Rep. Jim Jordan, the head of the Judiciary Committee, argued Sunday that federal agencies were handling President Joe Biden's and former President Donald Trump's classified documents cases differently.
In an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested that there was a double standard between the discovery of classified documents held by Trump at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida and the vice presidential papers found at Biden’s Delaware home and a Washington office.
Jordan accused the FBI and other agencies of being "weaponized": "The FBI raided the home of a former president 91 days before an election, took the phone of a sitting member of Congress and on and on."
Todd pushed back, saying: "There was nine months between the initial action. ... the [National] Archives requested documents before they even turned it over to the Justice Department. The subpoena was issued 60 days before they actually executed a subpoena.
“And more importantly, the only time the public found out about it is because Donald Trump told the public about it. This was not some sort of new painted as a picture of the FBI did this, this and this within hours of each other, when it was actually a year and a half of Donald Trump not complying with any of the requests from National Archives," Todd said. “This is not some sort of proof that somehow they’ve been weaponized and playing politics."
Jordan said: “They raided Trump’s home. They haven’t raided Biden’s home.”
“Because Biden didn’t defy a subpoena, congressman,” Todd said, adding that Trump had 60 days to comply before the FBI executed a search warrant.
The National Archives contacted Trump officials soon after he left office in 2021 to inform them that the agency believed some documents were missing and needed to be returned. Following months of back and forth, the former president sent 15 boxes of files, some containing classified documents, from Mar-a-Lago to the archives in January of last year. More classified documents were found later after the FBI learned that Trump had not fully complied with a subpoena.
Chuck Todd pushes back on Jim Jordan: 'Biden didn't defy a subpoena'Jan. 29, 202301:48
Jordan’s remarks come in the wake of the new GOP majority in the House. He now also chairs the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which could serve as a one-stop shop for investigating perceived wrongdoing by the federal government against conservatives, including Trump.
Biden has come under scrutiny for documents with classified markings found at his Delaware home and a Washington office. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, a top Biden ally, said last week: “To think that any of them ended up in boxes in storage one place or the other is just unacceptable.”
Republicans, meanwhile, have seized on the revelations, with some arguing that it shows the FBI unfairly targeted Trump when it raided his Mar-a-Lago home to retrieve classified documents.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel Robert Hur, a former federal prosecutor who has worked with many Republicans throughout his law enforcement career, to oversee the Biden investigation.
Jordan this month announced the Judiciary Committee had opened an investigation into the Obama-era classified documents found at Biden’s home and former Washington office. In a letter to Garland, Jordan demanded 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 Hur.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., asked the White House to release visitor logs from Biden’s home in Delaware after more classified documents from the Obama administration were found at the president’s Delaware residence.
The White House Counsel’s Office said last week that it was reviewing recent requests from Comer related to Biden’s handling of classified documents and signaled it planned to cooperate to an extent.