National Archives Given Deadline After Lawsuit
The United States government watchdog Southeastern Legal Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in response to their failure to produce over 5,000 emails and other electronic documents related to the multiple fake names President Joe Biden appears to have used while acting in his capacity as vice president.
Noting that the NARA admitted in a June 24, 2022, letter that documents exist involving accounts in these names in the Biden vice presidential records, the SLF claimed the agency has yet to produce a single email after 14 months since the watchdog group’s October 2021 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
“All too often, public officials abuse their power by using it for their personal or political benefit. When they do, many seek to hide it,” asserted Southeastern Legal Foundation general counsel Kimberly Hermann. “The only way to preserve governmental integrity is for NARA to release Biden’s nearly 5,400 emails to SLF and thus the public. The American public deserves to know what is in them.”
The SLF has identified three primary aliases Biden has used among the 5,138 alleged emails and other records in the National Archives’ possession—Robin Ware, Robert L. Peters, and JRB Ware—although the New York Post noted in 2021 that Hunter Biden's laptop suggested his father corresponded under the "Peter Henderson" alias as well.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, then issued a demand to the NARA on Aug. 17 to produce the records no later than Aug. 31.
“Evidence reveals that access was wide open for his family’s influence peddling,” said Comer, intimating records might shed light on whether “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.”
Braden Boucek, SLF litigation director and a plaintiff in the case, noted, “Public transparency is the most vital check the citizens have for holding our political class accountable. After over a year of trying to work with NARA, its continued unreasonable delays have forced SLF to file this lawsuit.”
Now, the National Archives has until Thursday to comply with the House Oversight Committee’s demand. If the agency fails to comply, the federal court may force their hand in the SLF case, the outcome of which could spell out whether Joe Biden sacrificed transparency in favor of personal gain.