Lead Republicans on the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden on Tuesday subpoenaed Attorney General Merrick Garland for records related to Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation.
"The Justice Department has closed its investigation into classified documents, but the Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee’s investigation continues,” Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), who issued the subpoena alongside Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), said in a statement.
Hur, in a report released earlier this month, found that criminal charges related to Biden’s handling of classified documents wouldn’t be warranted even if DOJ lacked an internal policy against prosecuting sitting presidents. The report added that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency,” but it didn’t “establish Mr. Biden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Hur is scheduled to testify about his investigation next month before the Judiciary Committee, and Republicans are eager to ask him about the report’s descriptions of Biden. That includes a line that says Biden would be perceived in any court proceedings as a “sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.”
The subpoena comes after House Republicans requested information earlier this month about Hur’s investigation. That includes any records, including recordings, related to Biden’s interview with Hur’s team. They also want classified documents identified in the report related to Ukraine, and any communication between the Justice Department, Biden’s personal counsel and the White House about the special counsel report.
House Republicans are investigating Biden’s handling of classified documents as part of a sweeping impeachment inquiry that has largely focused on the business deals of Biden’s family members.
Republicans, in Tuesday’s letter, said that the Justice Department hadn’t offered a timeframe for when it would turn over the requested records, or a commitment that it would give GOP investigators everything they are requesting.
Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte told Republicans in a Feb. 16 letter obtained by POLITICO that the Justice Department was “working to gather and process materials responsive” to their requests. That process, according to Uriarte’s letter, would require a classification review and sharing material with the executive branch to determine if it would “assert any confidentiality interests.”
“We have already begun this process. The Department is committed to responding to the committees’ requests expeditiously, consistent with the law, longstanding Department policies and principles, and available resources,” Uriarte added.