Ranking Member Raskin Releases New Information Undermining Republicans’ False Claims on Records Handling by Former Biden Staffer
Washington, D.C. (May 3, 2023)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, released a staff memo to Democratic Members providing detailed information on how Committee Republicans have misrepresented the voluntary transcribed interview the Committee conducted with Kathy Chung, former Assistant to then-Vice President Joe Biden. Ranking Member Raskin also called on Chairman James Comer to release the full transcript of the voluntary transcribed interview with Ms. Chung:
“Since launching their investigation into then-Vice President Biden’s handling of classified records, Committee Republicans have peddled false claims and racist innuendo to distract from their unwillingness to investigate former President Trump’s mishandling of and refusal to turn over hundreds of classified records retained at his Mar-a-Lago Club. Committee Republicans have also refused to seek any information about former Vice President Mike Pence’s mishandling of classified documents. Today’s memo shows the extent to which Committee Republicans have lied about Ms. Chung, including the purpose of her position in the White House, in an effort to land airtime on Fox News and Newsmax. To provide the American people a full accounting of the facts, Chairman Comer should publicly release all transcripts in this investigation.”
Prior to the transcribed interview, Chairman Comer asserted that Ms. Chung was specifically hired to move classified documents on the recommendation of Hunter Biden. However, in a letter to the Chairman, Ms. Chung’s attorney explained that she was “hired as an Assistant to the Vice President responsible for office affairs,” “approximately four-and-a half years before the end of his term and therefore before movement of documents and things from his office.” When Ms. Chung’s attorney demanded that Chairman Comer correct his “absurd statements” about Ms. Chung, Republican staff privately conceded that the Chairman “misspoke.” However, Chairman Comer failed to publicly retract his false claims.
Chairman Comer also repeatedly promoted racist and xenophobic conspiracy theories about Ms. Chung, falsely suggesting a connection between Ms. Chung and the Chinese Communist Party in a thinly-veiled attempt to tie Hunter Biden to the records investigation. Ms. Chung, who was born in South Korea, confirmed during the transcribed interview that she does not have any ties to the Chinese Communist Party and that Hunter Biden did not have access to classified documents at the White House or the Penn Biden Center.
During the transcribed interview, Ms. Chung underscored her qualifications and experience handling classified documents and repeatedly confirmed that she did not know or believe that classified documents were among the files that she packed in the Office of the Vice President at the end of the Obama-Biden Administration and unpacked at the Penn Biden Center.
Following more than four hours of questioning, Chairman Comer and other Committee Republicans intentionally mischaracterized previously-released information confirmed by Ms. Chung, including weeks-old reports by the Washington Post and New York Times, as “startling” new findings “learned” for the first time during the interview.
Despite Committee Republicans’ false claims and racist and xenophobic attacks, Ms. Chung fully cooperated with the Committee’s investigation.
On January 31, 2023, Committee Republicans conducted a voluntary transcribed interview with National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) General Counsel, Gary Stern, following reports that classified records had been recovered from President Biden’s former office at the Penn Biden Center. Following the interview, Chairman Comer and Committee Republicans publicly misrepresented Mr. Stern’s statements during the interview and released cherry-picked information to support their partisan spin.
On March 7, 2023, Ranking Member Raskin released a staff memo, correcting Committee Republicans’ inaccurate claims about NARA’s and Mr. Stern’s handling of presidential and classified records.
On April 4, 2023, Committee Republicans conducted a voluntary transcribed interview with Ms. Chung regarding her role in handling classified and presidential records during the Obama-Biden Administration.
To date, Committee Republicans have failed to publicly release the transcripts for either of the interviews conducted as part of this investigation.
Click here for Committee Democrats’ staff memo.
Click here to read the letter from Ms. Chung’s counsel to Chairman Comer.