McCarthy says DOJ treatment of Trump, Biden classified document investigations ‘does not seem fair’
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday responded to an accusation from the White House that Republicans were launching ‘hypocritical’ investigations into President Biden’s handling of classified documents, pledging that lawmakers would conduct oversight of the special counsel investigations into both Trump and Biden.
Speaking to reporters, McCarthy defended a new probe led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, into Biden’s alleged ‘mishandling’ of classified records and the special counsel investigation into the matter. The White House blasted the House GOP probe Monday, telling Fox News Digital, ‘House Republicans are playing politics in a shamelessly hypocritical attempt to attack President Biden.’
McCarthy answered the accusation of hypocrisy by contrasting how the Justice Department treated former President Trump with how Biden has been treated. He said that Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Biden only after ‘other people raised the issue,’ asking, ‘Are the same amount of agents investigating this that are investigating President Trump?
‘Is the same push behind it? It just does not seem fair,’ he added. ‘This is why the American people get so upset and distrust their government when they see the law is not applied equally.’
The FBI led a raid on Trump’s Florida home at Mar-a-Lago last year, seizing some 300 documents with classified markings, including some labeled top secret. Trump had neglected to turn those materials over to the National Archives as required by federal law. However, his legal team has said it was in negotiations to do so before the raid. Trump is now under criminal investigation by a special counsel appointed by Garland.
In Biden’s case, the president’s personal attorneys on Nov. 2 found 10 classified documents at his old office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., a University of Pennsylvania think tank where Biden taught before becoming president. More documents were later found at Biden’s private home in Wilmington, Delaware, including in his garage, but these discoveries were not disclosed until last week.
The president’s legal team says all the recovered documents were immediately turned over to the National Archives and the Justice Department. They have emphasized Biden is fully cooperating with DOJ and the second special counsel appointed to investigate the matter. House Republicans have meanwhile begun their own investigations, with the GOP-led House Judiciary and Oversight Committees seeking more information from the Biden administration.
Both Republicans and the White House have since accused each other of double standards over the handling of classified materials.
The White House claims GOP lawmakers did not care about classified records when Trump records were in question, yet cared about the treatment of the former president by the FBI.
Republicans claim the White House and the Biden administration weaponized the DOJ against Trump and are now downplaying the fact that Biden improperly retained classified records.
Asked if he was also concerned that Trump held classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, which was a violation of federal law, McCarthy said he has concerns ‘with any classified documents’ there ‘or anywhere else.’
‘We have a constitutional responsibility to oversee the Justice Department and that also means overseeing the special counsels, so we will look into both situations,’ he said.
Fox News’ Brook Singman contributed to this report.