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OPINION

Biden Classified Docs Fiasco: Abuse of Power, Arrogance

national archives interior view
Interior of the National Archives, Washington, D.C. (Joe Sohm/Dreamsime.com)

Fred Fleitz By Friday, 20 January 2023 03:38 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The series of explanations offered by Biden administration officials for the discoveries of classified documents in President Biden’s think tank office, home office, and home garage was not a cover-up of some kind of mistake by Mr. Biden’s former staff — when he was vice president.

Rather, they represent a brazen attempt to hide Mr. Biden’s abuse of government power and his arrogant attitude that the law does not apply to him.

Sadly, Biden's attitude and his playing fast and loose with both the rules and the truth are nothing new. 

The American people deserve an explanation of what really happened.

Biden administration officials first tried to play down the reports of classified documents found in Mr. Biden’s office and home by claiming these documents were "inadvertently misplaced" by his staff when he was vice president. Today, the president made a similar comment, telling the press: "we found a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place."

Last week, CNN reported the misplacement of these documents was due to a "whirlwind" at the end of Mr. Biden’s tenure as vice president because he had to make last-minute overseas trips to Ukraine and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

This week, administration officials and their supporters are claiming that "missing classified records are not uncommon," and this affair is "mostly the "D.C. elite making D.C. noise" as they prepare for the 2024 election.

And now, the Biden White House is stonewalling media queries about the classified document scandal.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre walked out of the daily White House press briefing on Monday when Newsmax Chief White House Correspondent James Rosen tried to ask a tough question about this scandal.

On Wednesday, Jean-Pierre refused to answer questions about the scandal because she said a special counsel was investigating it and the administration was not allowed to interfere with the investigation.

NBC reporter Peter Alexander disputed this, stating at the White House press conference:

"We’ve all reached out to the Department of Justice. A law enforcement official tells NBC News the Justice Department has not told the White House that it cannot talk about the facts underlying the special counsel investigation and the classified documents . . . "

He then pointedly asked, "Why can't you speak about the underlying facts?"

This furious spinning by the Biden administration is intended to distract the American public from basic facts about this scandal.

First, all officials with the Executive Office of the President know that their work documents — not just classified ones — are official records and U.S. government property.

This is so under the Presidential Records Act.

Officials in the Executive Office are told regularly that these records must be preserved and turned over to the National Archives when they leave office.

When he was vice president, Mr. Biden’s staff knew they were not permitted to send boxloads of official documents out of the White House for Mr. Biden’s use after he left office, regardless of whether these boxes included classified information.

Many Americans don't understand this and might have given President Biden and his staff the benefit of the doubt on their claims that an innocent mistake caused a small number of classified documents to be shipped to Mr. Biden’s home or think tank office.

The trouble is, the "innocent mistake" explanation has become increasingly implausible because of the multiple discoveries of classified documents in Mr. Biden’s home, garage, and his Penn Biden Center office.

There is the question of how classified documents found their way to the Penn Biden Center, which did not even exist when Mr. Biden left office in January of 2017.

There also is the matter of the Biden administration hiding this scandal from the American people until after the 2022 midterm election.

Has more has been going on with these documents than we have been told?

And then there is the clear double standard of sending the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to raid Mar-a-Lago (fromer President Trump's home in Palm Beach, Florida) while deciding not to send the FBI to search President Biden’s residence in response to discoveries of classified documents there.

After the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent the FBI to Mar-a-Lago to seize official records and classified documents being stored there in a locked, guarded room, it did not send the FBI to search President Biden’s residence after unsecured classified documents were discovered in a garage and other locations.

Instead, the DOJ allowed the president’s personal attorneys to search for classified documents in his home and think tank office.

This meant that lawyers who do not hold security clearances conducted this search and could exclude any documents potentially damaging or embarrassing to Mr. Biden.

If the FBI had searched Mr. Biden’s residence, they could have found evidence of other crimes or taken documents related to other possible investigations.

This may have been a factor here given the dubious foreign business deals by Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter (which purportedly involved his father), and the fact that Hunter Biden lived in his father’s house.

If the FBI seized all documents from President Biden’s home office, would it have found documents on Hunter Biden’s deals with Chinese and Ukrainian companies?

We'll never know.

In my opinion, the facts of this case indicate that classified information and other official documents from Mr. Biden’s vice president’s office were not illegally removed from the White House by accident — they were removed deliberately.

I believe the likely reason was to assist Mr. Biden in writing his memoir.

But there is another, more troubling possibility: these documents were removed so the former vice president could use them for business purposes after he left office.

The presence of classified information on Ukraine begs the question of this possibility.

This means that Mr. Biden and his vice president’s office staff did not think the law applied to them. Mr. Biden thought he was too important to be inconvenienced by details like the Presidential Records Act.

But, he also did not hesitate to lambast Mr. Trump for violating this act over documents stored at Mar-a-Lago.

Biden administration officials also have moved to cover up this scandal by refusing to answer press questions and having Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys conduct a search for documents and decide what to turn over to the Justice Department and National Archives.

This is a story of Mr. Biden’s arrogant abuse of power as president and vice president.

Now more than ever, it's crucial that Congress thoroughly investigate this scandal, disclosing all details to the American people, and do so without the slightest hesitation.

Fred Fleitz is a Newsmax TV Contributor and vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security. He previously served as National Security Council Chief of staff, CIA analyst, and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Fred-Fleitz
Now more than ever, it's crucial that Congress thoroughly investigate this scandal, disclosing all details to the American people, and do so without the slightest hesitation.
chinese, doj, ukrainian
1149
2023-38-20
Friday, 20 January 2023 03:38 PM
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