In response to renewed interest from House Republicans spurred by the discovery of classified documents at President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home, the White House has reiterated, as it has said for months, that it doesn’t keep a visitors log for who comes and goes from the private residence.
The U.S. Secret Service had repeatedly said the same thing for months, too, at least until this week when the agency finally acknowledged that it does possess certain records that reveal at least some of the people who have visited Biden’s Delaware home, the Conservative Brief reported.
What’s more, the federal protective agency has also now signaled that it would be willing to share the information it possesses with the GOP-controlled House if that information is formally requested.
Secret Service admits it has pertinent records
The New York Post reported Thursday that, as recently as Monday, the Secret Service was continuing to echo the White House in claiming that it possessed no visitors log for President Biden’s Wilmington home, as spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said at that time that “we don’t independently maintain our own visitor logs because it’s a private residence.”
However, the agency’s tune changed — or at least was further clarified — just three days later, as it now has admitted that it does have records in its possession that would indicate who has come and gone from the president’s home in Delaware.
Guglielmi, undoubtedly referring to the background checks the agency routinely runs on virtually everybody who comes in proximity to the president, acknowledged on Thursday that “the Secret Service does generate law enforcement and criminal justice information records for various individuals who may come into contact with Secret Service protected sites.”
That substantial shift followed several months in which the agency repeatedly insisted that it had “no responsive records” about multiple Freedom of Information Act requests from the Post and others in regard to visitor logs at Biden’s home in Delaware.
Records could be turned over to Congress
Fox News also reported on Thursday that, according to an unnamed source, the Secret Service was ready to provide Congress with the names of those who had visited President Biden’s Wilmington residence, if that information was requested.
To be sure, the Secret Service doesn’t maintain a formal visitors log for Biden’s private residence, but it does retain records of the individuals who have been guests at the home who it has vetted with background checks.
The unnamed source told the news outlet that if Congress formally requests that information on guests at the Wilmington home who’ve undergone background checks, the Secret Service was willing to turn that information over.
“The Secret Service does not maintain visitor logs at the private residences of protectees,” Guglielmi said in the statement on Thursday. “While the Secret Service does generate law enforcement and criminal justice information records for various individuals who may come into contact with Secret Service-protected sites, we are not able to comment further as this speaks to the means and methods of our protective operations.”
The threat of congressional subpoenas
This sudden shift from the Secret Service may have been prompted by the new House Republican majority’s vows that, one way or another, it would determine who had been visiting President Biden’s Wilmington home where years-old classified documents were apparently stored instead of at the National Archives, as is required by law.
“There are several avenues to obtain information on who had access to classified documents at the Wilmington residence, and the Oversight Committee will pursue those avenues,” a House Oversight Committee spokesman told The Post.
Additionally, the Post noted that Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), of the House Judiciary Committee, suggested that if no records of visitors were turned over in a timely fashion, the committee could resort to issuing subpoenas and compelling testimony under oath from members of the Biden family and government staffers, presumably also including Secret Service employees, to learn who has been coming and going from that residence.