Jan 15, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Comer: House won't investigate Trump classified docs despite Biden probe

Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, which he chairs, will not investigate former President Trump over his handling of classified documents.

Why it matters: The refusal comes despite the House Oversight Committee announcing plans last week to investigate classified documents found in President Biden's former office and his home in Delaware, even though the two situations so far have key differences.

  • Republicans, who have defended Trump's handling of the classified information and have claimed he was treated unfairly, have not called for oversight over his classified document case but have announced multiple investigations into Biden's case.
  • Comer said the Oversight Committee would not investigate both Trump and Biden's handling of classified documents because "there have been so many investigations of President Trump" and because he's mainly concerned about alleged mistreatment against Trump.
  • The primary difference between the two incidents so far is compliance. Biden appears to be cooperating with investigators, while Trump rebuffed the National Archives' requests for the documents for more than one year, leading to the FBI executing a search warrant on his Mar-a-Lago resort in August 2022.

What they're saying: "Do you only care about classified documents being mishandled when Democrats do the mishandling?" CNN host Jake Tapper asked Comer.

  • "Absolutely not," Comer replied. "Look, we still don't know what type of documents President Trump had. That's one of the questions we've asked National Archives."
  • "At the end of the day, my biggest concern isn't the classified documents to be honest with you. My concern is how there's such a discrepancy in how former President Trump was treated by raiding Mar-a-Lago, by getting the security cameras, by taking pictures of documents on the floor," Comer said.
  • “With respect to investigating President Trump, there have been so many investigations of President Trump. I don’t feel like we need to spend a whole lot of time investigating President Trump because the Democrats have done that for the past six years,” he added.
  • “So no one’s been investigated more than Donald Trump. Who hasn’t been investigated? 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."

Comer and the Oversight Committee also do not yet know what type of documents Biden had.

The big picture: Both Biden and Trump face separate special counsel inquiries over the document cases, both of which were appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

  • The special counsel against Trump is also investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

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