherine Herridge about the Biden classified document scandal on Friday.
Comer said that the Committee had requested documents and information related to the matter from the White House, including any communications they had regarding the documents. He said they had also asked the National Archives to provide all documents and communications among the Archives, the White House, the Justice Department and the president’s attorneys. Comer has demanded responses by Jan. 24.
Comer said he thought the White House might try to use the appointment of a special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland to avoid answering questions. He said they hadn’t gotten any response back, either from the White House or the National Archives.
But he said, if they didn’t comply with the Committee’s requests to turn over the information, he was prepared to immediately drop subpoenas on the White House and the National Archives; although, he said hopefully the White House would comply and they wouldn’t have to take that step. “We’ll issue subpoenas, if they don’t respond, as soon as we can,” Comer said.
Comer said he was “optimistic” they would comply given their “outrage” over Trump. I think he was being a bit snarky there. “The chickens have come home to roost, so to speak,” Comer wryly said.
When Herridge asked Comer what he thought of the documents being found, Comer said to quote Biden, “That’s so irresponsible.” Comer explained that he thought going forward, they would need to reform the process by which Presidents and Vice Presidents were able to take away documents in the future. Comer noted the situations were not the same because Trump was President and Biden was Vice President.
Comer was disturbed that the National Archives hadn’t even complied with giving them a briefing about what had been found. That’s pretty ridiculous, since they must comply with the Oversight Committee. He said they would get subpoenaed as well, if they didn’t comply, “We need to know how serious these documents were,” Comer declared.
Comer said that the White House has not provided an adequate explanation for why they didn’t come forward in November–when the first documents were found–right before the election. He speculated that we might never have found out about this scandal, but for the reporting from CBS that broke open what had been going on–and that this information was held back from Congress and the public deliberately because of the election.
“It sure looks like the reason they withheld that,” Comer exclaimed. Comer also said that he considered the locations where the Biden classified documents were found a “national security risk.”
It’s not just the classified documents that Comer is investigating. He also explained that they were still pursuing the suspicious activity report records from the Treasury Department, regarding the investigation into the Bidens and their foreign business dealings.
Hopefully, Comer will keep on it and pursue them when they don’t comply. This new crop of Republicans looks, so far, like they may have the fire to pursue the Democrats. The response of the National Archives tells you everything right there. They were all over the place, flipping out about President Donald Trump, even though the President has a right to presidential records and has the power to declassify things.
Biden didn’t have that, which makes his situation much worse. Yet, where is the National Archives screaming its head off? It’s remarkably quiet about all this and not coming forward to inform Comer about what he and his Committee have a right to know, under their Oversight powers. If the Archives are not jumping at briefing the Committee, you also know that means the information about the documents is likely to be bad.