Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee, has called on the U.S. Secret Service to release any visitor logs they keep of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, as well as former Vice President Mike Pence’s home in Carmel, Indiana.
Raskin sent a letter to U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly A. Cheatle on Tuesday, requesting all visitor logs for the two residences since Jan. 21, 2020. Raskin made the request in light of discoveries of potentially classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida in August, and classified documents found at Pence’s home last week.
“Given that the U.S. Secret Service provided protection for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence during the time they stored classified materials at their respective residences, the Committee is seeking information from your agency regarding who had access to former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and former Vice President Pence’s personal residence since leaving office,” Raskin wrote.
Raskin gave the agency until Feb. 14 to provide the requested visitor logs.
Biden’s Visitor Logs
Raskin’s request for visitor logs from Trump and Pence’s homes comes after House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) called on the White House to release visitor logs from President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home after potentially classified documents were also found at Biden’s home throughout December and January.
The Biden White House told Comer it has no such visitor logs of Biden’s home. Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi also told The Epoch Times that the service had no visitor logs from Biden’s Delaware home. Guglielmi said the service screens visitors but does not keep records of who is vetted.
If Guglielmi’s statement about Secret Service records is accurate, it would mean the protective agency would not have visitor records for Trump or Pence’s homes either.
In addition to calling for visitor logs at Biden’s home, Comer also requested that the University of Pennsylvania provide information about who had access to the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. Biden had used the Penn Biden Center as an office space after his term as vice president ended in 2017. Documents with classified markings were reportedly found in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center in November.
The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is the parent organization for the Penn Biden Center. The center, whose full name is the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, had served as Biden’s personal think tank between his vice presidency and his presidency.
In a Jan. 18 letter, Comer called on UPenn President M. Elizabeth Magill to provide a list of all employees of the Penn Biden Center, including information about their salary, job description, and dates of employment; a list of all individuals with keycard access to the Penn Biden Center, including but not limited to members of Biden’s family; and a visitor log of all individuals who met with Biden at the Penn Biden Center.
Dueling Investigations, Dueling Defenses
While Comer has sought visitor records from Biden’s home and former office space, he has not pursued similar records requests on Trump and Pence’s homes.
After potentially classified documents were found in Pence’s possession, Comer issued a statement crediting the former vice president with being forthcoming about the documents found in his possession while accusing the Biden administration of withholding information.
“Former Vice President Mike Pence reached out today about classified documents found at his home in Indiana,” Comer wrote on Jan. 24. “He has agreed to fully cooperate with congressional oversight and any questions we have about the matter. Former Vice President Pence’s transparency stands in stark contrast to Biden White House staff who continue to withhold information from Congress and the American people.”
Raskin offered his own defense of Biden’s handling of classified documents after the White House began disclosing document discoveries.
Raskin said members of Biden’s team “appear to have taken immediate and proper action to notify the National Archives about their discovery of a small handful of classified documents so they could be returned to federal government custody. ”