Ranking Member Raskin’s Statement on Special Counsel Hur Report

Feb 8, 2024
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (February 8, 2024)—Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, issued the following statement after Special Counsel Robert Hur released a report on President Biden’s handling of classified records:

 

“Today’s report shows that the White House, President Biden, and his former staff fully cooperated with the Special Counsel investigation.  The White House decision not to exert privilege over any portion of the Special Counsel’s report reflects the President’s basic commitment to cooperation and transparency.  After a thorough year-long investigation, the Special Counsel concluded that President Biden retained a small number of records, including personal notebooks, containing classified information.  As the Special Counsel found, President Biden’s conduct, which bears striking resemblances to former Vice President Pence and former President Ronald Reagan’s handling of classified information following their terms of office, does not warrant criminal charges.

 

“To be clear, and as the Special Counsel’s report explicitly notes, there is plainly no comparison here to the conduct of former President Trump.  Trump obstructed efforts by the National Archives and law enforcement to recover hundreds of government documents by deliberately hiding them, lying about their whereabouts, and enlisting others to destroy and conceal evidence.  Trump willfully and unlawfully held onto hundreds of presidential and classified records, which he kept in a bathroom, ballroom, office, and other locations at Mar-A-Lago, and repeatedly showed them off to guests. 

 

“Oversight Democrats stand ready to work on a bipartisan basis to implement legislative reforms to strengthen the preservation of presidential records by putting in place greater safeguards to prevent the inadvertent retention of these records.  We will also continue to explore ways to deal with the more difficult problem of officials who deliberately steal and conceal confidential and top-secret government documents.”

 

Background

 

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 Kathy Chung, former executive assistant to then-Vice President Biden, regarding her role in handling classified and presidential records during the Obama-Biden Administration.

 

On May 3, 2023, Ranking Member Raskin released a staff memo providing detailed information on how Committee Republicans have misrepresented the voluntary transcribed interview with Ms. Chung.

 

To date, Committee Republicans have failed to publicly release the transcripts for either of the interviews conducted as part of this investigation.

 

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118th Congress