Congressional Democrats vented their frustrations with the Biden White House’s handling of the ongoing classified documents controversy after more sensitive papers were found at his Delaware home last week.
“It’s an embarrassment, no doubt about it,” Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) told “Fox News Sunday”.
“Is there more to it? I doubt it, but we’ll find out from the special counsel as he goes about his business.”
Host Shannon Bream had asked Garamendi about a perception among the American people that the Justice Department is treating the case surrounding President Biden’s possession of classified documents differently than former President Donald Trump’s.
“What can the Justice Department do to reassure Americans?” Bream asked.
“Well, doing exactly what they’re doing now. We have a special counsel in place. The documents and the whole issue is before the special counsel, and the investigations will go forward with regard to these classified documents that were found,” Garamendi said.
“I can only, in fact, I don’t need to imagine, I know exactly what President Biden said when he was informed that these documents were found in his office — in his office in Washington. And that was, ‘Oh,’ followed by a four letter expletive,” the lawmaker told Fox News.
On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” moderator Chuck Todd asked retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) about Biden calling Trump “irresponsible” for keeping secret documents at his Mar-a-Lago home and resort.
“Does he have to eat those words considering what happened with him?” Todd asked.
“It’s certainly embarrassing. Right?” Stabenow answered. “I mean, it’s embarrassing that you would find a small number of documents, certainly not on purpose.”
The senator went on to praise the White House for purportedly cooperating with federal agencies after the Obama-era documents were found at his Delaware home and at an office he used at the Penn Biden Center in Washington.
“They don’t think it’s the right thing and they have been moving to correct it, working with the Department of Justice, working with everyone involved with the [National] Archives. And so from my perspective, you know, it’s one of those moments that obviously they wish hadn’t happened,” Stabenow said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland last week named Robert Hur, a former Maryland US Attorney, to examine whether Biden mishandled the classified documents.
Last November, Garland appointed veteran prosecutor Jack Smith to take over the criminal investigation into the classified documents found at Trump’s Florida resort.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said he supports the special counsels’ investigations, as well as congressional probes, to determine whether national security was compromised.
“I still would like to see Congress do its own assessment of — and receive an assessment from — the intelligence community of whether there was an exposure to others of these documents, whether there was harm to national security, on the case of either set of documents with either president,” he said on ABC News’ “This Week.”
“I think the special counsel was appropriately appointed,” Schiff added.
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who hosted Biden at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church Sunday morning, agreed with Schiff.
“Classified documents are to be taken seriously,” he told the program. “And they are to be handled with a great deal of care. And no one is above the law. So I’m glad to see the Justice Department doing its work, and we ought to let that work proceed … Nobody’s above the law. And we need to get to the bottom of this so that we don’t see this kind of thing happen again.”
House Oversight Committee chair James Comer is already gearing up for an investigation into what he calls “Biden family influence peddling” involving first son Hunter Biden’s overseas business relationships .
The Kentucky Republican said Sunday that he wants to know who had access to the documents found at Biden’s Delaware home and at the Penn Biden Center.
“This is the same type of investigation that the Democrats were so outraged and launched and demanded happen to President Trump,” Comer told CNN’s “State of the Union”. “We would never have known about the possession of the classified documents were it not for investigative reporting by CBS that somehow got a leak to determine that this had happened prior to the election.
“So the administration hasn’t been transparent about what’s going on with President Biden’s possession of classified documents,” he added. “And we just want equal treatment here with respect to how both former President Trump and current President Biden are being treated with the document issue.”