The White House said on Jan. 16 that Republicans’ investigations into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified records “should be met with skepticism,” criticizing the probes as “shamelessly hypocritical.”
The comments came after House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) vowed to keep pressing the Biden administration for answers over classified documents that were found in unsecured locations connected with President Joe Biden, including in a garage and a room at his Wilmington, Delaware home. The oversight committee earlier demanded the administration release records of who had visited the residence, but the White House said no visitor logs are available.
Comer told The Epoch Times on Monday that the president “refuses to be transparent when it matters most.” The lawmaker added that the committee would seek answers from the administration, including why Biden aides were permitted to search through the Wilmington residence after the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to investigate the findings.
White House spokesman Ian Sams accused the committee head and his colleagues of having “no credibility.” In a statement to media outlets, he said: “Their demands should be met with skepticism and they should face questions themselves about why they are politicizing this issue and admitting they actually do not care about the underlying classified material.
“President Biden is doing the right thing and is cooperating fully with a thorough review,” he added, accusing House Republicans of “playing politics in a shamelessly hypocritical attempt to attack” the Democratic president.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Comer’s office for comment.
The Kentucky Republican has been contrasting the Biden probe with the case of former President Donald Trump, whose Mar-a-Lago home was the focal point of an unprecedented FBI raid last summer.
Comer, in a Sunday interview with CNN, said he felt the “discrepancy in how former President Trump was treated” matters more than the contents of those mishandled documents. Speaking to Fox News on Monday, he took issue with the White House’s statement that it wasn’t standard practice to keep visitor logs of the president’s personal residence because “his personal residence is personal.”
“What amazes me is what the White House said about the fact that they didn’t keep records of who went to and from the president’s personal residence because that was personal,” Comer said. “But yet the Democrats released Trump’s personal tax returns for years prior to him even being president.”
The White House hit back at Comer, alleging double standards in the Republican’s treatment of the two cases. A spokesperson told Fox News that the congressman had downplayed Trump’s possession of classified records, but now finds it “troubling” when the same scenario applied to Biden.
Comer said on CNN that he wouldn’t ask for visitor logs from Mar-a-Lago or otherwise probe Trump. “Democrats have done that for the past six years,” the lawmaker said. “So no one’s been investigated more than Donald Trump. Who hasn’t been investigated is Joe Biden. And that’s why we’re finally launching an investigation of Joe Biden, the House Oversight Committee … and I hope to have it wrapped up as soon as possible.”
Both classified documents cases are currently being investigated by separate special counsels.
Trump has sought to distinguish his case from Biden’s, claiming he had declassified the documents before leaving office, while Biden did not have such authority as vice president at the time.
Sams said Biden “takes classified information seriously, which is why he immediately directed his team to ensure the documents were sent back to the government.”
The White House has faced escalating scrutiny over its two-month-long delay in informing the public about the case. The first set of documents was found on Nov. 2, days before the midterm elections, but the White House didn’t confirm the matter until Jan. 9, only after media outlets reported on the development.
GOP lawmakers and observers said the delay was an attempt to protect the Democrats in the midterms.
“They were not going to announce it before the election, because it would have undermined the Democrats and substantially hurt their ability to survive the election. I think that was pretty straightforward,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Epoch Times last week.