The House Oversight and Accountability Committee announced it has evidence a team of at least five White House employees, President Joe Biden’s personal attorneys, a Department of Defense employee, and more covered up the president’s documents scandal for more than a year and lied about it.
While the president’s lawyers said that the classified documents, which were kept from Biden’s time as vice president, were discovered at the Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2, 2022, the House Oversight Committee has compiled “evidence showing the timeline of relevant events began in 2021 and involved at least five White House employees.”
“There is no reasonable explanation as to why this many White House employees and lawyers were so concerned with retrieving boxes they believed only contained personal documents and materials,” said Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer in a letter to White House counsel Edward Siskel.
The letter details how White House staff coordinated “the organizing, moving, and removing of boxes [at Penn Biden Center] that were later found to contain classified materials” beginning in March of 2021. However, not until Nov. 2, 2022 — over a year later — did the Biden administration inform the National Archives that it had discovered improperly held classified documents.
On March 18, 2021, Annie Tomasini, who was an assistant and senior adviser to the president and director of Oval Office operations, went to the Penn Biden Center “to take inventory of President Biden’s documents and materials,” the letter said.
Then on June 28, 2022, at the direction of Dana Remus, former White House counsel and assistant to the president, Biden’s former assistant Kathy Chung “pack[ed] up President Biden’s documents and materials.” Notably, Remus contacted Chung on a personal phone number and private email address, “thus evading potential Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disclosures,” Comer wrote. The day of that communication, May 24, 2022, was also “the exact same day the Department of Justice (DOJ) subpoenaed former President Trump for classified documents,” he added.
According to the letter, two days later after Chung packed up Biden’s documents, Remus; Anthony Bernal, an sssistant to the president and senior advisor to the first lady; and a White House employee whose name is unknown went to Penn Biden Center to haul away as many boxes of documents and other materials as would fit in their vehicle.
Several months passed, and on Oct. 12, 2022, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Oval Office Operations Ashley Williams and Biden’s personal attorney Pat Moore went to the center to do “the next wave of assessing of files and looking at boxes.” The next day, Williams went back to retrieve “a few” of Biden’s boxes, and another of Biden’s personal attorneys, Bob Bauer, texted Chung to say Moore had started sifting through the boxes at the Penn Biden Center.
According to Bauer, Biden’s classified documents were first found at the Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2, 2022 — but the timeline of events he provided leaves out all the aforementioned planning and meddling related to the documents.
Moreover, the White House and Bauer claimed that the National Archives took “possession of the materials” the morning after it was contacted. Yet the White House and Bauer failed to mention that Moore “scheduled a FedEx pickup with Penn Biden Center employees” the day they contacted the Archives on Nov. 2, 2022, and that the delivery driver arrived that day to “load the documents and then [take them] down to the loading dock” for shipping.
The committee “finds it troublesome that boxes of documents were potentially removed from Penn Biden Center prior to NARA’s arrival and assessment,” Comer wrote.
In his letter, Comer requested more information from the White House to shed further light on the administration’s troubling actions and apparent deceit regarding Biden’s mishandling of classified documents. The committee is asking for “all documents or communications” between or among the National Archives and White House workers related to Biden’s documents and other items at Penn Biden Center. The committee is particularly interested in communications between the White House and Remus.
Comer is also requesting transcribed interviews with five top Biden aides who worked to retrieve boxes of documents, including Tomasini, Williams, Bernal, and Remus.
So far, Biden has received no criminal charges for his mishandling of classified documents. Meanwhile, Biden’s DOJ has mercilessly prosecuted Trump, the president’s primary political opponent and GOP front-runner for the 2024 election, for Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. Yet, unlike Trump, Biden did not have any power to declassify documents because he was merely vice president.
Additionally, The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland reports that the Penn Biden Center, “is located at a busy D.C. office building that spanned some 10 stories and included numerous public areas, including a reception area on the roof that hosted weddings and other private events.” Others were found in his garage. By contrast, “Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was private and protected by the Secret Service.”