House Republicans, now secure in their majority, are expressing outrage after classified documents were discovered at the Penn Biden Center, having been taken there by now-President Biden after he left the vice presidency nearly six years ago.
GOP lawmakers are demanding that Biden be subject to the same legal standards that were applied to former President Trump, who took hundreds of classified documents with him to Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House in 2021. House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., told reporters Monday night that the handling of Biden’s documents displays a “two-tier” justice system in contrast with the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago in Florida last year. He said his committee would be investigating the matter.
Other Republicans piled on Monday night. “Biden stole classified documents and stored them at his think tank while he was VP,” charged Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.
“The VP does not have any authority to declassify classified documents,” he added, giving a nod to Trump’s argument that, as president, he had the unilateral authority to declassify every document he took with him to Mar-a-Lago.
Texas Representative Ronny Jackson accused Biden of holding a double standard.
“Biden knew for YEARS that he’s been storing HIGHLY CLASSIFIED documents in his personal office. He KNEW it when FBI agents were raiding Mar-a-Lago, and he KNEW it when he appointed a partisan special counsel. HE KNEW THE WHOLE TIME BUT STILL HAD HIS DOJ GOONS PERSECUTE TRUMP!!” Jackson type-shouted.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who has repeatedly called for Biden to be impeached, accused Biden of committing a crime by taking the documents to his think-tank.
“Joe Biden stole classified documents. This is a very serious crime,” Greene tweeted. “DOJ & [National Archives and Records Administration] can’t sweep this under the rug AND persecute Trump.”
Senate Republicans raised questions about the classified documents too. “Why were they there, why wasn’t the Justice Department looking for these documents, and who had access to them?” asked Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said “there can’t be separate standards for Republicans and Democrats.”
“The same rules must apply to everyone,” he tweeted.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed U.S. Attorney John Lausch to investigate the Biden documents discovery.
Lawyers for Biden said they immediately notified the National Archives about the documents, dated from Biden’s time as vice president, once they were discovered. The group returned the documents to the Archives in November.
“The documents were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the Archives,” Richard Sauber, special counsel to the White House, said in a Monday statement. “Since that discovery, the President’s personal attorneys have cooperated with he Archives and the Department of Justice in process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives.”
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom, David Spunt, and Bill Mears contributed to this report.