WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) today is calling on the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to provide then-Vice President Joe Biden’s records regarding his duties as Vice President that overlapped with his son’s activities in Ukraine. Chairman Comer is requesting all unredacted documents and communications in which then-Vice President Joe Biden used a pseudonym; Hunter Biden, Eric Schwerin, or Devon Archer is copied; and all drafts of then-Vice President Biden’s speech delivered to the Ukrainian Rada in December 2015.
“Joe Biden has stated there was ‘an absolute wall’ between his family’s foreign business schemes and his duties as Vice President, but evidence reveals that access was wide open for his family’s influence peddling. We already have evidence of then-Vice President Biden speaking, dining, and having coffee with his son’s foreign business associates. We also know that Hunter Biden and his associates were informed of then-Vice President Biden’s official government duties in countries where they had a financial interest. The National Archives must provide these unredacted records to further our investigation into the Biden family’s corruption,” said Chairman Comer.
In August 2019, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden stated that when he was Vice President there was “an absolute wall between the personal and private, and the government” and “that is why I have never talked with my son or my brother, or anyone else in the distant family about their business interests, period.” Witness testimony reveals then-President Biden spoke on speakerphone with his son’s foreign business associates over 20 times, dined with corrupt foreign oligarchs in Washington, D.C., and met with his son’s Chinese business associate for coffee in Beijing. Emails in NARA’s custody also reveal how Hunter Biden and his associates were copied on official government email.
Below is the full text of the letter. The signed letter can be found here.
The Honorable Colleen Shogan
Archivist of the United States
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20408
Dear Dr. Shogan:
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating President Biden’s meetings and communications with certain family members and their business associates during his tenure as Vice President. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has published the Biden Vice Presidential Records Collection, which contains information relevant to the Committee’s work. Many of these records have been redacted for publication pursuant to the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). To further our investigation, it is essential that the Committee review these documents in their original format.
The Committee seeks unrestricted special access under the PRA to Case Number 2023-0022-F, entitled “Email Messages To and/or From Vice President Biden and Hunter Biden related to Burisma and Ukraine,” which has been published on NARA’s website. These records have been redacted for public release pursuant to the PRA and FOIA. For example, an email bearing the subject “Friday Schedule Card,” is withheld in part under a “P6” and “b(6)” restrictions, denoting personal information regarding the subject under the PRA and FOIA respectively. Attached to this email, and made available on the NARA website, is a document that indicates on 9:00 a.m. on May 27, 2016, Vice President Biden took a call with the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. It is concerning to the Committee, however, that this document was sent to “Robert L. Peters”—a pseudonym the Committee has identified as then Vice-President Biden. Additionally, the Committee questions why the then-Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden—and only Hunter Biden—was copied on this email to then-Vice President Biden.
To further our investigation, the Committee needs to review these documents in their original format. The Committee also requests access to certain other documents and information described below. Please provide these documents no later than August 31, 2023:
- Complete, unredacted versions of all documents from Case Number 2023-0022-F;
- Any document or communication in which a pseudonym for Vice President Joe Biden was included either as a sender, recipient, copied or was included in the contents of the document or communication, including but not limited to Robert Peters, Robin Ware, and JRB Ware;
- Any document or communication in which Hunter Biden, Eric Schwerin, or Devon Archer was included either as a sender, recipient, copied, or was included in the contents of the document or communication; and
- All drafts from November 1, 2015 to December 9, 2015 of then-Vice President Biden’s speech delivered to the Ukrainian Rada on December 9, 2015.
Special access to presidential records may be granted “to…Congress” and “to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction, to any committee… if such records contain information that is needed for the conduct of its business and that is not otherwise available….” Furthermore, the PRA subjects Vice-Presidential records to its provisions “in the same manner as Presidential records.”
The Committee’s need for these Vice-Presidential records is specific and well-documented. The Committee seeks to craft legislative solutions aimed at deficiencies it has identified in the current legal framework regarding ethics laws and disclosure of financial interests related to the immediate family members of Vice Presidents and Presidents—deficiencies that may place American national security and interests at risk. The Committee is concerned that foreign nationals have sought access and influence by engaging in lucrative business relationships with high-profile political figures’ immediate family members, including members of the Biden family. For additional information regarding the Committee’s legislative purpose regarding its investigation of the Biden family’s international business, the Committee would direct you to three bank records memoranda it has released this year.
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability has specific jurisdiction over NARA under House Rule X. Additionally, the Committee on Oversight and Accountability is the principal oversight committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time” under House Rule X.
To schedule the delivery of responsive documents or if you have questions regarding this request, please contact Committee on Oversight and Accountability staff at (202) 225-5074. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important investigation.
Committee on Oversight and Accountability