House Republicans are seeking more information on classified documents found in Biden’s private office

House Republicans are calling on the Biden administration to release more information about the handling of documents marked classified that were found in a private office once used by President Biden.

The request from Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer comes after the committee interviewed Gary Stern, the top attorney for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), in January.

Stern told the committee that NARA issued a statement in response to the Jan. 9 CBS News report that classified documents were found at the Penn Biden Center in Washington. But that statement, Stern said, was never sent to news organizations.

Asked to say who prevented the statement from being published, Stern declined. “According to [Justice Department] guidance, I’m not supposed to be talking about the, you know, content of our communications with other parties,” he replied.

Comer is now trying to answer that question. His letter, sent Tuesday to White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, asks for communications and documents “regarding the NARA’s withholding of the statement it intended to issue on January 9, 2023.”

The letter states that the NARA issued a statement in February 2022 after The Washington Post reported that classified documents had been found at former President Trump’s Florida estate.

Comer also asks that President Biden release his personal attorneys’ communications with NARA. The president is not required to do so, although NARA has already done so. Under the Freedom of Information Act, a limited batch of those emails were made public in February.

Comer set a March 21 deadline for the White House to comply with his request. Tuesday’s letter follows three previous letters from the committee seeking documents and communications related to the classified documents.

In early November, personal attorneys for President Biden discovered about ten documents marked classified in an office used by Mr Biden between 2017 and 2019. The papers were from Mr Biden’s service as vice president and some were marked top secret.

Mr Biden’s lawyers notified White House counsel of the finding and notified the National Archives. The Inspector General of the Records then informed the Department of Justice.

In December, more classified documents were found in Mr Biden’s home in Wilmington.

The White House did not acknowledge classified documents were found in the office space until CBS News requested comment on the story in mid-January. Later that week, it acknowledged those found in the house.

Mr. Biden has maintained throughout that he had no knowledge of the classified material in his possession and has been working with Justice Department officials since November.

Special Counsel Robert Hur is now in charge of the case.

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