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Comer suggests ‘influence peddling’ in Trump admin will be part of Biden investigation

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., suggested Sunday that “influence peddling” in the Trump administration will be part of the Republicans’ investigations in the new GOP-controlled House.

During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Comer spoke about the committee’s investigation into the Biden family’s domestic and international business dealings, as well as President Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.

Anchor Jake Tapper asked the congressman why he was not investigating former President Trump, whose Florida home was raided over classified documents.

“I mean, there are questions about influence peddling when it comes to the Trump family,” Tapper said. “There’s questions about visitor logs when it comes to Mar-a-Lago.”

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Flanked by House Republicans, U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-KY) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on November 17, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Comer suggested Trump would also be under the microscope.

“And I think the influence peddling with respect to the Trump administration will be a part of our overall investigation, because both Democrats and Republicans have complained about this with the previous two administrations,” he said. “So something needs to be done. Also, something needs to be done with respect to how classified documents leave the White House and go to the post-presidency…. That’s another issue we will try to fix from a legislative point of view.”

Comer then hedged a bit, saying he did not feel like a “whole lot of time” needed to be spent on Trump.

“But with respect to investigating President Trump,” he continued, “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. 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, one investigation, and I hope to have it wrapped up as soon as possible.”

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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Comer sent a letter Sunday to White House chief of staff Ron Klain requesting more documents and communications related to the discoveries of multiple Obama-era classified documents in multiple locations at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. The first discovery was made on Nov. 2, just six days before the midterm elections, but it wasn’t made public until CBS reported on it last Monday.

Attorney General Merrick Garland last week appointed a special counsel to investigate Biden’s alleged mishandling of the documents. 

President Joe Biden walks over to talk with reporters before he and first lady Jill Biden board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.

President Joe Biden walks over to talk with reporters before he and first lady Jill Biden board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.
((AP Photo/Susan Walsh))

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Comer said he did not know yet whether Biden broke the law but accused the White House of not being transparent. 

“Why didn’t we hear about this on November 2nd when the first batch of classified documents were discovered?” he asked. “Remember, they were quick to call for a special counsel prior to the midterm elections. And Joe Biden used it as his closing argument during the midterm elections that Republicans were a threat to democracy, and he cited the fact that President Trump mishandled the documents. While he was doing this, he knew very well that he himself had possession of classified documents. So the hypocrisy here is great. We’re very concerned about a lack of transparency. We’re very concerned, as I’ve said many times, about a two-tier system of justice in America. And we just want equal treatment. And hopefully we’ll get some answers very soon.”

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