When it came to President Donald Trump’s classified documents and information, we saw that the National Archives was open to sharing and talking with us. Now, however, when it comes down to Joe Biden we are suddenly seeing NARA, which is supposed to be an objective government agency — playing silence.
The Washington Post reported that the White House and Justice Department had a “shared understanding” of what was happening before CBS revealed the story. The White House and DOJ kept the American public in the dark about what was happening, just before a crucial election.
NARA was not talking, however. Talk about two systems. Even though there were two documents found before the issue became public, you weren’t allowed to raid Biden’s house. Biden was allowed to visit his homes during this time, so who knows what may have been cleared. NARA has also failed to issue a public statement regarding the Biden documents within the two weeks since their discovery. The documents range in age from at least six years ago, when Biden was vice president, to his Senate days (which would be at most 14 years). Fox has not reached out to NARA for comment. However, they were able to issue all sorts of releases regarding Trump.
James Comer, Republican of Kentucky, was the Chair of the House Oversight Committee. He requested a briefing from NARA on all documents so that they could assess any potential damage and concerns about national security. NARA refused to comply. Oversight demanded NARA provide records detailing their interactions and Biden’s lawyers by January 24. NARA has not met that deadline. This request was only for documents at the Penn Biden Center. There have been four additional batches of documents discovered between Joe Biden’s home, garage, and Center. Comer asked for additional information on the documents.
A spokesperson for the committee said Tuesday that the National Archives had not provided the requested documents to this Committee. “Chairman Comer still requests the documents and expects to proceed with a transcript interview with NARA general counsel shortly.”
Comer stated that he would issue subpoenas immediately to anyone who didn’t comply. That could be the next thing that we might see.
Comer also informed Debra Steidel, NARA Archivist, that they would now be investigating the agency to determine if there were differences between how they dealt with Trump and how they dealt with Biden.
James Comer (Republican from Kentucky), House Oversight Chairman, wrote Steidel Wall earlier in the month to inform her that his committee had launched an investigation into “whether there is any political bias at National Archives and Records Administration.”
Comer wrote to Steidel Wall on Jan. 10, saying that NARA had failed to inform Committee Republicans and the American public for months that President Biden, after serving as Vice President, kept highly classified documents in a closet in his personal office. “NARA also conducted a massive FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, former President Trump’s house to retrieve presidential records. The agency’s inconsistency in recovering classified documents held by President Trump and President Biden raises concerns about its political bias.
Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, noted the difference. He said that NARA would need to be more transparent and open with Congress if it wants to avoid sanctions.
It is also possible that they won’t disclose the nature of the documents as they fear it could impact other investigations into Biden’s foreign business dealings. For example, we know that some documents they included were related to Ukraine. Is that something that could have an impact on the question? Did Biden cover it up to cover it up? This would be a huge question that remains unanswered.