Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner, the soon-to-be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has called for a damage assessment on President Joe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents pertaining to U.S. foreign intelligence.
Reports emerged this week that the National Archives had asked the Department of Justice to open an investigation in November surrounding the discovery of classified documents in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center, where now-President Joe Biden worked after leaving his post as vice president.
Subsequent reports have indicated that the materials, which were discovered while cleaning out the office, contained intelligence materials involving Iran and Ukraine. There were classified documents among those materials.
In a letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Turner wrote that “[I]t has been reported that a portion of the materials at issue were marked ‘sensitive compartmented information,’ indicating the highest classification and most sensitive intelligence information in our government,” according to The Hill.
“This discovery of classified information would put President Biden in potential violation of laws protecting national security, including the Espionage Act and Presidential Records Act,” Turner continued. “Those entrusted with access to classified information have a duty and an obligation to protect it. This issue demands a full and thorough review.”
Rarely a source of public scrutiny or even attention, the National Archives has become mired in more than one scandal involving the handling of classified records by former administration officials. The agency previously asked the Department of Justice to investigate missing materials from the Trump administration.
That effort ultimately led to the Aug. 8, 2022, raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and an ongoing legal battle which the DOJ has appointed a special counsel to handle. Attorney General Merrick Garland has not appointed a special counsel to address the Biden matter.