NBC News clearly rushed this story out to be first. Mission accomplished but as of now we don’t really know anything regarding the details.
Aides to President Joe Biden have discovered at least one additional batch of classified documents in a location separate from the Washington office he used after leaving the Obama administration, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Since November, after the discovery of documents with classified markings in his former office, Biden aides have been searching for any additional classified materials that might be in other locations he used, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide details about the ongoing inquiry…
The classification level, number and precise location of the additional documents was not immediately clear. It also was not immediately clear when the additional documents were discovered and if the search for any other classified materials Biden may have from the Obama administration is complete.
Biden aides have been sifting through documents stored at locations beyond his former Washington office to determine if there are any other classified documents that need to be turned over to the National Archives and reviewed by the Justice Department, the person familiar with the matter said.
The authors of the story went on the air at MSNBC and again the fact is they don’t know much about when, where, why, how many, etc.
MSNBC: Biden aides have found a second batch of classified docs at a different location pic.twitter.com/RNka0mrNUO
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 11, 2023
Politically, this is more bad news for Biden. He was quick to suggest that the classified documents Trump held at Mar-a-Lago were a sign of just how “totally irresponsible” Trump was. Here he is lamenting this sad state of affairs on 60 Minutes last September.
Biden on 60 Minutes in September reacting to classified documents being found at Mar-a-Lago:
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 9, 2023
As I said before, I think Trump should not have had those documents and should have returned them when the National Archives first came looking for them. But the same applies to Joe Biden who has been working with classified documents for a lot longer than President Trump has. After doing his part to cast shame on Trump over this issue, Biden ought to feel pretty red-faced right about now that he was guilty of much the same thing for a much longer period of time since leaving office.
What’s missing at this point are the details. Where did he have them? Who put them there? What is in the documents? How highly classified were they? But it’s not just the information. Presumably, since this search is being carried out by Biden’s own people, there won’t be any embarrassing photos showing a bunch of papers stuffed in a file cabinet or a closet or wherever. That’s too bad because it did happen.
I also wonder why this part of the story didn’t come out with the rest. Monday we were told that U.S. Attorney John Lausch had already briefed AG Garland and was close to filing his final report on the matter. Was this second stash of documents something Lausch knew about? Was it included in the briefing to the AG? If so, why didn’t the first reports mention there were classified documents in two different places? That seems pretty significant.
Maybe there’s a good explanation for how this is being leaked out in dribs and drabs but I don’t think we can assume the explanation is innocent at this point. And to their credit some reporters did press the White House on this today, trying to get information on the first set of documents. Here’s Peter Doocy shoving the president’s own words back in Karine Jean-Pierre’s lap.
Doocy confronts Jean-Pierre over Biden’s past comments saying “how can anyone be so irresponsible” in regards to classified documents being found with Trump. pic.twitter.com/E6xU2cW4AO
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) January 11, 2023
One specific question KJP tried very hard to avoid was when the president was briefed about the discovery of the classified documents. They were found on November 2 by his lawyers. Did Biden know about this before the November 8 election? First here’s KJP’s filibuster answer.
Karine Jean-Pierre responds to questions about the classified documents found improperly stored in one of Biden’s private offices by reading Biden’s own statement from her binder. pic.twitter.com/hk8nbauLWI
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 11, 2023
And here’s the follow up where she simply refuses to answer.
Karine Jean-Pierre refuses to say when Joe Biden was briefed on the classified documents discovered in his private office.
The documents were found on November 2 — six days before the midterm elections. pic.twitter.com/0qPr4RXZcX
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 11, 2023
As you can see in this next clip, that’s the White House approach. Simply refuse to talk about anything beyond whatever the AG or some other Biden-friendly lawyer ultimately tells KJP to say.
A reporter grills the WH press sec over the classified documents found in Biden’s UPenn office, saying “You’re the one here talking to us about this. That’s why we’re asking you.”
She tells him “We work very well together. We don’t need to have this kind of confrontation.” pic.twitter.com/J5vWD8WrqR
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 11, 2023
As for what happens next I think we all know that ultimately the answer is nothing. The bar for this was set years ago when Comey decided to give Hillary Clinton a pass on gross negligence.
On Biden Classified documents: 18 USC 793″ Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information,” the threshold is “gross negligence” not intent. But In 2016 w/Clinton emails, then Director Comey relied on intent as a factor/bar for prosecution.https://t.co/3AHmf3ygAN pic.twitter.com/X5OA8PO8BZ
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) January 11, 2023
The law says gross negligence but Comey ignored that. So as long as no one can prove Biden himself knew about the documents being held in at least two locations, he’ll get a pass as well. “I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office,” Biden explained yesterday. So he doesn’t know anything, his press secretary doesn’t know anything and we’re waiting on his AG to let the rest of us know if we get to know anything.
Biden literally reads off a script when asked about the classified documents from his vice presidency found at his personal office:
“I was surprised to learn that there are any government records that were taken there to that office. But I don’t know what’s in the documents.” pic.twitter.com/ilviexqjPK
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 10, 2023