Justice Department Denies GOP Request for Biden Classified Documents


The Justice Department on Monday denied a request by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan for confidential information related to the DOJ’s investigation into classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s home and a former office.

In a letter obtained by NBC News, a senior Justice Department official said the department would cooperate as much as it could, but would not release non-public information about the investigation.

“It is the Department’s long-standing policy to maintain the confidentiality of such information with respect to open matters,” Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Carlos Uriarte wrote to Jordan, R-Ohio.

“Disclosing non-public information about ongoing investigations could violate legal requirements or court orders, reveal roadmaps of our investigations, and interfere with the Department’s ability to gather facts, interview witnesses, and prosecute criminally where warranted. Maintaining confidentiality also safeguards the rights, personal safety and privacy interests of the people involved in or assisting in our investigations,” he added.

Jordan on Jan. 13 demanded information about the discovery of Obama-era documents that had been in Biden’s possession, including all records and communications related to the Justice Department investigation.

A Jordan spokesperson tore up the department’s response.

“It is troubling, to say the least, that the Department is more interested in making policy than cooperating,” Russell Dye said in a statement.

A House Democratic aide said the Justice Department’s response should not have come as a surprise to the Ohio Republican. “Jim Jordan knew all along that he had no right to disrupt ongoing criminal investigations. The question is whether he will grab his pearls and feign outrage, or really sit down and work with a Department that seems willing to give him at least part of the information you have requested,” the aide said.

Uriarte notified Jordan earlier this month of the DOJ’s policy regarding ongoing investigations.

“Long-standing Department policy prevents us from confirming or denying the existence of pending investigations in response to congressional requests or from providing nonpublic information about our investigations,” Uriarte wrote at the time.

In a separate letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee obtained by NBC News on Sunday, Uriarte said the Justice Department was working with the intelligence community to provide insight into ongoing national security assessments of the Biden case. and a separate investigation of documents that had been withheld from the Justice Department by former President Donald Trump.

“We are working with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to support the provision of information that fulfills the Committee’s responsibilities without harming the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigations,” he wrote, adding that “prosecutors in both cases are actively working to enable share information with the Committee.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., told reporters Monday that the Justice Department’s letter “did not give us any additional guidance as to when” panel members will get a substantive response.

Senators on the committee were furious last week after Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines in a closed-door briefing refused to show them copies of classified documents discovered at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, Biden’s office and Delaware’s house.

Liz Brown-Kaiser contributed.

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