CNN's Jake Tapper calls out House Oversight Chairman James Comer for his hypocrisy on Biden documents

Tapper: “President Biden's documents seem like a big priority for you, but President Trump, who took hundreds more documents ... it's not a priority.”

Video file

Citation From the January 15, 2023, edition of CNN's State of the Union

JAKE TAPPER (ANCHOR): So let's go there, because you're talking about the Trump documents. Former President Trump is under an investigation for his own classified documents. There are about 20 in the case of Biden. For Trump there are more than 300 classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. A big difference here just on the facts. Trump did not fully comply with a subpoena. His lawyers falsely told investigators that they turned everything in. Take a listen to what you told CNN about this situation last November.


REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): I don't know much about that. That's not something that we've requested information just to see what was going on because I don't know what documents were at Mar-a-Lago. So that's something we're just waiting to see what comes out of that.

PAMELA BROWN (REPORTER): But is it fair to say that investigation will be a priority?

COMER: That will not be a priority.


TAPPER: So, what you're saying to viewers who don't understand why President Biden's documents seem like a big priority for you, but President Trump, who took hundreds more documents, did not comply with a subpoena, did not reach out to the National Archives or the Justice Department to say, "Hey, we found these documents," it's not a priority. Do you only care about classified documents being mishandled when Democrats do the mishandling?

COMER: Absolutely not. Look, we still don't know what type of documents President Trump had. That's one of the questions we've asked National Archives. Just because Joe Biden's lawyers say they turned over five documents, doesn't mean they just turned over five documents. They could have turned over 500 documents. I'm sorry but I don't have a lot of confidence in President Biden's personal lawyers. At the end of the day, the National Archives implied to us at former Chairman Maloney's request and told us that the National Archives was working with the Trump administration during the transition. That's the last communication we had with whether or not the archives had worked with Trump on removal of all the documents from the White House. So we don't know exactly what Trump has versus what Biden has. At the end of the day, my biggest concern isn't the classified documents, to be honest with you. My concern is how there's such a discrepancy in how former President Trump was treated, by raiding Mar-a-Lago, by getting the security cameras, by taking pictures of documents on the floor, by going through Melania's closet versus Joe Biden, who're like, OK, your personal lawyers who don't have security clearance, yep, they can go through, they can just keep looking and keep looking and determine whatever is there. That's not equal treatment, and we're very concerned and there's a lack of trust here at the Department of Justice by House Republicans. That's the outrage.

TAPPER: So I get that. But there's a big difference in how President Biden and his team reacted and how President Trump and his team reacted. The FBI searched Mar-a-Lago because Trump for more than a year refused to turn over documents to the National Archives and the Justice Department, which was trying to get them back into secure hands. Trump and his lawyers lied about it. Trump lied about not having classified documents, did not keep them in a secure location, did not comply with a subpoena but said he had, and that search warrant, which Trump forced out into the open through his legal machinations, that cited laws that Trump might have violated including the Espionage Act.