The U.S. Secret Service is in the process of “gathering” information on those who may have visited locations linked to President Joe Biden at which classified documents have also been found, as the Washington Examiner reports.
The agency's activities come on the heels of a request made this week by Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley (IA) and Ron Johnson (WI) for visitor logs, or at least a list of “all individuals” who entered Biden's Wilmington, Delaware home and/or the Washington D.C. Office of his University of Pennsylvania-affiliated think tank, the Penn Biden Center, as The Hill notes.
Writing to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle on Monday, the lawmakers said, “As part of our ongoing congressional investigation, we request that no later than Feb. 2, 2023, the Secret Service provide a full and complete list of all individuals who entered the locations where classified records pertaining to then-Vice President Biden's tenure have been identified.”
The senators also made reference to media reports that the agency would be willing to “turn over documentation of visitors” to Biden's Wilmington residence “if requested by Congress.”
In a statement issued separately from his joint letter with Grassley, Johnson slammed the president's alleged mishandling of classified documentation, some of which reportedly goes back to his days in the Senate.
“After decades in Washington, Joe Biden certainly knows how classified information should be handled, but he arrogantly doesn't believe the rules apply to him,” Johnson said. “The public deserves a full accounting of individuals that may have had access to these classified records.”
According to the Examiner, the Secret Service is now endeavoring to review the senators' request and remains “in the process of gathering” information and “working through appropriate channels to find records that could “be responsive to Congressional inquiries.”
Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi acknowledged receipt of the senators' concerns but noted that agency does not customarily generate and maintain “formal and comprehensive visitor logs” for the personal residences of those under its protection.
In a message to the Examiner, Guglielmi elaborated on that point, saying, “What I mean by that is there is not a system of validated visitor logs like you find at the White House or other government facilities that fall under the Presidential Records Act.”
Having said that, however, the Secret Service spokesman declared that the agency does keep some records related to visitors at such sites, including “contractors” or “workers,” adding that information is also collected about the “law enforcement and criminal justice” backgrounds of those who visit sites such as those at issue.
Despite the lack of concrete information from the Secret Service so far, as Fox News reported, numerous people are known to have spent time at Biden's Wilmington house during the time the recently discovered classified documents were stored there, and the identifies of some of them tend to raise real national security concerns.
Perhaps most significant among the known visitors to the Wilmington residence is first son, Hunter Biden, who is said to have lived – or at least represented himself as living – at the home during 2018 and 2019, as Fox News notes.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Biden used his Wilmington basement as a veritable campaign headquarters, bringing with him a host of staffers and technical support personnel who were routinely on site and could conceivably access the areas where records were found, and his many weekend visits to Delaware also involve a full contingent of aides and security staffers, further broadening the list of people to whom classified materials may have been wrongfully accessible.
According to Guglielmi, there is not “an estimate as of yet” as to when visitor information pertaining to the Wilmington house will be released by the Secret Service, but it seems clear that Republicans in Congress are unwilling to wait indefinitely for the sort of transparency that is long overdue.