The Justice Department on Monday informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan it won’t give his panel access to most of the information he has requested on the investigation into President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.
In a letter sent to Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte cites numerous special rules governing special counsel investigations that prevent the DOJ from releasing such information. He also says disclosing nonpublic information about the investigation could compromise the probe.
“Your letter also requests non-public information that is central to the ongoing Special Counsel investigation,” the assistant attorney general told Jordan on Monday. “The Department’s longstanding policy is to maintain the confidentiality of such information regarding open matters.
“This policy protects the American people’s interest in the evenhanded, dispassionate, and effective administration of justice. Disclosing non-public information about ongoing investigations could violate statutory requirements or court orders, reveal road maps of our investigations, and interfere with the Department’s ability to gather facts, interview witnesses, and bring criminal prosecutions where warranted.”
“Disclosures to Congress about active investigations risk jeopardizing those investigations and creating the appearance that Congress may be exerting improper political pressure or attempting to influence Department decisions in certain cases. Judgments about whether and how to pursue a matter are, and must remain, the exclusive responsibility of the Department,” the DOJ letter continues.
Uriarte adds that the DOJ will not circumvent the authority the special counsel has in deciding what information to release to Congress.
“The Special Counsel regulations establish procedures for disclosing certain information to Congress at the onset and conclusion of a Special Counsel investigation.” the letter states. “These regulations govern the Department’s conduct in all Special Counsel investigations.”
Earlier this month, Jordan demanded that the DOJ produce documents related to the appointment of Robert Hur as special counsel in the 80-year-old president’s classified documents probe. The House Judiciary Committee leader also sought information on the selection of Trump-appointed Attorney John Lausch to conduct the initial review of the case and all documents between or among the DOJ, the FBI, and the White House related to classified records found at the Penn Biden Center and at Biden’s home.
Jordan further requested all communications between the DOJ and Biden’s lawyers related to the classified documents scandal and documents and communications related to the storage of the classified records at Biden’s office and his home, as well as all records tied to the discovery of the documents with classified markings.
The Judiciary Committee chairman signaled last week that he is open to issuing subpoenas to obtain the information.
“Our Members are rightly concerned about the Justice Department’s double standard here, after all, some of the Biden documents were found at a think tank that’s received funds from communist China,” Russell Dye, spokesperson for Jordan, told The Post Monday.
“It’s concerning, to say the least, that the Department is more interested in playing politics than cooperating,” Dye added.
A personal attorney for the president discovered some 10 classified documents on Nov. 2, 2022 at the Penn Biden Center think tank in Washington, DC. Biden’s lawyers informed the White House counsel’s office who told the National Archives of the discovery. The National Archives then tipped off the DOJ which sparked the probe.
In January, Biden’s lawyers discovered more classified material at the president’s Wilmington, Delaware, home, some reportedly in a garage that held the commander in chief’s Corvette.
After the Wilmington find, the FBI conducted a 13-hour-long search of the property and found even more Obama-era classified records, and reportedly some dating back to Biden’s days in the Senate.
In a letter sent to Jordan earlier this month, the DOJ signaled that it was unlikely to share information about the ongoing criminal investigation into Biden with the new GOP-controlled House, however, the letter noted that it would respond to the Judiciary Committee chairman’s request separately.