The Justice Department on Monday denied a request from the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee to turn over materials related to President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, saying doing so could jeopardize its investigation.
Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriate wrote in a letter to committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, that the information lawmakers have requested could hamper the ongoing special counsel investigation into the matter.
“Your letter also requests non-public information that is central to the ongoing special counsel investigation. The department’s longstanding policy is to maintain the confidentiality of such information regarding open matters,” Mr. Uriate wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Washington Times.
“Disclosures to Congress about active investigations risk jeopardizing those investigations and creating the appearance that Congress may be exerting improper political pressure or attempting to influence department decisions in certain cases,” the letter stated.
Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this month appointed Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate how classified materials from Mr. Biden’s time in the Senate and as vice president turned up in his Wilmington, Delaware home and at a former office in Washington.
Russell Dye, a spokesperson for Mr. Jordan, slammed the Justice Department for its unwillingness to share information with the committee.
“Our members are rightly concerned about the Justice Department’s double standard here, after all, some of the Biden documents were found at a think tank that’s received funds from communist China. It’s concerning, to say the least, that the department is more interested in playing politics than cooperating,” Mr. Dye said.
Mr. Uriate’s letter was in response to a request from Mr. Jordan for all documents and communications related to the Justice Department’s investigation into the classified documents. That includes correspondence with Mr. Biden’s attorney and documents related to the appointment of a special counsel.
As the Justice Department sees it, disclosing such information would run afoul of its internal guidelines as well as special counsel regulations protecting the integrity of such investigations, by not keeping confidential information surrounding the probe.
“Disclosing non-public information about ongoing investigations could violate statutory requirements or court orders, reveal road maps of our investigations, and interfere with the department’s ability to gather facts, interview witnesses, and bring criminal prosecutions where warranted,” Mr. Uriate wrote.