How Biden is ‘trumped’?
Washington: Even as a special counsel Robert K. Hur, a veteran prosecutor who worked in the Trump administration, is appointed by attorney general Merrick Garland to investigate the discovery of classified documents in the private office and home of President Joe Biden, the disclosure has prompted comparisons with the hoardings of certain sensitive government documents by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump.
The sensitive documents were found at an office in Washington that Biden used before his 2020 presidential election campaign, and thereafter in also in the garage of his home in Wilmington. The findings open a legal threat to the White House and also offer ammunition to the Opposition Republican Party. Questions are being asked on did it have anything to do with the fact that the election was just a few days away. The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee have asked that the Director of National Intelligence conduct a national security assessment of this apparent discovery of classified information.
How the confidential documents landed at the private office and the garage from the White House is “under review”, a White House spokesperson said, adding that “I’m going to let the DOJ [Department of Justice] do their process”.
Unlike the case with Trump, who resisted the Government’s attempts to retrieve those papers, which is the subject of a criminal investigation, Biden has offered all cooperation to the investigations and reports suggest such apparent differences have significant legal ramifications. The White House believes that prosecutors would find only unintentional errors.
However, while these documents were discovered on November 2, 2022, this became public two months later only when CBS News reported this on Monday, January 9, 2023. When asked why was the public not informed while the White House prepared its Public Relations response for two months, a White House spokesperson replied, “As the President said, his team handled it the right way. And we’re just not going to get ahead of the process from here”.
Biden, a day after the CBS News exposure, spoke about the issue from Mexico City on January 10, 2023, that he was surprised to learn that there were any government records taken to that location. “People know I take classified documents and classified information seriously,” Biden said while replying to a question in this regard at a press conference in Mexico City. He explained: “When my lawyers were clearing out my office at the University of Pennsylvania, they set up an office for me — a secure office in the Capitol, when I — the four years after being Vice President, I was a professor at Penn. They found some documents in a box — you know, a locked cabinet, or at least a closet. And as soon as they did, they realized there were several classified documents in that box. And they did what they should have done: They immediately called the Archives — immediately called the Archives, turned them over to the Archives. And I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office. But I don’t know what’s in the documents. I’ve — my lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents they were. I’ve turned over the boxes — they’ve turned over the boxes to the Archives. And we’re cooperating fully — cooperating fully with the review, and — which I hope will be finished soon, and will be more detail at that time.”
Biden claimed he had no knowledge of it at the time and as soon as his lawyers realized these documents were there, they immediately turned them over to the Archives, which according to Biden, was the “right thing” to do.
The US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, while responding to a question on whether there were any State Department documents as part of these documents that were found, claimed, “Of course, that would not be anything I would know. It is not anything the Secretary [Antony J Blinken] would know. As we have heard from the White House, it is not something that the President knows. This is a matter that’s being investigated, being looked at by the Department of Justice. We’re going to let that proceed”.
Price said if there is a need for the Department of Justice to speak to the Department of State on an investigative matter, there are channels and procedures for them to do that. “They are not channels or procedures that would involve me. They are not channels or procedures that would involve most people in this building. So if there is a need, there will be, as you would expect, full cooperation. But again, we’re going to let this review play out,” he said.
There were reports that the Department of Justice interviewed officials as part of their investigation into this. However, to a question on whether they interviewed any State Department officials, Price said, “Again, I am just not going to comment on this. This is a matter that is being pursued by the Department of Justice, and we’ll let them pursue it”.
Hur is examining “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or other records discovered” at Biden’s office and residence.
– global bihari bureau