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House GOP subpoenas Justice Department for material from special counsel's Biden probe

Breaking down special counsel's Biden report
Breaking down the Biden special counsel report 07:53

Washington — House Republicans on Tuesday subpoenaed the Justice Department for materials related to special counsel Robert Hur's investigation into President Biden's handling of classified documents. 

The subpoena compels the Justice Department to turn over all documents and communications related to the special counsel's interviews of Mr. Biden and the ghostwriter of the president's memoir, Mark Zwonitzer. It also requests documents related a December 2015 call between Mr. Biden, who was vice president at the time, and the Ukrainian prime minister, as well as all communications between the Justice Department, special counsel, the White House and the president's personal attorney. 

Hur's investigation found evidence that Mr. Biden mishandled classified documents dating from his time as vice president but said no criminal charges were warranted.

The subpoena follows a similar request for materials earlier this month from the Republican chairmen of the House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means Committees, who asked for the materials to be handed over voluntarily by Feb. 19. 

Republicans say the materials are "directly relevant" to their impeachment inquiry into Mr. Biden and the Judiciary Committee's oversight of the department.

The Justice Department responded to the initial request on Feb. 16, telling lawmakers it was "working to gather and process" related documents, according to Kentucky Rep. James Comer and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the respective chairs of the the House Oversight and Judiciary committees.

"The department, however, offered no timeframe by which it expected to make any productions or, indeed, any commitment that it would produce all of the material requested," Comer and Jordan wrote in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland that accompanied the subpoena on Tuesday.

The pair said they were seeking "to understand whether the White House or President Biden's personal attorneys placed any limitations or scoping restrictions during the interviews with Special Counsel Hur or Mr. Mark Zwonitzer precluding or addressing any potential statements directly linking President Biden to troublesome foreign payments." 

The subpoena directs the materials to be turned over by March 7, the same day as the president's State of the Union address and days before Hur is scheduled to testify to the Judiciary Committee. 

The Justice Department declined to comment. 

The committees have been trying to show for months that Mr. Biden was enriched by his family's foreign business dealings and accepted bribes, but have so far uncovered no wrongdoing by the president. Their impeachment inquiry took a hit when one of their key witnesses was recently charged with lying about the first family's business dealings. 

Nikole Killion and Robert Legare contributed reporting. 

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