“Like every President in decades of modern history, his personal residence is personal,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement to media outlets.
The U.S. Secret Service, which provides security for the president, doesn’t keep logs for any facility—including private residences—according to Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the agency.
The service screens visitors but doesn’t keep records of who is vetted, Guglielmi told The Epoch Times. There are no plans to change that because each person would still need to be vetted each time they visit, he noted.
The Secret Service, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request for records on visitors to Biden’s residences in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, told The Epoch Times that no records were located.
Classified documents were found on three separate occasions at the Wilmington residence, according to Biden lawyer Richard Sauber. The first discovery came in 2022, after classified materials were located in an office in Washington that Biden used from 2017 to 2019, according to the Department of Justice. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Biden appointee, has tapped a special counsel to investigate the findings.
Special counsel Robert Hur will “investigate whether any person or entity violated the law in connection with this matter,” Garland said in his appointment announcement.
The total number of documents that have been found is unclear.
A “small number” of documents with classified markings were found at the Penn Biden Center office in the nation’s capital, according to the White House. Six documents with the markings were found at the Wilmington house, according to Sauber, including five that were discovered on Jan. 12.
The Department of Justice has taken possession of at least some of the materials.
Sauber has claimed that the records, which were said to date from the Obama–Biden administration, were “inadvertently placed” at multiple locations. Biden was vice president from 2009 to 2017.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, demanded over the weekend that Biden make visitors logs for the Wilmington property public.
“President Biden’s mishandling of classified materials raises the issue of whether he has jeopardized our national security. Without a list of individuals who have visited his residence, the American people will never know who had access to these highly sensitive documents,” Comer wrote in a letter to Ron Klain, White House chief of staff.
According to documents that Comer’s committee has obtained, the Wilmington address was used by the president’s son Hunter Biden as recently as 2018.
“The Committee is concerned President Biden stored classified documents at the same location his son resided while engaging in international business deals with adversaries of the United States,” Comer wrote in a separate letter to a White House lawyer.
Other Republicans, including Reps. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.), had also asked for the records.
Comer, after the White House said it didn’t have any visitor logs for the house, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement: “President Biden promised to have the most transparent administration in history, but he refuses to be transparent when it matters most.
“The White House, National Archives, and the Justice Department withheld information from Congress and the American people about classified records found in unsecure locations from Joe Biden’s time as vice president. The American people deserve transparency, not secrecy. We will continue to press the Biden Administration for answers about who had access to these classified documents and why Biden aides were permitted to rummage through the Wilmington residence after the appointment of a special counsel.”
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, wrote on Twitter that the lack of visitor logs will enable Congress to “seek alternative sources for the information, including interviewing staff and family on past visitors.”
“Those interviews are subject to criminal penalties for false statements,” he wrote.
White House Logs
Sams noted that Biden, after taking office, had resumed publishing logs of visitors to the White House.
Former President Donald Trump declined to publish most logs of visitors to the White House, with an administration spokesperson saying at the time that the decision stemmed from “the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.”
An appeals court ruled in 2013 that the logs could be shielded from the public. Then-U.S. District Judge Merrick Garland, a Clinton appointee, stated, in part, that allowing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the logs “could substantially affect the president’s ability to meet confidentially with foreign leaders, agency officials, or members of the public.”
A woman challenged the Trump administration’s shielding of the logs in 2017 after her FOIA request was denied, but a different appeals court in 2020 upheld the 2013 decision.
Biden spent the weekend in Wilmington, departing on Jan. 16. He hasn’t spoken to the press since Jan. 12, when he said the materials at his house were in a “locked garage” and in “file cabinets in my home and my personal library.”
“We take this very seriously. The President takes a classified information, classified documents very seriously,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters the following day. “We have addressed this issue multiple times at length. And we have been fully cooperating with the Department of Justice. And now we will be doing the same with the special counsel’s office.”
Comer said on CNN on Jan. 15 that he wouldn’t ask for visitor logs from Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump’s residence, or otherwise probe Trump. Classified documents were found at the Florida home in 2022 by FBI agents executing a search warrant.
“There have been so many investigations of President Trump, I don’t feel like we need to spend a whole lot of time investigating President Trump, because the Democrats have done that for the past six years,” Comer said. “So no one’s been investigated more than Donald Trump. Who hasn’t been investigated is Joe Biden. And that’s why we’re finally launching an investigation of Joe Biden, the House Oversight Committee … and I hope to have it wrapped up as soon as possible.”
Source: The Epoch Times