House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said Saturday that the National Archives has not responded to requests for a briefing over the classified documents that were found at President Joe Biden’s home and a Biden think tank.
Comer, who has jurisdiction over the National Archives, told Fox News that the National Archives has provided no information about what is going on with the documents that were discovered.
“This agency is supposed to do a briefing any time something like this happens. They have not,” Comer said. “Not only have they not given us a briefing, even though we’ve requested one, they haven’t answered any of our simple requests for information. This is very concerning. We are going to deal with the National Archives as this mess progresses. But right now, we have a lot of concerns who had access to these documents.”
Comer noted the odd nature of the claim from Biden’s team that his lawyers were moving him out of his office. “I mean, no one believes that lawyers are in charge of the moving team,” Comer said.
“Joe Biden promised the American people he would have the most transparent administration in history,” Comer said. “I could make a strong argument that this is the least transparent administration in history. The only reason we know about those documents today is because of investigative reporting by CBS. Someone leaked to CBS that Joe Biden had these classified documents or we would never know about it, and there would never be a special counsel. So this is very concerning.”
The Biden Admin and DOJ 𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐰 classified docs were stashed in a closet at the Penn Biden Center before the 2022 election. They also found docs in Biden's garage in December.
Why were Americans not notified?
Why was DOJ slow?
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) January 14, 2023
NEIL CAVUTO: Let’s get the read on what he might want to investigate. The aforementioned James Comer, the House Oversight Committee Chairman. Mr. Chairman, always good to have you. Thanks for coming back.
JAMES COMER (R-KY): Thanks for having me.
NEIL CAVUTO: What do we know? What do you know about these documents? Or just exactly how classified some of them are? We’re told that a bunch that were found in the president’s garage in Wilmington had top classification, you know, markings. But you know more than I, maybe. What have you learned?
JAMES COMER (R-KY): Well, unfortunately, I do not know more than you. And that’s very concerning because I have jurisdiction over the National Archives. This agency is supposed to do a briefing any time something like this happens. They have not. Not only have they not given us a briefing, even though we’ve requested one, they haven’t answered any of our simple requests for information. This is very concerning. We are going to deal with the National Archives as this mess progresses. But right now, we have a lot of concerns who had access to these documents. It’s hard for us to believe, as Joe Biden said, that his team of lawyers were moving boxes around and they discovered it. I mean, no one believes that lawyers are in charge of the moving team. And I wonder, did all the documents end up at the same place initially, like, let’s say, the Biden Center and then someone at the Biden center took some boxes to the house and were looking through the information at the house. I mean, there are a lot of questions here. Unfortunately, we don’t have any answers.
NEIL CAVUTO: We do know a little bit about the timeline about how this all became known. As you know, by now, Chairman, Merrick Garland was aware of this back in November. That was before the midterm election. We don’t know how much of that was relayed to the president, but we knew that he knew back then. So I’m just wondering what could explain, or are you concerned about the delay in making that known and getting a special counsel appointed much sooner?
JAMES COMER (R-KY): We’re very concerned. I mean, Joe Biden promised the American people he would have the most transparent administration in history. I could make a strong argument that this is the least transparent administration in history. The only reason we know about those documents today is because of investigative reporting by CBS. Someone leaked to CBS that Joe Biden had these classified documents or we would never know about it and there would never be a special counsel. So this is very concerning. This is another example of a two tier system of justice in America. This is another example of how the current president has been treated versus the former president. And this is why we’ve created a task force to examine the weaponization of the Department of Justice.
NEIL CAVUTO: You know, Congressman, I am curious as well about Joe Biden and his comments on this to the degree that he didn’t know about it. Now, that might be the case, might not be the case, but if it is the case, isn’t that even more problematic? Isn’t that even more worrisome? The classified documents were in his possession and he didn’t know it.
JAMES COMER (R-KY): Exactly, Neil. You know, that is the argument for defense that a lot of Democrats in Congress say, well, he didn’t even know about it. Well, that makes it even worse, because here’s what we know. And this is — I can tell you this from the investigation into the Biden family influence peddling — this family has a history of receiving lots of anonymous donations from China, whether it be to the Biden Center for Diplomacy, whether it be to Hunter’s shady business dealings, whether it be for Hunter’s artwork. I mean, there is a pattern here, and this is very concerning. And you may ask, why would China invest so much money in the Bidens? Just look, recently what was discovered with respect to the University of Penn successfully lobbying the FBI to drop the China initiative, which was an investigation into China’s influence in our university system, stealing our research and development technology. They had the FBI drop this in the Biden administration because they said it was racist. So that alone would be a pretty darn good investment for China. We have to investigate the Biden family for being a national security risk, and the fact that they had classified documents stored improperly, that’s another reason why.
NEIL CAVUTO: You know, I’m just wondering whether in your investigations, wherever they go, Chairman, whether you want to talk to Robert Hur, the special counsel, who will be involved in this.
JAMES COMER (R-KY): Well, I think it’s going to depend on what he does. I’m not a fan of special counsels. I didn’t think they should have called for a special counsel for Trump. And I don’t think they should call for one for Biden. But after Merrick Garland called one for Trump, he had to do the same thing for Joe Biden. He had no other options. These special counsels never worked out the way they’re intended. They never stay within their area of investigation. Merrick Garland said this special counsel with respect to the Biden classified documents would focus solely on the classified documents. I don’t want them to expand their investigation for the sole purpose of blocking House oversight’s investigation of the Biden family influence peddling.
NEIL CAVUTO: Well, they would do it apart, right? I guess they would do it [apart] … the reason why I asked, sir, is of course, in the case of Donald Trump and the special counsel appointed to look into him also by Merrick Garland, there was an effort to get Jack Smith to speak to various committees — the special counsel in that case — and he refused. I’m sure it would be the same posture by Robert Hur. So to Americans watching this will unfold, their investigations continue, undeterred, presumably uninterrupted. Yours will go on. I don’t know what’s being planned in the Senate. It’s a lot of investigations.
JAMES COMER (R-KY): A lot of investigations. And, you know, it’s very unfortunate that Congress would have to dedicate any amount of time to investigating whether or not this administration’s compromised from China. But I think that what’s been brought out to light in the last few days is the fact that the Biden center for diplomacy was funded almost exclusively from China. And that’s a concern — when every American, regardless of party affiliation, regardless of ideology, believes that we need to stand up to China, that China is stealing our intellectual property, they’re stealing our patents, they’re manipulating their currency, they have human rights abuses, the list goes on and on and on — and yet they continue to take our manufacturing jobs. They continue to, you know, put Americans at risk. And yet this administration is tied into China in every which way imaginable. We have to investigate this because this is a concern. And, you know, the one positive thing about the fact that Biden had these classified documents is it shows that our investigation is justified.
NEIL CAVUTO: All right. We’ll see it. It’ll be among many. We’ll watch very closely, Chairman, thanks for coming out on a Saturday. Always good to see you.