House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner on Thursday brought President Joe Biden’s alleged improper retention and mishandling of classified records from his time as vice president and in the U.S. Senate into the House impeachment inquiry against him.
Turner, R-Ohio, during the first hearing as part of the House impeachment inquiry against President Biden, raised that the president is currently under federal criminal investigation for his alleged mishandling of classified records, blasting him as a “classified document hoarder.”
Beyond Biden’s alleged involvement in his son’s business dealings, Turner said “there’s also another concerning aspect of President Joe Biden’s actions as vice president, for which there is currently a criminal investigation, and that is his misuse of classified documents.”
“There has been appointed by the Department of Justice, by the attorney general, a special prosecutor for the purposes of investigating the federal crimes that could arisen as a result from this president’s misuse of classified documents,” Turner said.
Special Counsel Robert Hur was appointed in January to investigate the president’s alleged improper retention of the records. The status of that investigation, at this point, is unclear.
“This committee, in its scope of this investigation, indicates that these classified materials are also relevant because, example, the Oversight committee has requested information regarding the classified materials discovered in the president’s home, where his son has resided during the time period relevant to the investigation and personal office,” Turner said.
Turner said that the White House “has not provided this information.”
“Obviously, his son was receiving payments from Romania, Russia, Ukraine, China,” Turner said, referring to financial records uncovered by the House Oversight Committee. “If there are in those documents that relate to, for example, the prosecutor in Ukraine or Burisma itself or other aspects of Ukraine or any of the parties or individuals obviously, that were making payments to Hunter Biden, that would be relevant, wouldn’t it?”
Law professor and Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley, a witness at the hearing, agreed, saying “pre-office conduct” should be considered.
Turley, though, said it is “not clear to me” whether Biden’s retention of the records “would amount to an impeachable offense or not.”
“Right,” Turner said. “You have to make that nexus.”
Turner said that, in his role as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he has seen several of the documents Biden had been holding.
“I can tell you they are of the highest level of concern and threat to national security,” Turner said. “I think we do have to get to the bottom of why was he taking them and what was he doing with them.”
Former President Trump was also under separate special counsel investigation for his alleged improper retention of classified records at Mar-a-Lago. Special Counsel Jack Smith charged Trump with 37 federal charges, including willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.
Trump pleaded not guilty to all counts.