Jan 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy: GOP probe of Biden docs will ensure law is "applied equally"

Photo of Kevin McCarthy speaking into a mic

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy conducts a news conference in the U.S. Capitols Statuary Hall on Jan. 12. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that the GOP will investigate President Biden's handling of classified records to ensure the law is "applied equally."

Why it matters: Republicans have jumped on Biden since the White House confirmed that at least three sets of classified documents from when he was vice president were discovered in his former office and his home in Delaware.

What he's saying: "Before the election, they found out President Biden had these documents not under lock ... Prior to an election, they kept it secret. At no time did he get raided by the FBI," McCarthy told reporters Tuesday.

  • "They put a special prosecutor only after other people raised the issue ... It just does not seem fair. This is why the American people get so upset and distrust their government when they see that the law is not applied equally."
  • "I have concerns when any classified documents are anywhere else ... but the one thing I will say here too is a president who just left office is not the [individual] who's packing up their boxes, who's not moving them, so how much does he even know in that process?" he added.
  • "It's not a fair process when you equalize this out, and that is what is wrong with the system," McCarthy said. "You want the American public to trust the final answer. That's why the House will oversee and look at these investigations as well."

The big picture: Republicans have been using the unfolding controversy to accuse Biden, the Justice Department and the National Archives of a double standard since former President Trump faced an FBI search and a separate special counsel inquiry over multiple documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home last year, Axios' Herb Scribner writes.

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Robert Hur as special counsel to lead the investigation into Biden's handling of the documents.
  • The president has said he was "surprised" records were taken to his old office and that he doesn't know "what's in the documents."
  • The White House said it is cooperating fully in contrast to Trump and his allies, who have been openly critical of the ongoing probe from special counsel Jack Smith.

Go deeper:

How Biden and Trump's classified doc discoveries have differed

What we know about Biden's classified documents investigation

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