Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who is expected to become chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee next year, said the panel would not prioritize the investigation into classified documents seized at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as it instead eyes a number of other probes once the GOP takes the majority.
“That will not be a priority,” Comer told CNN in an interview, adding that the committee is “just waiting to see what comes out of that.”
The House Oversight and Reform Committee, currently chaired by outgoing Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), has been investigating Trump’s mishandling of presidential records for several months. The probe is separate from the Department of Justice’s investigation into the matter, which drew headlines in August when the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago.
Maloney sent a letter to the acting archivist of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Debra Steidel Wall, in September, urging the agency to try and obtain a “personal certification” from Trump that he has given up all presidential records he removed from the White House. She also asked that the group administer “an urgent review” of the records recovered.
The letter came after reports revealed that Trump’s representatives may have misled investigators regarding his possession of classified documents, and after news surfaced that there were empty folders for classified materials at his residence.
In August, Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee penned a letter to Wall asking about the role it played in the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago.
Pressed on if he believes NARA when it says it does not decide matters based on politics, Comer told CNN “we’ll have to wait and see.”
“I know that the day that National Archives met with Carolyn Maloney, was the day that they contacted the DOJ about their concern. So I don’t know,” Comer told the network. “I don’t get involved in a lot of the drama from the last administration.”
Comer, the current ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, is expected to secure the chairmanship next year, when Republicans take control of the House. Republicans have vowed to conduct a number of investigations on various topics in the majority.
The list of potential targets includes Hunter Biden — the son of President Biden — and the family’s business activities, alleged politicization in the Department of Justice, the origins of COVID-19, last year’s messy withdrawal from Afghanistan, the increase of migrants at the southern border and the Biden administration’s policies.