House Republicans under the leadership of new Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Kentucky) have sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, asking for a copy of the visitor logs for President Biden’s Wilmington residence where classified documents were found.
The White House has publicly replied saying that such records do not exist.
"Consistent with past precedent of every President across decades of modern history, his personal residence is personal," a White House counsel's office spokesperson said in a statement.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told ABC News that the agency also does not maintain visitor logs of private residences, though the Secret Service does provide security screenings for visitors.
Biden’s personal attorneys claim they first discovered classified documents at Biden's Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2, 2022.
The National Archives reportedly informed the Dept. of Justice about the improper storage of documents on Nov. 4, 2022.
On Nov. 14, 2022, Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland tasked US Attorney John Lausch with reviewing whether a special counsel should be appointed.
Despite the Dept. of Justice initiating a review of the matter, reports indicate that White House staff and Biden’s attorneys continued searching his Wilmington, Delaware property without independent oversight.
On Dec. 20, 2022—over one month after Lausch began his review—Biden’s personal lawyers say they notified Lausch of additional classified documents found at the Biden residence.
The letter to Ron Klain can be found here and below. Klein has been given until January 30, 2023 to provide the requested information.
Mr. Ron Klain
White House Chief of Staff
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. Klain:
January 15, 2023
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is continuing to investigate President Biden’s mishandling of highly classified documents. It is troubling that classified documents have been improperly stored at the home of President Biden for at least six years, raising questions about who may have reviewed or had access to classified information. Additionally, President Biden’s personal attorneys, who do not possess security clearances, and White House staff continue to access and search1 the President’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware for classified documents. Given the serious national security implications, the White House must provide the Wilmington residence’s visitor log. As Chief of Staff, you are head of the Executive Office of the President and bear responsibility to be transparent with the American people on these important issues related to the White House’s handling of this matter.
President Biden’s mishandling of classified materials raises the issue of whether he has jeopardized our national security. Without a list of individuals who have visited his residence, the American people will never know who had access to these highly sensitive documents. The Committee demands transparency into whether any individuals with foreign connections to the Biden family gained access to President Biden’s residence and the classified documents that he has mishandled for years.
The Committee is also concerned White House aides and President Biden’s personal attorneys searched the Wilmington residence knowing that the Department of Justice was already investigating the matter. Personal lawyers for the President first discovered classified documents at the Penn Biden Center on November 2, 2022.2 The National Archives informed the Department of Justice of President Biden’s improper storage of documents on November 4, 2022.3 On November 14, 2022, Attorney General Merrick Garland tasked U.S. Attorney John
1 “Statement from Richard Sauber, Special Counsel to the President” (January 14, 2023).
2 Ben Shpigel, Timeline of the Biden Documents Case: What We Know So Far, N.Y. TIMES (Jan. 12, 2023, updated Jan. 14, 2023).
Lausch with reviewing whether a special counsel should be appointed.4 Despite the Department of Justice initiating its review of the matter, reports indicate that White House staff and President Biden’s attorneys continued searching his property.5 Only on December 20, 2022—over one month after Mr. Lausch began his review—did the President’s personal lawyers notify Mr. Lausch of additional classified documents that were found at the President’s Wilmington residence.6
On January 5, 2023, Mr. Lausch notified the Attorney General that a special counsel was warranted.7 That notification still did not dissuade the President’s attorneys from accessing his residence on January 11, 2022, or White House counsel from accessing his residence on January 12, 2022.8 On January 12, 2022, the Attorney General announced the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Hur.9 Nonetheless, President Biden has returned to Delaware this weekend without any reported law enforcement ever conducting an independent search for classified materials.
On January 10 and 13, 2023, the Committee wrote the White House Counsel’s Office to inform the White House that the Committee has initiated an investigation into President Biden’s possession of highly classified documents from his time as Vice President.10 This letter supplements those requests.
To assist the Committee in investigating President Biden’s mishandling of classified information, please provide the following documents and information no later than January 30, 2023:
- All documents and communications related to the searches of President Biden’s home(s) and other locations by Biden aides for classified documents—including but not limited to the dates of the searches and identity of the aides; and
- The visitor log of President Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home from January 20, 2021 to present.
To schedule delivery of responsive documents or ask any follow-up questions, please contact Committee on Oversight and Accountability staff at (202) 225-5074.
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is the principal oversight committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time” under House Rule X.
8 Supra, n. 1.
9 Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks on the Appointment of a Special Counsel (Jan. 12, 2023). 10 Letter from Hon. James Comer, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight & Accountability, to Stuart Delery, White House Counsel, White House (Jan. 10, 2023) & Letter from Hon. James Comer, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight & Accountability, to Stuart Delery, White House Counsel, White House (Jan. 13, 2023).
Thank you for your prompt attention to this important investigation.
Committee on Oversight and Accountability
cc: The Honorable Jamie B. Raskin, Ranking Member Committee on Oversight and Accountability