Ranking Member Raskin Demands Equal Access to Information Withheld by Committee Republicans in ‘Top Priority’ Investigation
Washington, D.C. (April 6, 2023)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, sent a letter to Chairman James Comer demanding equal access to information collected by Committee Republicans in their investigation of the Biden family—a probe Chairman Comer has called a “top priority.” The Ranking Member’s letter revealed how Committee Republicans may have misrepresented witness information and have for months refused to share key materials with Committee Democrats as part of their ongoing investigation.
“It has been nearly three months since you assumed responsibility of the Committee, and in that time, I have grown increasingly alarmed by your efforts to shield information from Committee Democrats, including information collected as part of your investigation into members of the President’s family. I am also troubled by your apparent public misrepresentations about certain investigative steps Committee Republicans have taken in this matter—a probe you have deemed your ‘top priority’ in the 118th Congress,” wrote Ranking Member Raskin.
Ranking Member Raskin’s letter raised concerns about Chairman Comer’s frequent television appearances touting investigative steps that Committee Republicans have either taken in secret or that may not have been taken at all. Last month, Chairman Comer made public claims that Committee Republicans had recently obtained information from four witnesses who had appeared before the Committee, while privately telling Democratic Committee staff that that no new witness information, including from whistleblowers, had actually been provided to Committee Republicans.
“Your repeated statements about ‘four people’ suggest that either you have intentionally misrepresented the Committee’s investigative progress to your conservative audience or that key investigative steps have been deliberately withheld from Committee Democrats. In either case, this failure to act transparently and candidly, and to provide the Minority with equal access to Committee information, undermines your pledge to pursue ‘a credible investigation based on facts that is fair and balanced.’ Indeed, your misrepresentations and refusal to disclose relevant information to the Committee call into serious question your investigative techniques, the ‘facts’ you have uncovered, and the narratives you appear intent on composing,” continued Ranking Member Raskin.
In his letter to Chairman Comer, Ranking Member Raskin also criticized Committee Republicans for relying on information allegedly obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop’s hard drive to justify advancing their investigation, including through subpoenas, while refusing to provide Committee Democrats with a copy of the underlying materials.
“For the past ten months, you have refused to share with the Minority a copy of the ‘hard drive’ reportedly obtained from Hunter Biden’s missing laptop even as you repeatedly refer to it in letters and reports, and frequently invoke documents purportedly obtained from it. You have even used this information to seek the personal financial information of private citizens—dating as far back as January 2009—through the use of compulsory process. Rather than provide the Minority with equal access to this drive, you have directed us to obtain the information from other sources—including from a questionable public website or from John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the computer repair shop that allegedly obtained Hunter Biden’s laptop. But Mr. Mac Isaac has called into serious question the integrity of the same hard drive he reportedly unlawfully disseminated, stating that it may have been compromised by its mysterious chain of custody and some information now attributed to it cannot be verified or authenticated,” wrote Ranking Member Raskin.
Republicans’ failure to honor the Committee’s long-standing practice of providing the minority party equal access to information calls into further question the integrity of and motivations for this investigation. In his letter, Ranking Member Raskin demanded that Committee Republicans provide immediate access and answers to questions about the withheld information to allow Committee Democrats to authenticate and assess the credibility of evidence upon which Committee Republicans have relied in this investigation.
Click here to read today’s letter.