Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?
Investigation by Paul Sperry originally published by RealClearInvestigations and RealClear Wire
The custodian of Joe Biden’s vice presidential records, a key witness in his classified documents probe, was caught up in another documents scandal while working at the Commerce Department during the Clinton administration, court records reveal.
Longtime Biden aide and gatekeeper Kathy S. Chung, who has been interviewed by federal prosecutors and congressional investigators in the Biden case, was part of a team sanctioned for withholding and even destroying key documents in the federal case that sought sensitive records from a central figure in the so-called Chinagate fundraising investigation of the late 1990s, RealClearInvestigations has learned exclusively.
A special prosecutor is now investigating whether Biden unlawfully handled top secret materials in early 2017, when he tasked Chung with removing boxes containing classified documents from the White House and storing them at various private offices in D.C., including the Chinatown neighborhood. Some of the highly sensitive papers also ended up at his home in Wilmington, Del.
Noting that Chung came into Biden’s orbit through working with the president’s son, Hunter, during the 1990s, congressional investigators want to know if the Biden family dealings in China have anything to do with the stockpiling of classified documents. They note that the mishandling of White House papers took place during the 14-month period in 2017-2018 when the Chinese were wiring almost $6 million in payments to Hunter and his uncle Jimmy Biden without providing any known legitimate services. They have expressed concern that the payments, which were flagged by the U.S. Treasury Department, were part of a Chinese intelligence-gathering operation.
Chung is central to the Justice Department’s investigation of Biden’s breach of classified documents.
On Jan. 4, federal agents interviewed Chung while working with an investigative team led by U.S. Attorney John Lausch, who was tasked to conduct a preliminary probe of the security breach. Alarmed by what his investigators reported back to him about Chung’s role in the possible illegal removal and retention of state secrets, Lausch urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel. The following day Garland complied, naming veteran federal prosecutor Robert K. Hur to take over the criminal case as special counsel. Hur’s office reportedly has obtained more than 100 pages of documents from Chung, including emails and text messages.
While Donald Trump and Mike Pence are also under investigation for removing classified documents from the White House and storing them at their private residences, GOP congressional investigators say comparisons to Trump and Pence miss the point. In interviews with RCI, they insisted that Biden’s document scandal is potentially more serious than just mishandling state secrets. They suspect it could mushroom into a counterespionage case involving China and national security, though the White House dismisses such speculation as “baseless.”
Chung’s lawyer Bill Taylor did not return a request for comment. But in an earlier statement, he scolded Republicans for “suggesting someone is a traitor without any evidence.”
Read the entire investigation here.
Paul Sperry is an investigative reporter for RealClearInvestigations. He is also a longtime media fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Sperry was previously the Washington bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily, and his work has appeared in the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Houston Chronicle, among other major publications.
This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.