Biden’s Classification Crisis Goes from Bad to Worse
The president’s mishandling classified information scandal becomes a bona fide crisis for the administration – one which won’t easily go away
Since this newsletter first reported President Joe Biden’s scandal regarding the mishandling of classified information three days ago, this issue has expanded from being a minor crisis into a major one. In light of new revelations and the involvement of the Department of Justice, this has become “a big f*****g deal,” as the president himself might put it.
At mid-week, this crisis seemed manageable for the White House. At that point, the issue related to roughly 10 classified documents that mysteriously wound up in Joe Biden’s former private office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC. The bad news for the administration is that these “personal” documents included intelligence classified TOPSECRET/SCI, the highest possible classification in our government. Since TOPSECRET/SCI intelligence can only be viewed or stored in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or SCIF, it’s difficult to see how this could be an accident, exactly.
The good news for the White House is that this error, although constituting a violation of Federal law, could be portrayed as an isolated incident, a dumb one-off from the gaffe-prone president. That at least was the Democratic spin, which included frequent reminders that unlike former President Donald Trump, who repeatedly refused to hand over classified documents (including TOPSECRET/SCI intelligence) which he had illegally stashed at his Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida, President Biden had promptly returned this waylaid classified information to the National Archives and Records Administration, their rightful owner. Since NARA now had the classified documents, what really was the scandal?
That take seemed plausible a few days ago but got blown up yesterday by a series of revelations which portray this budding scandal in a different light that’s distinctly less flattering to the president. Yesterday morning, the White House Counsel’s Office, in a belated effort to get ahead of breaking bad news, issued a statement assuring the administration’s cooperation with NARA and DoJ in investigating this matter, while adding that the president’s lawyers had searched two Biden residences in Delaware, in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, where they found “among personal and political papers a small number of additional Obama-Biden Administration records with classified markings. All but one of these documents were found in storage space in the President’s Wilmington garage residence. One document consisting of one page was discovered among stored materials in an adjacent room.”