House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) said Sunday that the Biden administration has failed in its pledge of transparency, acknowledging “we don’t know exactly yet” whether President Joe Biden or anyone on his team has broken the law after the White House announced over the weekend that five more classified documents were found in his Delaware home.
Appearing on CNN’s State of The Union with host Jake Tapper, Comer accused the president of hypocrisy, noting that the Biden administration went after former President Donald Trump swiftly when a similar situation was revealed but appeared to hide his own misconduct from the public for political reasons.
“Remember, they were quick to call for a special counsel prior to the midterm elections, and Joe Biden used as his closing argument during the midterm elections that Republicans were a threat to democracy, and he cited the fact that President Trump mishandled the documents,” Comer told Tapper. “While he was doing this, he knew very well that he himself had possession of classified documents. So, the hypocrisy here is great.”
Tapper: "Are you accusing President Biden or anyone on his team of breaking the law?"
Comer: "Well, we don't know exactly yet"@jaketapper asks Rep. James Comer (R-KY) about a House Republican probe into Biden's mishandling of classified docs. @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/KTIEo1q4cX
— CNN (@CNN) January 15, 2023
Comer went on to say that House Republicans are concerned about a lack of transparency from the administration, a pledge that former Press Secretary Jen Psaki made on Biden’s first day in office, promising to “bring transparency and truth back to government.” Comer claimed the variations in responses to Trump and Biden represent a “two-tiered system of justice in America.”
Tapper attempted to explain Biden’s lawyer’s possible reason for sitting on the information, which was initially discovered on November 2, was to not impede a Department of Justice investigation in regard to witnesses. Comer said that argument was “hard to believe.”
“I would consider the fact that it was right before a midterm election, a very important midterm election that was close, that was going to determine the balance of power in Congress, the fact that they had, that they were quick to call for a special counsel with Trump, it seems political here, it seems hypocritical, it seems like a double standard, and that’s our concern,” Comer said.
The Kentucky congressman explained that as Chair of the House Oversight Committee, he has jurisdiction over the National Archives, which he also accused of lacking transparency, adding that he is frustrated with the agency. Comer said the archives never briefed him or Ranking Minority Member Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the top Democrat on the committee, on the November 2nd discovery.
“Why was Mar-a-Lago raided, but the president’s home not?” Comer asked. “Why are the president’s lawyers still allowed to go rummage through looking for documents after a special counsel has been appointed,” he said.
Comer recently made similar comments to CBS News, saying it appears the Biden Administration didn’t immediately inform the public of the president’s document scandal for “political reasons.”
“It sure looks like the reason they withheld that was for political reasons and I wonder if we would have ever known it was it not for the investigative reporting at CBS,” Comer said.
House Oversight Chair @JamesComer says "it sure looks like" the Biden administration withheld the document scandal from the public "for political reasons."
"I wonder if we would've ever known it were it not for the investigative reporting at CBS News." pic.twitter.com/KQTnDw85nU
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 14, 2023