House Oversight Chairman James Comer is once again taking aim at President Joe Biden’s retention of classified documents, demanding a transcribed interview and documents from former White House Counsel Dana Remus, the committee announced Friday.
“The Committee has learned that you were a central figure in the early stages of coordinating the packing and moving of boxes that were later found to contain classified materials,” Comer wrote in a letter to Remus. “The President’s haphazard handling of classified materials raises many additional questions about the repercussions of these actions, including possible threats to national security.”
Comer said he wants more details about why Remus tasked Kathy Chung, Biden’s former executive assistant, with packing up Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center, even though Chung was no longer working as Biden’s assistant. Remus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The letter included snippets of Chung’s testimony, in which she told the committee that when she packed 13 boxes for Biden in June 2022, the boxes were not put in a locked closet.
In an earlier statement, Richard Sauber, special counsel to President Biden said the classified documents “were discovered when the president’s personal attorneys were packing files housed in a locked closet to prepare to vacate office space at the Penn Biden Center,” in November 2022.
According to a source familiar with Chung’s testimony, Chung was read Sauber’s statement during her transcribed interview and she said she had no reason to believe that statement was untrue.
It is not clear whether those files were part of the documents Chung packed in June or whether Biden’s personal attorneys discovered additional files in November.
The White House declined to comment, citing the ongoing special counsel investigation. In January, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to take over the investigation into Obama-era classified documents found at Biden’s home and former private office.
CNN previously reported that Chung told the committee she was not aware there were classified documents in the boxes she packed for Biden.
Excerpts from Chung’s interview with the committee also reveal that she was surprised that the boxes she packed up at the Penn Biden Center in June 2022 still had not been picked up in October 2022. In excerpts of Chung’s interview released by Democrats on the committee earlier this week, there was no mention of Chung inquiring why the boxes she packed up in June still had not been picked up in October.
According to emails Chung shared with the panel that were revealed Friday, a Penn Biden Center employee emailed Chung on October 4, 2022, telling her that the boxes she packed up at the Penn Biden Center on June 28, 2022, still had not been picked up.
Chung wrote back, “wait. Did they not pick up back in June,” and told the panel in her interview that she was surprised by this.
On October 13, 2022, Chung notified Biden’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer, that the boxes still remained at the Penn Biden Center. Bauer texted Chung back to say that a former personal attorney for Biden, Patrick Moore, was going through the boxes. As CNN has previously reported, Moore made the initial discovery of classified material while packing up Biden’s former think tank office, and has spoken to federal investigators in the initial review of Biden’s handling of classified documents.
“So we should get this organized in the near future,” Bauer said in the text to Chung.
Chung also acknowledged in her interview that Hunter Biden, the president’s son, had asked if she was interested in serving as assistant to then-Vice President Biden back in 2012. Chung and Hunter Biden had previously worked together.
“Hunter Biden called me and asked me if I was interested in the position,” Chung told the committee.
Chung’s attorney has previously criticized Comer for how he has characterized Chung’s hiring.
“For you to say she got the job ‘to help with the Biden family moving documents at the recommendation of Hunter Biden; and further that you expect to pursue some bizarre notion that Hunter Biden recommended her because of a purported interest in documents indicates to us the real possibility that you do not intend to treat Ms. Chung fairly,” Chung’s lawyer told Comer in a March letter, previously reported by CNN.