House Democrats sought to undercut a brewing Oversight Committee investigation into the discovery of records from President Biden’s tenure as vice president, releasing partial transcripts indicating his assistant was unaware there were classified records in the boxes sent to a center bearing his name.
A memo from the panel’s Democrats indicates Biden’s former secretary, Kathy Chung, did not spot any cover sheets for classified documents as she packed the boxes, which largely contained letters and other personal effects, as well as documents from passion projects of Biden’s, including the now-revived Cancer Moonshot.
The memo also condemns committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), accusing him of misrepresenting Chung’s testimony while spreading “false, xenophobic, and racist conspiracy theories.”
The memo points to media appearances by Comer, including those in which he suggests Chung, who was born in South Korea, had ties to Hunter Biden and the Chinese Communist Party, telling Fox’s Maria Bartiromo, “We’re looking into that.”
Chung described her role as packing — but not sorting — the materials in the boxes. She told lawmakers that no members of the Biden family were involved in packing boxes.
Her attorney has since penned a letter, also released by Democrats, accusing Republicans of making false insinuations about her role with Biden ahead of her interview with the committee.
“We now have serious doubts about your intentions and the motivation in requesting a transcribed interview,” Chung’s attorney wrote in a March letter.
“As you well know from reading the relevant emails, Ms. Chung was not hired by the Vice President for the purpose of helping with moving documents. She was hired as an Assistant to the Vice President responsible for office affairs.”
House Republicans are investigating Biden’s handling of classified material after several documents with sensitive markings from his time as vice president were found in an old Washington, D.C., office space and at Biden’s Wilmington, Del., home in late 2022 and early 2023.
Chung told lawmakers during a four-hour interview that she was not aware any classified documents were among the material she packed up in Biden’s office at the end of the Obama administration, according to Democrats on the Oversight Committee.
Excerpts of her testimony include her telling lawmakers that she has experience spotting classified documents and that she would have alerted someone if she had come across those markings while packing up Biden’s office.
The release of the memo takes a page from the book of Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, who earlier this year offered a report that included partial interviews with three GOP witnesses who have accused the FBI of improperly targeting conservatives.
Democrats justified the move by arguing committee Republicans had inflated both the number of witnesses they’d spoken with and their claims, suggesting each had little evidence of wrongdoing.
Wednesday’s memo from House Oversight Democrats similarly casts Republican claims as false and likewise argues that releasing the information was necessary for transparency.
“In light of Chairman Comer’s decision to cherry-pick and misrepresent critical information in this investigation while refusing to publicly release the full interview transcripts, the Committee’s Democratic staff will endeavor to provide ongoing updates to all Democratic Members on the status of this investigation to ensure the Committee’s work is carried out in a transparent fashion,” Democrats write in the final paragraph of their memo.
Attorney General Merrick Garland in January appointed Robert Hur as a special counsel to handle the Justice Department’s review of Biden’s handling of classified documents.
“I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there,” Biden said of the controversy in January. “I have no regrets, I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. That’s exactly what we’re doing, there’s no there there.”
A separate special counsel, Jack Smith, is investigating former President Trump’s handling of classified materials after more than 100 sensitive documents were found at his Mar-a-Lago estate last year.
Former Vice President Mike Pence in late January notified federal officials that a small number of classified documents from his time in the Trump administration were found at his Indiana home. There has not been a special counsel appointed to review Pence’s handling of classified materials.
The Hill has reached out to Comer for comment.