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House Judiciary Committee launches investigation into Biden documents

The panel, now led by GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, is asking the Justice Department for information involving classified documents found in Biden's home and a Washington office he used.

The House Judiciary Committee announced Friday it's opened an investigation into the Obama-era classified documents that were found in President Joe Biden's Delaware home and his former Washington office.

The panel, now headed by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding all documents and communications between the Justice Department, FBI, and the White House about the discovery, as well as information about Garland's appointment of Robert Hur as special counsel overseeing the case.

The White House acknowledged Thursday that classified documents dating back to Biden's time as vice president had been discovered in his garage in Delaware. This came after the administration confirmed Monday that other documents had been found in a locked closet at an office that Biden had used in Washington.

The office documents were found on Nov. 2, counsel to the president Richard Sauber said in his Monday statement following a CBS News report that classified documents had been discovered there.

Garland said Thursday the garage documents were discovered on Dec. 20, and that Biden's personal lawyer told DOJ earlier in the day that another document had been found in Biden's Wilmington home. This acknowledgment came a day after NBC News reported additional documents had been found at a second location.

In a joint letter to Garland Friday, Jordan and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., questioned whether DOJ "actively concealed" the November discovery from the public "on the eve of the 2022 elections" — even though DOJ typically doesn't announce when it opens reviews.

The letter also falsely claims DOJ's "actions here appear to depart from how it acted in similar circumstances" because Garland approved a search warrant looking for government documents in former President Donald Trump's Florida home in August of last year "despite the publicly available evidence of President Trump’s voluntary cooperation."

The letter does not note that the Justice Department had been investigating the Trump case out of public view for several months prior to the execution of the search warrant, and that Trump had failed to turn over documents with classification markings that had been subpoenaed by the DOJ.

In both cases, Garland did not speak publicly about the probes until the president and former president went public about interactions with the Justice Department themselves.

Jordan and Johnson also renewed a request for information on the Trump investigation they made last year, when the committee was controlled by Democrats.

"On August 15, 2022, Committee Republicans wrote to you and FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting documents and information related to the FBI’s raid of President Trump’s residence. The Department and FBI have failed to sufficiently comply with this request. Our requests remain outstanding," the letter said.

It asks Garland respond to all of the committee's requests by Jan. 27.

The Justice Department has confirmed receipt of the letter but declined a request for comment.