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Kathy Chung, a former executive assistant for President Joe Biden, said in an interview earlier this year with the House Oversight Committee that she didn’t know there were classified documents in the papers she packed for him when he was leaving office as vice president, and she didn’t see any when she unpacked the boxes later at his private office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., according to excerpts released Wednesday.
Chung also said she didn’t closely examine or sort through the contents of the boxes, which also included policy papers, family photos, and challenge coins, excerpts from her transcribed interview that was provided to CNN.
Chung also spoke with federal prosecutors in an initial review, and her attorney has been contacted by the office of Robert Hur, the special counsel overseeing Biden’s handling of classified documents that were also found at his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden also has said that he was surprised when the classified documents and those found in Wilmington were “filed in the wrong place.”
A memo obtained by CNN, which was written by Democratic committee staff, includes the excerpts and accuses House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., of trying to “cherry-pick and misrepresent critical information in this investigation” and calls on Democrats on the committee to demand Comer release the entire transcript from the interview.
In addition, Chung testified that in June 2022, she repacked Biden’s documents at the Penn Biden Center, but didn’t learn until November 2022 from his attorney, Robot Bauer, that she had packed boxes that had classified documents.
Chung held a security clearance when she was in the Obama White House and said she has experienced in handling and identifying classified documents. However, she told the panel that she thought any classified documents or presidential records were already removed, and that when she put documents inside boxes at the White House when Biden was leaving as vice president, she didn’t open any of the file folders.
Chung further confirmed that nobody in the Biden family was involved in packing boxes or saying what to pack, and that she didn’t sort the documents because “we didn’t have the time … we were just tasked with, to pack up.”
When the boxes came to the Penn Center, Chung said she and the others working on the project unpacked some of the boxes, including the ones with pictures of his family.
But she said she didn’t study each file before unpacking, as “we just picked up the file folder from the boxes and put it in the cabinet.”
The boxes also included other Biden personal effects such as condolence letters about his late son Beau Biden, policy folders concerning the Affordable Care Act and Cancer Moonshot, and books and photos, Chung said.
In addition, Chung refuted claims from Comer and former President Donald Trump over ethnicity as reasons to be suspicious of her.
The memo noted that in her interview, Chung denied conspiracy theories linking her with the Chinese Communist Party, including in interviews Comer gave to Newsmax and Fox News, and that she was hand-picked by Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to move the documents.
Her testimony, along with a letter from her attorney, debunked the Hunter Biden claims, with her lawyer writing to Comer that “as you well know from reading the relevant emails, Ms. Chung was not hired by the Vice President for the purpose of helping with moving documents. She was hired as an Assistant to the Vice President responsible for office affairs.”
The letter also pointed out that Chung had been working for Biden in 2012, several years before packed the documents.
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