Latest News 07-12-2023 00:12 8 Views

White House offers meeting with House GOP over subpoena standoff in Biden classified docs probe

FIRST ON FOX: The White House is offering to meet with House Republicans to discuss their subpoena for former White House Counsel Dana Remus, suggesting her testimony could violate Executive Branch interests and threaten the ongoing special counsel investigation into President Biden’s alleged improper retention of classified records.

Fox News Digital obtained a letter Special Counsel to the President Richard Sauber wrote to House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan.

'We were pleased to read that after several months of not responding to my letters, you are now ready to discuss accommodations to address the substantial Executive Branch institutional interests implicated by your subpoena to former White House Counsel Dana Remus,' Sauber wrote in a letter to Comer and Jordan Wednesday. 'We propose a meeting with your staff to start this important process.'

Sauber, pointing back to previous correspondence with House Republicans, said that 'by seeking testimony on matters that are the subject of an ongoing Special Counsel investigation, your efforts raise the troubling appearance that Congress seeks to interfere with a Department of Justice investigation.'

'I have also raised concerns about your attempt to use compulsory process as part of your ‘impeachment inquiry,’ as this inquiry, along with subpoenas issued pursuant to it, was not properly authorized,' Sauber wrote.

'Nonetheless, we believe engaging in good faith is critical to avoid a constitutional conflict, and we propose a meeting with your staff to start this important process,' Sauber said. 'Given the compressed timeline created by your waiting nearly three weeks to respond to my prior letter, we expect you will pull down the return date for your subpoena to allow the accommodation process to proceed.'

Sauber’s letter was in response to a previously unreported letter Comer and Jordan sent to Sauber this week in which the committee chairmen said they were 'willing to work with the White House to address any legitimate Executive Branch institutional interests.'

A spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee told Fox News Digital that the White House has been uncooperative with the pending investigations into the president.

'The White House continues to obstruct Congress’ quest for information about President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents and his involvement in his family’s influence peddling schemes. Instead of cooperating with Congress, the White House created a war room with two dozen staffers to combat our constitutional oversight and send snarky letters. The American people deserve better from the White House and we will continue to provide the transparency and accountability they are owed,' the spokesperson said.

Comer and Jordan, last month, subpoenaed former White House Counsel Remus last month to appear for a deposition as part of their investigation into President Biden’s alleged mishandling and improper retention of classified records.

Comer and Jordan said this week that without a 'specific legal basis or privilege that would prohibit her compliance with our subpoenas,' they expect Remus will comply and appear for a deposition.

The White House, last month, requested that the committees 'withdraw all subpoenas issued in connection with this investigation of President Biden,' but House Republicans said White House officials 'did not assert ay legal reason, let alone privilege, that would prevent Ms. Remus from sitting for a deposition with the committees.'

Comer first requested Remus appear for a transcribed interview before the House Oversight Committee in May. That request came after the panel obtained information that they said 'contradicts important details from the White House’s and President Biden’s personal attorney’s statements about the discovery of documents at the Penn Biden Center, including the location and security of the classified documents.'

Comer has described Remus as a 'central figure in the early stages of coordinating the packing and moving of boxes that were later found to contain classified materials.' Comer, in May, said Remus could be a witness 'with potentially unique knowledge' about the matter.

Meanwhile, the subpoena also came after Comer, in October, demanded answers from Special Counsel Robert Hur, who is investigating Biden’s alleged improper retention of classified records, on whether the sensitive, classified documents Biden retained were related to specific countries which were involved in his family’s lucrative foreign business deals.

Comer is investigating the Biden family’s foreign business dealings as part of the House impeachment inquiry, as well as Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.

Comer also requested from Hur a list of the countries named in any documents with classification markings recovered from Penn Biden Center, Biden’s residence, including the garage, in Wilmington, Delaware, or elsewhere; and a list of all individuals named in those documents with classification markings; and all documents found with classified markings.

Biden sat down for an interview with Hur in October.

'As we have said from the beginning, the president and the White House are cooperating with this investigation, and as it has been appropriate, we have provided relevant updates publicly, being as transparent as we can, consistent with protecting and preserving the integrity of the investigation,' White House spokesperson for investigations Ian Sams said after the president's interview with the special counsel. 

Hur’s investigation comes after a batch of records from President Biden's time as vice president, including a 'small number of documents with classified markings,' were discovered at the Penn Biden Center by the president's personal attorneys on Nov. 2, 2022.

Additional classified records were discovered at President Biden’s Wilmington home in January. After that discovery, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur as special counsel to investigate the matter.


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