Classified documents found in Biden's Garage
They were unsecured, next to the Corvette.
Today, counsel to President Biden revealed that classified documents were found in Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware residence.
This is the second batch of classified materials that were taken by Biden in 2017 - the first being those found at the Penn-Biden Center. Here’s the relevant part of the statement of Richard Sauber, Special Counsel to President Biden (highlights are ours):
“Following the discovery of government documents at the Penn Biden Center in November 2022, and coordinating closely with the Department of Justice, the President’s lawyers have searched the President’s Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, residence - the other locations where files from his Vice-Presidential office might have been shipped in the course of the 2017 transition. The lawyers completed that review last night.
During the review, lawyers discovered among personal and political papers a small number of additional Obama-Biden records with classified markings. All but one of these documents were found in a storage space in the President’s Wilmington residence garage. One document consisting of one page was discovered among stored materials in an adjacent room. No documents were found in the Rehoboth Beach residence.”
This statement follows reporting that Attorney General Merrick Garland has assigned the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, John Lausch, Jr., “to review” these documents. The FBI is “also involved in the U.S. Attorney’s inquiry.” Lausch is a hold-over from the Trump Administration, one of the few U.S. attorneys not forced to resign during the transfer of power. In the past, he reportedly helped the DOJ speed up the processing of documents “in response to a House Judiciary Committee subpoena that related to the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.”
What should we make of these latest developments?
First, Biden’s attorneys are conducting these searches of Biden’s residences to show the DOJ that their cooperation is full and transparent. These are steps done to avoid the potential for any type of subpoena. Biden is convincing his own Justice Department that a search will not be necessary. Attorney General Garland will undoubtedly agree, despite the fact that there must be a full investigation of this issue that must include an interview of Biden himself.
Second, there’s been some speculation that this is part of an effort to throw Biden under the bus. Not seeing it. There’s bigger issues where Biden is more vulnerable, namely corruption.
Third, to state the obvious - yes, there is a double standard. Yes, the Biden DOJ subjects Trump to standards that Biden himself can’t maintain. Yes, Biden’s homes won’t be raided. Yes, there won’t be inaccurate leaks from Biden DOJ about what Biden’s classified documents contained. In other words, yes, it will be business as usual.
Fourth, why release this information now? To get ahead of the story and control how it’s released. From the Administration’s perspective, better to disclose the discovery of classified documents on their own - with their own spin - rather than be subject to anonymous leaks they can’t control. Thus, they put out the written statement and give Biden something to read:
Finally, what is to come?
While there are no guarantees, we believe it is more likely than not that Garland does not appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Biden’s possession of classified materials. (We’re 80/20 on that one.) If Garland believed such a step was necessary, he probably wouldn’t have assigned the investigation to the US Attorney for Chicago to look into a matter where the President is a suspect and classified documents included “some top-secret files with the ‘sensitive compartmented information’ designation that is used for highly sensitive information obtained from intelligence sources.” (Garland’s choice of investigator should suggest where this is headed…)
After all, Garland refused to appoint a Special Counsel in a more high-stakes investigation - the Hunter Biden criminal case - where Biden is a witness and in which implicates Biden with his own potentially criminal conduct.
Edit (11:41 AM EST): We had our doubts - no guarantees, but doubts - about AG Garland appointing a Special Counsel, considering (1) he had already assigned a US attorney to the investigation; and (2) Garland’s history with the Hunter Biden investigation. Now, at ~1 PM EST, AG Garland will be making an announcement. Will he announce a Special Counsel? We’ll soon find out.
1:18 PM CST: Attorney General Garland has appointed Robert Hur, former US Attorney for the District of Maryland, as Special Counsel. As Garland explained, Lausch would be departing the DOJ and would not be able to handle a longer-term investigation. No doubt that Garland would have kept Laush but for that curveball.