Classified Document Crisis Escalates for president
President Joe Biden’s aides have discovered more classified documents in his possession at a different location, according to a report from NBC News.
The report does not say where or when the new documents were discovered, but it is clear the White House is attempting to clean up Biden’s records ahead of a possible run for reelection in 2024.
The newly discovered documents are from a location separate from the private office connected to a University of Pennsylvania think tank that Biden had in Washington, DC, where the first batch of classified information was discovered.
Biden claimed Tuesday he was “surprised” that classified documents were found in his possession, repeating he was ignorant of their contents.
“I was briefed about this discovery, and surprised to learn that there are any government records that were taken there to that office,” Biden said, reacting for the first time to the news during a press event in Mexico City.
“I don’t know what’s in the documents,” he continued. “My lawyers have not suggested I not ask what documents they were.”
Biden also revealed Tuesday there were “boxes” of documents that were turned over to the archives.
The White House has stonewalled any additional information about the documents that were first discovered just days before the 2022 midterm elections.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to even confirm whether Biden’s aides were searching his other properties to see if they contained classified documents.
SECOND batch of Biden classified documents found at another location: White House faces even more questions
Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say if there was an investigation into other stashes of sensitive files
- Key questions remain: what was the content and number of Biden records?
- How did the records arrive at the Washington, D.C. think tank?
- Why did the administration wait to announce their discovery?
- Still no word on second location of documents
A second batch of classified files from Joe Biden’s Vice Presidency have been found at another location, according to a bombshell report on Wednesday night that put the White House under more scrutiny.
The latest discovery comes just days after the first set of sensitive files were found at a D.C. office for his think tank and as the Biden administration dodged questions on whether they were tracking down any other records.
The report by NBC on Wednesday night did not include the location or the contents of the latest documents.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was hounded by reporters during her Thursday briefing shortly before the article was published – and insisted that Biden takes classified documents and their retention ‘seriously’.
President Joe Biden said he was ‘surprised’ that classified documents were found in his former office at the Penn-Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday, Jean-Pierre was asked by reporters whether Biden had looked into whether he might have possibly taken other documents to any other office he has or his homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth, Delaware.
She refused to provide an answer. ‘I’m just not going to speak to this. I’m going to let the process continue. It’s an ongoing process. And so, I’m just not going to, to speak to this from here. It is more prudent and more appropriate for my colleagues at the White House Counsel.’
Earlier in the week, it was reported that in November 2022, attorneys for the president discovered documents at his former office in the Penn-Biden Center in Washington, D.C., which he used after his time as vice president.
The documents were discovered in a locked closet while the lawyers were cleaning out the office to move out.
The White House acknowledged that Biden’s attorneys had found 10 documents with classified markings at an old office at a Washington, D.C. think tank, the president has been peppered with questions about the discovery.
The classified documents that appeared to be from the Obama administration were found on November 2 – before the midterm elections – though news of the documents did not come out until months later.
Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri reacted to the news by simply tweeting out the words: ‘Special counsel.’
‘My question is with regard to the first batch, what did Merrick Garland know when they were discovered November 3, and he declared a special counsel for Trump on November 18?’ Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., said to DailyMail.com.
‘Obviously, he had some knowledge and yet chose a special counsel, announced it, you know, had this entire rollout and no mention. What did he know?’
Waltz also questioned ‘who knew’ about the documents between November 3 and November 8, midterm Election Day.
‘The timing is incredibly suspicious,’ Waltz continued. ‘It’s got to be one of the world’s biggest coincidences, if not, politics, were involved.’
Biden was asked about the documents at the top of his trilateral press conference Tuesday in Mexico City, alongside Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The president said he was ‘surprised’ to find out classified documents were discovered in a box in a locked cabinet. But said his lawyers ‘did what they should have done.’
‘They immediately called the Archives – immediately called the Archives, turned them over to the Archives,’ the president said.
The documents were discovered on November 2 and handed over to the Archives on November 3.
Republicans Demand AG Garland Explain Why Biden Doc Story Was Hidden Before Midterms
“Did the White House request to withhold this information prior to the midterm elections?”
A group of more than 40 Republicans are sending a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding to know why news of classified documents from President Joe Biden’s tenure as vice president being found in a non-secure location was withheld until after the midterm elections, according to the document obtained by the Daily Caller.
Biden’s personal attorneys allegedly discovered several classified documents while packing files and subsequently notified the National Archives and Records Administration, CNN reported Tuesday, citing two sources familiar with the matter. Several of the classified documents allegedly held materials related to Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom. Biden was reportedly unaware that the documents had been found at the office and was notified via the White House counsel’s office.
The news came as Republicans took control of Congress. On Tuesday the House created a new oversight committee to investigate the “weaponization” of federal agencies like the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ).
Republican Missouri Rep. Mark Alford led the cohort of Republicans demanding answers as to why the information was only recently made public despite authorities reportedly having knowledge of it six days prior to the midterm elections.
“Classified documents were discovered at the Penn Biden Center on November 2, 2022, only six days prior to the midterm elections, which decided the balance of power for the 118th Congress,” the letter reads. “This discovery occurred shortly before you appointed special counsel, Jack Smith, to criminally investigate President Trump as part of the Mar-a-Lago raid, a central issue in the midterms for both Congressional Democrats and Joe Biden.”
“Did the White House request to withhold this information prior to the midterm elections?” the letter asks.
“Why did the Biden administration and your Department of Justice fail to disclose this information publicly?”
The letter also asks whether a special counsel will be appointed and whether Congress was notified of the findings and if so, when.
“The fact that President Trump is being criminally investigated for mishandling classified documents, while President Biden is not receiving the same level of scrutiny for his mishandling of classified documents, leads us to believe that the Justice Department’s investigation of President Trump is nothing more than a partisan and politically motivated attack on President Trump,” the letter reads.
The letter was signed by dozens of representatives, including Jim Banks, Dan Crenshaw, Burgess Owens, and Nick Langworthy.
“The American people deserve to know if prior to the midterm elections the White House covered up the fact that Joe Biden left classified documents at his think tank,” Alford said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “That’s why I’ve led a coalition of my colleagues in Congress to demand that Merrick Garland investigate and provide answers immediately.”
Daily Caller editorial director and WMAL host Vince Coglianese said Tuesday that the Biden story was merely a “stunt” that was timed in order to destroy the credibility of Republicans who seek to investigate intelligence agencies.
“When did they know about it? It was before the election, obviously, before the midterms. When did we find out about it? Well, after the midterms,” Coglianese said. “The guy was vice president of the United States … he absconded with classified information. It ends up in his think tank at the University of Pennsylvania and they just discover it and now the story we are all supposed to believe is, ‘look how responsible he was’?”
Coglianese said the story was purposely released after the midterms because it would not be as damaging.
“It is of course after the midterms, the damage of such a revelation is gone, once again the Justice Department has meddled in an election, refused to tell the American people things that were germane ahead of an election so that they could make a reasoned judgement about whether or not they wanted to continue to support the party in power,” Coglianese said.
“But another piece of this is that this very week, Republicans took over the United States House of Representatives and not only did they take over the House, they forced Kevin McCarthy to govern as a speaker who will allow a robust, detailed, deep investigation into the corruption inside of the federal government, a church-style committee à la the Church Committee of the 1960s, dedicated to looking into the corruption and the anti-American behavior of the federal government.”
Biden’s “Surprise” Grows With Reported Discovery of Second Batch of Classified Documents
There is an old story attributed to Noah Webster of being caught in a closet with a paramour. His wife cried out, “Noah! I am surprised!” Webster responded with a grammatical correction that “It is I who am surprised. You are astonished.”
The Webster story came to mind this week when President Joe Biden broke days of silence over the discovery of highly classified documents in a closet. Biden declared that he was “surprised” by the discovery but then said that his lawyers advised him not to ask (or presumably answer) other questions.
Biden was grammatically correct, if legally confused, in only describing his first reaction rather than his prior actions.
Biden was indeed surprised by the discovery. The rest of us should be astonished.
After all, it was Biden who expressed revulsion at the very thought of his predecessor possessing classified documents at Mar-a-Lago: “How that could possibly happen, how one anyone could be that irresponsible.”
Biden is not the only one who appears hopelessly conflicted. With the reported discovery of a second batch of highly classified documents connected to President Biden, the decisions of Attorney General Merrick Garland are fast moving from the inexplicable to incomprehensible.
Garland was presumably briefed that classified documents were discovered in Joe Biden’s old office on Nov. 2. He also presumably knew about the Biden documents when he appointed a special counsel to investigate the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago 16 days later.
At the time of the appointment of Jack Smith, some of us noted the inexplicable refusal of Garland to appoint a special counsel to look into alleged Biden influence peddling and other crimes.
Garland continued to refuse an appointment for Biden even as he justified the appointment for Trump on the basis that Trump was running for the presidency. Joe Biden is the president. What is the difference?
President Biden, meanwhile, is feigning ignorance, simply saying he was “surprised” the documents were there.
By not discussing the content of the documents, Biden minimizes his vulnerability to charges of obstruction or false statements. He can simply declare “surprise,” knowing that many in the media will welcome his silence as they spin the scandal.
Despite the lack of information, the press and pundits have already declared there is no real national security danger and certainly no comparison to Mar-a-Lago. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, declared “There is no comparison. They were in a locked closet. They were not accessible.”
So that is the standard? A locked closet? The Mar-a-Lago storage room was locked and later the security was enhanced at the request of the FBI.
It is fair to note that Trump and his staff are accused of false statements and obstruction. However, that does not change the same alleged crime of unlawful removal and possession.
Biden is taking a page from the Hillary Clinton playbook. Recall the long-sought Whitewater documents. After the case was effectively over, they suddenly appeared. The New York Times called the documents “elusive,” as if they moved by free will.
Clinton was also “surprised” by the discovery of the documents . . . after they could not be used as part of the earlier investigation.
There are some obvious explanations for the documents being present in the office, particularly given Biden’s work on a book that discussed his work in some of the referenced countries like Ukraine. However, even that explanation raises more questions. For example, Biden left office as vice president in 2017 and had an office at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia after finishing his term until 2019. On February 8, 2018, the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement says that it opened its doors in Washington, D.C.
So if these documents were removed when Biden left office, where were they in the prior year and were they moved repeatedly before they ended up in the Washington office? This does not appear a “one-and-done” mistake. Rather documents may have been at various locations over a five year period.
Otherwise, Biden would have had to request and receive classified information at some point in the five years outside of a secure location.
Now that we have a second batch of documents, there is an increasing concern that classified documents were distributed or divided among different offices. This also means that an even greater array of individuals may have had access to such documents at different locations over the five-year period.
None of this could be clarified with Biden simply expressing “surprise.”
The FBI has two immediate tasks: secure the highly classified documents and then determine whether they may have been compromised.
Consider that Biden did not categorically deny asking for the documents to be taken at the end of this term as vice president.
He also did not explain when he was briefed after they were found.
Democrats and the media are eager to wave this away and move on. But, as the statements of Garland and Biden show, there are many questions that need answering. The discovery of new classified documents only magnifies those unanswered questions.
That is why we were not “surprised” but we can all be legitimately (and grammatically) astonished by the discoveries in Joe Biden’s closet — and his silence about the contents.