The White House’s narrative on President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents is being undermined by the congressional testimony of Biden’s former executive assistant, Kathy Chung, according to House Oversight Committee Chairman, James Comer (R-Ky.)
Comer released a statement on April 4, saying that Chung provided “startling information that undermines the Biden White House’s narrative on the matter” when she appeared before the panel for a transcribed interview.
“Today we learned that when Joe Biden left the vice presidency, boxes containing classified documents, vice presidential records, and other items were stored in three different locations around the Washington, D.C. area, including an office near the White House, an office in Chinatown, and eventually the Penn Biden Center,” Comer said.
Chung, who is now the Pentagon’s Deputy Director of Protocol, was one of the staffers who helped pack Biden’s materials at the end of his vice presidency, according to media reports. The materials Chung assisted in packing eventually ended up at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania.
Biden’s lawyers found a “small number” of records with classified markings in what was described as “a locked closet” at the Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2, 2022, according to Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president. The records were turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) the next day.
On Jan. 10, one day after Sauber’s disclosure, Biden confirmed that documents were founded in the closet and added that he was “surprised to learn” that classified documents were found in his former private office.
However, Comer said Chung’s testimony disputed the locked-closet claim.
“At some point, the boxes containing classified materials were transported by personal vehicles to an office location,” Comer said. “The boxes were not in a ‘locked closet’ at the Penn Biden Center and remained accessible to Penn Biden employees as well as potentially others with access to the office space.”
Biden’s term as vice president ended in January 2017. A month later, he became an honorary professor at the University of Pennsylvania and was given the role of leading the school’s Penn Biden Center, which officially opened in February 2018. According to the university’s website, Biden also had an office on the school’s campus in Philadelphia.
Biden was placed on unpaid leave in April 2019, when he announced he was running for president.
Comer also disputed the White House’s timeline of events surrounding Biden’s classified documents.
“We also learned today that then-White House Counsel Dana Remus tasked Kathy Chung with retrieving these boxes from the Penn Biden Center as early as May 2022,” Comer said. “This story does not begin in November 2022, as represented by President Biden’s attorney.
“In the coming days, the Oversight Committee will follow up with persons of interest in this investigation.”
However, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, gave a different account of Chung’s testimony, saying that she didn’t know about the classified documents at the Penn Biden Center until November last year.
“Ms. Chung has cooperated with Committee Republicans every step of the way—providing materials to investigators, voluntarily sitting for an interview, and working in good faith with Congress,” Raskin said in an April 4 statement.
Raskin added, “She repeatedly explained that she was unaware that there were alleged classified documents at the Penn Biden Center until November 2022, when the documents were first discovered by counsel for President Biden.
“Prior to today’s voluntary transcribed interview, Committee Republicans knowingly misrepresented Ms. Chung’s role with then-Vice President Biden and promoted a baseless, outrageous, and racist conspiracy theory about her, all in order to create a mirage of fake evidence for their empty attacks on President Biden,” Rasksin said.
On Jan. 12, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur, a former federal prosecutor, as special counsel to oversee the inquiry into Biden’s documents.
Another batch of documents with classification markings was found at Biden’s Delaware home, the White House stated on Jan. 14.
Biden has drawn criticism from within his own party over his handling of the classified documents.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the White House for comment.