Biden Gets His Own Classified Intelligence Crisis
Can’t anybody in our nation’s capital follow the laws and regulations pertaining to the handling and storage of highly classified intelligence?
It’s happened again, somehow.
The scandal which has surrounded former President Donald Trump for months regarding his mishandling of highly classified intelligence at his Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida remains unresolved, with many wondering if the Department of Justice will indict Trump over that matter. Yet before that has happened, another president finds himself embroiled in yet another scandal involving the mishandling of highly classified intelligence.
Yesterday, CBS News broke the story, which was subsequently amplified by CNN, that back in November, just six days before the midterm election, personal attorneys of President Joe Biden discovered approximately 10 classified documents in the offices of a think-tank located in Washington, DC, that’s affiliated with the current president. Opened in 2018 and sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement promotes discussion of international topics. It is not, however, a U.S. Government entity and as such should not be storing classified materials of any kind.
Initial reports about these waylaid classified documents are vague, though they are said to have been located in a box, stored among unclassified materials. It is assumed that these documents have been there, stored improperly, for roughly six years, when Biden left the Obama White House as vice president after two terms in that office. More seriously, according to CNN, “The classified materials included some top-secret files with the ‘sensitive compartmented information’ designation, also known as SCI, which is used for highly sensitive information obtained from intelligence sources.”
This, therefore, is a consequential matter indeed. Not only is Top Secret the highly classification level in the U.S. Government (“information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security”), Sensitive Compartmented Information is a whole other matter. SCI materials require special clearance to have access to, as well as a need to know (in theory). Moreover, SCI intelligence can only be stored and handled inside a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or SCIF (pronounced “skiff” like the boat) which is a special enclosed area reserved for highly classified work. We can be certain that the Penn Biden Center does not have a SCIF, meaning that somebody broke Federal law here.
If this all sounds familiar, it should. Trump’s improperly stored intelligence documents at Mar-A-Lago similarly included Top Secret/SCI documents which had no business being there and were stored illegally.