Hopefully, by now you are aware President Biden took classified materials from the White House to three different locations after his term as VP ended. One of the locations was his home garage (a LOCKED garage, mind you), next to the president’s prized Corvette.
Fun Corvette fact: The 1967 Stingray can lose 60 classified documents in 4.7 seconds pic.twitter.com/HuePTXjX0V
Five months ago, I wrote about President Trump’s home being raided over the EXACT same problem:
Of course, we all want to believe justice is applied equally and nobody is above the law–not even the president . . . If we seek justice for all, the current president should also be under investigation.
I listed six very problematic bullet items regarding President Biden’s actions (unrelated to classified documents). Now we can add a seventh bullet regarding handling of classified documents, although I will say the latest one is not yet as problematic as the others.
We should admit it is not so alarming for a former president or even a former vice president to still have access to classified documents. We know many former officials accessed classified documents after leaving office: President Trump, VP Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, and former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger who stuffed documents down his pants. In our eagerness to play “gotcha” politics and guided by media wishing to distract us, we have ignored the real concern: the security of these documents. Did Trump and/or Biden deliberately or even unknowingly provide secrets to our enemies? Based on what we know so far, that’s doubtful. We have heard much speculation, much from Biden himself, about revelation of espionage methods and sources, but I would need substantial proof before accepting the evidence in either case. Trump and Biden themselves have been entrusted with so much. If they shouldn’t be trusted, we are in big trouble already. If their carelessness led to security breaches (like Hillary Clinton’s in 2016), they should indeed be under fire, but we have no proof of harm to this point. These two cases may just be matters of lax protocol more than anything else.
I know I mocked Biden’s apparent ineptitude: leaving classified documents in his garage of all places (emblematic of his administration’s overall ineptness), but the actual problem here is that too many condemn the actions of the president they don’t like while ignoring the actions of the one they like. This is awful nature of politics today: who does what matters more than what was actually done. The treatment of Biden (government investigations, media scrutiny, etc.) now has the appearance of being the same as the treatment of Trump. The media is reluctant to highlight any of Biden’s faults, but they must highlight this one because otherwise, the hypocrisy becomes blatantly obvious to even the casual observer.
Nevertheless, there are still some subtleties, ones easily missed, if you are only trying to pin the tail of the appropriate donkey. I ask again the same question I asked last August:
Why is it only Trump gets this special treatment of having his home and private records searched so unceremoniously? Do we have equal justice under the law or is this about embarrassing the former president (and probably much more)?
The FBI didn’t raid Biden’s home or his former office at the University of Pennsylvania, so why was a raid of Trump’s home necessary? The FBI wasn’t involved in the Biden situation at all. Just as Biden cooperated with authorities (something he wanted to brag about last week), so did former President Trump last summer (before his home was raided).
CNN and the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump greeted the agents at the start of the meeting, with the Journal quoting him as saying: “I appreciate the job you’re doing” and adding: “Anything you need, let us know.”
We have the same scenario for both Biden and Trump, so why the disparate treatment? Furthermore, it seems ever-so-obvious Biden and Trump are not the only ones violating protocols. What if the FBI routinely grilled each president, vice president, and other high ranking officials regarding classified information after each left office? Who knows what they would find?
At the end of Obama’s two-term presidency, he reportedly trucked 30 million pages of administration records gathered during his time in office to Chicago, where he promised to digitize them and put them online.
The claim regarding the 30 million pages of Obama records has been disputed, but it should be clear past presidents have held on to many records after leaving office, and it takes considerable time and negotiation to retrieve them. Trump’s behavior in this instance is not anything out of the ordinary.
While president Trump said last August his predecessors had retained “millions” of documents, the National Archives disputed this claim last October.
“Reports that indicate or imply that those presidential records were in the possession of the former presidents or their representatives, after they left office, or that the records were housed in substandard conditions, are false and misleading,” it added.
Just one month later, they were proven wrong on this point.
The term “millions” used by Trump is surely an exaggeration, but in the light of Biden classified documents found in three separate locations and the Trump documents found last summer, we should no longer doubt this is a common and accepted practice. It appears the National Archives was covering for Biden. They hadn’t looked at Biden’s records; they had no idea what they were talking about while assuring us there was nothing to see regarding officials other than Trump. What would happen if our government tried a little bit harder to find such documents?
When it was President Trump alone accused of mishandling classified information, I had a discussion with a liberal friend and debating partner.
All these questionable actions are justified by many who believe President Trump is so evil anything goes to stop him. But many of us don’t see him as evil; we see the efforts to unfairly malign him as the problem. After two years of a Mueller investigation, two impeachments, a January 6 committee, and plethora of accusations against Trump the last six years, why can’t they find something criminal to pin on him? I asked my friends and this is a response I received in email: “Soviet style tactics….you are, of course, referring to Trump’s tactics…. the person who praised Putin and believed him over our own security agencies.”
After this latest incident, he provided the following comment:
We should be able to agree there is a problem when classified material is taken out of secured areas and there needs to be better control over the documents that both presidents and vice presidents have access to. That should be the takeaway for the documents themselves, however, how each man handled the situation was different and needs further examination.
Yes, we agree on that much, but still I wonder why there was no need for “further examination” before labeling Trump’s tactics as “Soviet”?
On 60 Minutes not too long ago, President Biden himself was aghast at Trump’s actions: “How could anyone be so irresponsible?” he asked. Yes, of course.
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, Biden is no longer talking about “irresponsible actions”. President Biden assures us he “takes national security seriously”; he was surprised by all this (does not knowing make this any better for him?) and he followed the book when he learned of the breach (except the part about telling the voters), and he reminded us also that the garage was locked (yes, that makes me feel so much better). Ok, I will accept your explanations, but please explain why Trump “irresponsible” but you in virtually the same circumstances were “responsible”?
https://www.foxnews.com/video/6318428167112 (Biden commenting on Trump’s irresponsible actions with regard to classified materials)
https://www.foxnews.com/video/6318562159112 (Biden commenting on his own actions with regard to classified materials)
Fox News report Peter Doocy switched the tables on Biden just recently:
3 days ago — CLAY: Peter Doocy asked Joe Biden how he could be so reckless as to be saving/storing classified documents in his garage.
It is a good question which was basically ignored by the president.
A special counsel was appointed to investigate President Biden, but we should not be under the impression this investigation will be a serious one. Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor, said in an op-ed that the special counsel to investigate President Biden is only for the appearance of equal justice. There will be no serious investigation of President Biden and there should never have been a criminal investigation of President Trump.
It is often said that justice must not only be done, but must be seen. The appointment of a special counsel to investigate President Joe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified information was made not for justice to be done, but rather for the appearance of justice to be satisfied.
What Is this Really About?
We should also not forget that presidents (and not VPs or Secretaries of State) can de-classify information. President Trump claims he de-classified documents he had at his home; as Professor Dershowitz said, Trump has the presumption of innocence, so the government has to prove he did not de-classify them. President Biden, now that he is president could have also subsequently de-classified the documents found in his garage and other locations. Of course, President Biden, certainly under advice from his lawyers, is now saying little regarding these incidents.
There was no prosecution of Secretary of State Clinton who FBI Director, James Comey said “acted recklessly”; Comey also said her actions very likely led to the leak of classified documents to “hostile foreign actors”, so how can any criminal action be taken for these more recent, far less egregious events?
On the other hand, the one-channel, liberal media keeps pressing President Biden on this issue. They usually ignore all his peccadillos; it is so out of character to take such a hard stance against him or any leading Democrat figure. Perhaps, they have grown weary of Biden and the word has gone out he should be discouraged from running in 2024. Biden had previously said he was considering announcing his re-election bid after the State of the Union address in February. Perhaps, the rough media treatment is a message to him. I know I won’t stop mocking his actions and his awful (worst ever?) administration.
I am sure President Biden and President Trump both take national security seriously. I also have little doubt others have acted similarly but have just never been caught. Maybe too many documents are classified to start with and classification of so many documents (millions perhaps?) doesn’t mean that much after all? Something has got to give here because it seems everyone is guilty.
But what we should treat them as is that we’ve got a real problem with over classifying everything. I mean, the menu for the White House, I think, is classified. So, I mean, there’s a lot of problems with everything being classified. Right now, I’m investigating the origins of the Covid virus, and there is information — it’s classified — that basically goes a long way towards proving or putting forth the hypothesis that this came from the lab. And yet I’m not allowed to say it because it’s classified. Half of it’s been printed already in books.
But I think we have a problem on our hands of overclassifying things. So I’m not in the position of saying, “Oh, yeah, we need to throw the book at Biden.” We probably need to not throw the book at either one of them and look at the problem of stamping “classified” on everything. The intelligence community, I think, does this because they’re largely protecting their turf, and this isn’t like the secrets to the nuclear bomb. Senator Rand Paul on the Clay and Buck show.
“But here’s the thing. They were transparent,” Jean-Pierre said. “There was transparency in doing what you’re supposed to do when these items were discovered.”
Biden said he turned over documents immediately. He implied “immediate” is synonymous with “transparent”, so does transparency also mean that two-and-a-half months after the documents were found, the rest of us find out? Furthermore, I believe we found out in January only because people who have supported him before are now trying to embarrass him today.
Documents were found November 2, six days BEFORE the last election. Why didn’t we find out before the election? That would be a true and radical transparency, but then we all know Biden isn’t actually being transparent.
On November 15, a special counsel was appointed to investigate President Trump’s handling of classified materials. Really? This tidbit is quite shocking. The president knew on November 15 that he had his own little problem with classified documents, and he allowed the criminal investigation of President Trump, someone in the running for the exact same office as him, for the exact same problem he had himself? That’s transparency? Maybe his folks thought they could keep his story under wrap for a little more than two more months. He should have contemplated the fact that this might boomerang back on him some day. That’s not even smart politics on his part.
Biden, the transparent one, doubles down on his actions again in January. He didn’t do anything wrong. His actions were so much different than Trump’s. The garage was locked, even more secure than Trump’s closet. Still, every other day a new story about documents somewhere else dripped out. I know this isn’t the end of our national security. This isn’t quite the impeachable offense, but it doesn’t look good. I think his re-election bid is clearly dead and his incompetence is clearly on display. Hopefully, more will notice now.
What about Hunter Biden in all this? My liberal friend complains about the focus on Hunter Biden; he says he didn’t vote for the Biden son, so why do we care if his son is being investigated? But then, how close was Hunter to these documents? It turns out Hunter was actually living in the home where these classified documents resided. Did he know? Had he found out? How vulnerable is someone like Hunter Biden to blackmail from foreign governments and how might such blackmail impact government policy? Perhaps this angle should at least be considered? Perhaps, like my liberal friend says, there should be some “further investigation” along these lines?
Documents were Planted?
One Democrat lawmaker suggested the following in an interview:
‘Things can be planted in places and then discovered conveniently. That may be what has occurred here,’ Rep. Johnson told Fox
President Trump also raised the same specter of planted documents during the raid on Mar-al-Lago. It doesn’t appear at this point that either claim has merit. Still, it shows the differing reactions when the one under the microscope is your guy rather than your opponent. What can we shamelessly do to exonerate our guy and vilify the other? This is how the politics are in America today.
Another politician, Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar tried to draw very bright distinctions between Trump and Biden:
Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) on Saturday claimed Republicans are investigating President Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents from his time as vice president as part of a “political game” and not because they care about following security protocols.
“What I find interesting is that Republicans who have defended [former president] Trump after he literally stole classified documents, refused to turn them over, lied about having them, made up some story about how he declassified them, had to have his house raided in order for those documents to be found, are now only interested in investigating Biden, who has cooperated, whose own staff and former staff have themselves turned these documents in,” the progressive Squad member told MSNBC’s Symone Sanders-Townsend.
I highlight this kind of rhetoric because the rhetoric and the selective outrage is the real problem. Trump lied, stole classified information, etc. but Biden who was caught in the exact same scenario was a boy scout and model citizen, per Rep Omar. Her comments are not helpful and not at all believable.
Perhaps justice will finally prevail. We should all remain hopeful:
In today’s environment it could actually happen.
Fewer than 24 hours after first posted this story, we learned of a fourth batch of secret Biden documents. Oh my gosh.
he FBI searched President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday and located additional documents with classified markings and also took possession of some of his handwritten notes, the president’s lawyer said Saturday.
The FBI finally became involved in the search, although this was not a surprise raid as was done at Mar-al-Lago.
The initial take on these latest documents is that they may go back even to the time when Biden was a senator. That’s a long time for documents to be in limbo. Per Senator Cruz, this timeline is a bit problematic as well.
A couple days ago, before this latest batch of findings, the president said he had “no regrets” and is annoyed at the continuing questions regarding this matter. He won’t say it, but he may regret that his political career is sinking fast. I’m certainly ready for a change. Hopefully, there are enough of our fellow citizens who are as well.