Biden’s Closet: It is Not the Crime But the Clarity That Concerns the Press and Pundits

Below is my column in on the discovery of highly classified documents in a closet in the private office used by President Joe Biden before 2020. There is still much that we do not know about the documents, though many in the media have already dismissed the matter as no way comparable to the controversy at Mar-a-Lago. Legally, the underlying potential offense of unlawfully possessing classified material is the same, though there are obvious differences in the two cases. Yet, what has been lost may be as serious as any crime for Democrats: clarity. Indeed, the potential crime itself was quickly dismissed by press and pundits who previously insisted that the mere possession of such documents endangered national security and warranted prosecution.

Here is the column:

In the movie classic “Three Days of the Condor,” John Houseman played a weathered spymaster who spoke of the good old days after the Great War “before we knew enough to number them.” When a subordinate asked if he missed “that kind of action,” Houseman responds dryly, “Nope. I miss that kind of clarity.”

The Democrats may soon have the same lament. We have too many scandals to number, but what they will miss most after the discovery of highly classified documents in the president’s former private office is the clarity.  With the discovery, Democrats have lost the clarity and separation with Trump. There are clear differences in the two scandals, but those differences could be lost in the echo of Biden’s own words on the mishandling of classified material.

Last year, President Biden was asked by CBS’ Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes,” “When you saw the photograph of the top secret documents laid out on the floor at Mar-a-Lago, what did you think to yourself looking at that image?”

Biden seem to struggle to find words to express his revulsion: “How that could possibly happen, how one anyone could be that irresponsible. And I thought what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods.”

Washington is in full spin control with pundits who previously said that even a misdemeanor conviction of Trump should bar him from ever running again for federal office.

Again, there are distinctions, but we still do not know the full facts, including whether additional classified material has been previously returned or whether additional material may be located in other offices. Nevertheless, there is no allegation of false statements or obstruction.

What is most striking is how this could have easily been far, far worse if the Bidens had gotten their way on the alternative office that was discussed following their departure from government. Rather than the Penn Center, their effective landlord would have been Chinese associates with close ties to Beijing.

For those of us who have followed the Biden influence peddling scandal, one of the benefits that Joe Biden was supposed to receive from Chinese associates was an office that he would use regularly.

In 2017, Hunter Biden asked that keys be made for his new “office mates,” listing his father, Joe Biden, Jill Biden and his uncle, Jim Biden. He said that they planned to share the space with Gongwen Dong, whom he described as an “emissary” for Chairman Ye Jianming — the chairman of CEFC Chinese Energy Co.  Hunter Biden also asked for set of keys of Gongwen Dong. The manager was even asked to change the names on the front door to include Joe and Jill Biden.

The arrangement appears to have fallen to the wayside with other aspects of the Chinese deals. Instead, the Bidens found another source at the University of Pennsylvania to cover their office needs.

What is not known is whether some of this classified material was relevant to Biden’s book and his lectures on diplomacy, raising the possibility that he worked with the documents on computers or discussed them with third parties. In the meantime, they apparently sat in a closet, easy pickings for any intelligence service.

While the media continues to dismiss the influence peddling investigation as, in the words this weekend of NBC’s Chuck Todd, a “personal” attack, it is far more serious as a form of corruption due to an array of dangers from such access. The millions given to Hunter Biden came from a variety of foreign sources, including some coming from figures tied to foreign intelligence. This money not only gained influence but access to the Bidens.

Hunter himself stated that foreign intelligence used hotel rooms to steal his files. A videotape purportedly shows Biden claiming that one of his laptops was stolen by Russians for blackmail purposes.

Putting aside the lack of media interest in Biden’s claim, there is no information on any investigation by the FBI that blackmail material may have been acquired on the Bidens.

The danger of influence peddling is that it is not only the preferred avenue for corruption in Washington, but it often allows dangerous levels of access to targeted leaders.

Even if the public dodged this danger on the Chinese-funded office, it was not due to any lack of effort by the Bidens. The question now is how the public can feel confident that the FBI will show the same vigor in investigating the Bidens as it did Trump.

Attorney General Merrick Garland knows that many citizens no longer trust the government and his current position will only deepen those misgivings. There is growing unease over the litany of controversies over political bias at the FBI, including calls for a new “Church Committee” to look into reforms.

At the same time, Garland has maintained an incomprehensible position in refusing to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Biden influence peddling controversy and other issues. He has done so despite clear evidence that the President had lied in denying any knowledge of his son’s foreign dealings and repeated references to the President getting a possible cut or benefits (including the Chinese-funded office) from the deals.

Garland’s position now borders on the comical. He announced that he was compelled to appoint a special counsel on the Mar-a-Lago and other possible offenses by Trump after he officially became a candidate for the 2024 presidential election. At the time, some of us noted that Biden is actually the president but Garland was steadfastly refusing to make such an appointment.

Now Biden stands accused of the same underlying offense as Mar-a-Lago. While there have not been false statement or obstruction claims raised, it is unclear what allegations will emerge. More importantly, the offense of unlawfully removing and storing classified information is the same. Yet, Garland again refused to appoint a special counsel and will keep the matter within the DOJ rank-and-file.

Biden can count on every possible consideration and accommodation from the media. The public is used to that. However, Garland will undermine both investigations by continuing to block the appointment of a special counsel into Biden and his family.

The Biden discovery will complicate the narrative for many in Washington, particularly those who previously took the position that knowing possession alone justifies a criminal charge. When added to the Hillary Clinton destruction of tens of thousands of emails and use of unsecure private servers, Garland may be creating the greatest credibility crisis for the Justice Department in decades. It is due his framing of these investigations.

It is all part of the incredible shrinking Merrick Garland. At a time that leadership is demand, Garland is again evading his most difficult obligation to show total independence from his president in seeking both the full facts and full accountability in a scandal. Otherwise, he will fuel the mistrust over the treatment of the two scandals and many more, beyond the president, and future generations will likely ask “how anyone could be that irresponsible.”


407 thoughts on “Biden’s Closet: It is Not the Crime But the Clarity That Concerns the Press and Pundits”

  1. Karen – the bad guys are fine with a double standard. They believe they are better than the unwashed masses, and the rules that apply to others shouldn’t apply to them. As a consequence, no amount of pointing out double standards will have any impact on them. See Uncle Andrew in The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis.

    1. oldmanfromkansas:

      Agreed. Not only are they elitist, but their current method of double standard works. Their voters did not hold them accountable for allowing Democrats to riot for a year, and seize CHOP at gunpoint, while holding committees, trials, and investigations into January 6th. Nor have voters demanded Biden be held accountable for the allegations that arose out of Hunter Biden’s laptop. Trump’s children were savaged as possibly benefitting from Trump being in office, while Democrat voters are meh about Hunter Biden selling access to VP Joe Biden, or Hunter’s multimillion earnings in Ukrainian oil and gas without qualifications. Democrats would not allow the Republican minority to seat their own committee members, and instead insisted on RINOs. Now they howl at the unfairness of it all when Swalwell was unseated from intel committees because he was targeted by a Chinese spy “little sparrow”, who served as his girlfriend and installed more spies as staff. Democrats fought his removal from intelligence committees while they were in the majority, but losing clearance is standard practice.

      The double standard works. They don’t care about Republicans or Libertarian complaints. Their voters don’t care, so why should they?

      1. Karen S: you’re just going to have to stop lying when you claim “Democrats…riot(ed) for a year”. Democrats did not riot, they did not foment any “riots”, did not condone any “riots” and aren’t responsible for the furious reaction of many to the brutal slaying of George Floyd, who begged for his life under the knee of Derek Chauvin. There’s no comparison with the protests following George Floyd’s murder with the insurrection based on the Big Lie that was planned and coordinated even before Election Day. Did you forget that your hero told the Proud Boys to “stand down and stand by”? This was in September, 2020, and the Proud Boys used it as a recruiting tool. Your continually claiming that Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans, based on the Floyd murder protests doesn’t make it true, just like when your hero keeps harping on the Big Lie–it’s still a lie.

        How or why should Biden be held accountable “for allegations” about Hunter Biden’s laptop? What has been proven that JOE Biden did? The matter is under investigation by a Delaware prosecutor. Where’s the proof that Hunter “sold access” to Joe Biden? How many times do you have to be reminded about why Jim Jordan and Jim Banks were not allowed on the J6 committee? They both were involved in the insurrection–that’s the reason–they voted not to accept Biden’s victory, based on the Big Lie. They are both partisan hacks and had absolutely no sincere desire to properly investigate the origins of J6th and those involved, so as to prevent a repeat–they would have intentionally tried to turn it into a clown show. Nancy Pelosi invited McCarthy to name people who weren’t involved, and he declined. You call Cheney and Kinzinger “RINOS”, but that’s just argument–what have they said or done that’s factually or legally incorrect or shows any scintilla of partisan bias? Most of the witnesses were not only Republicans, they were Trump insiders. including his own daughter. All the garbage about Swalwell is just that: garbage–nothing has been proven–unlike the proof of Trump’s direct involvement in the insurrection, his refusal to call off the mob of rioters for over 3 hours, his mid-insurrection tweet that Mike Pence failed to to the right thing, and when he finally did call off the rioters after basking in the glory of his perceived power, told them he “loved” them. If such conduct by a US President is not sick, I don’t know what qualifies. The arguments about Swalwell are all just crap from the mouth of Hannity and the other losers at Fox. There’s no “double standard” here at all because nothing you argue about is based on truth–just twisted facts and argument to try to create comparisons that don’t exist in reality.

      1. What this tells me is that President Biden has realised something is amiss and now has his aides out actively searching for errant documents. R’s of course will immediately claim. “Oh, He’s trying to cover his tracks!” While the more intelligent will consider He’s discovered a mistake was made and wants to set it right.

        1. JCH:

          1. The first cache was declared months ago, but the public was deliberately kept in the dark until after the election, through coordination with the DOJ. Would you agree with these actions if it were Republicans?
          2. Who put the documents there? With Trump, we know the National Records Office boxed up the documents and delivered them to Mar-a-Lago. The dispute was over his claim to have declassified them as president, and his desire to retain custody. Both the NA and FBI knew where the documents were all along. He received guidance from the FBI on security. Why do you believe no one knew those documents were in Biden’s office closets? Someone would have had to box them up and put them there.
          3. “Mistakes were made” didn’t protect Trump from an FBI armed pre-dawn raid. Since there are obviously more than one cache of classified documents taken by Joe Biden or his staff, why isn’t the DOJ and FBI investigating, similar to Trump? Why take Biden’s team’s word for it on what documents are there, when that did not suffice for Trump?
          4. Why are there different standards for the handling of classified information for the military, civilians, and prominent politicians, depending on political party? A sailor was dishonorably discharged and charged with a crime for taking a selfie on a nuclear submarine. No intent to commit espionage, and had the best of intentions. If you accidentally take a document home in a briefcase, from a SCIFF, you’ll go to prison. Why, then, could Hillary Clinton have top secret information on a bootleg server in her house, backed up to the Cloud, serviced by IT with zero clearance, lie about it, and then wipe it with BleachBit while under subpoena? Why is it OK that a convicted sex offender had access to that information through Huma’s laptop? As president, Trump had the power to declassify material. There still might be records that belong in NA. However, as VP, Biden did not have that authority. That means he mishandled classified information, without any argument that he could have declassified it. Why is it that the NA tends to find records, including classified documents, months, or years, after presidents leave office, and there are no armed raids, unless it was Trump?
          5. Keeping classified information in a closet is a “mistake” to you? Months ago, it was grounds to have Trump imprisoned.
          6. This is how the double standard works for Democrats. They persecute Republicans through abuse of power. When Republicans then have grounds to apply that same standard, Democrats cry for a return to the previous standard. Like when Democrats refuse to allow the Republican minority to appoint their own committee members. Now, Republicans are outraged that McCarthy removed Swawell from intel committees for having a Chinese spy as a girlfriend, and spies among his staff (grounds for the loss of clearance in any other position), Adam Schiff for repeatedly lying to Congress, and Ilhan Omar for making repeated antisemitic comments and working against our ally Israel’s national security. Democrats cry that holding the same standard is “retaliation.” In reality, Democrats kept prominent Republicans off of committees due to politics. McCarthy is blocking committee appointments for cause. Personally, I would like to return to when each party chose its own committee members. However, I do NOT want to repeat the pattern where Democrats set a precedent, and then Republicans roll over and refuse to hold them to the same standard. It’s repeated, and it’s not fair. If Democrats agree to return to that standard, then set a future date for it, and in the meantime, take a dose of their own medicine.

          1. Karen,

            1. We also didn’t know for months about NARA’s exchanges with Trump about missing docs.
            2. We do NOT “know the National Records Office boxed up the documents and delivered them to Mar-a-Lago.”
            3. Trump’s retention was not a mistake. He was subpoenaed, and had his lawyers falsely claim to have carried out a thorough search and that none remained.
            4. Is this the sailor you’re talking about?
            If so, you clearly aren’t describing the alleged crimes accurately.
            The VP can declassify anything he originally classified or that was classified by someone he supervised (EO 13526)
            5. Trump’s alleged crimes are NOT simply unlawful retention of classified info, but false statements and obstruction. Amazing that you STILL do not understand the details, perhaps willfully.
            6. You willfully ignore distinctions.

            As for your questions, some are questions that people don’t know the answer to, and others are loaded, assuming facts not in evidence.

    1. “aides to Biden have been searching for additional documents that contained classified material in other locations that may have been used by the president.”

      So they’re doing the right thing: carrying out a search to see if there are any other classified documents that need to be returned. Something Trump failed to do thoroughly.

      1. Six years too late. What was Biden, or anyone else who had access to them, doing with these documents for six years?

        1. I have no idea. I also don’t know what Trump was doing with the documents in his possession.

          But between the two of them, Biden at least acted responsibly once the documents were found, by carrying out a search to see whether there were any others. Trump had to be subpoenaed, and even then didn’t turn over all of the docs with classified markings.

          1. Anonymous – “once the documents were found”. Did HE not move them out of the white house or executive office building or similar proper location to his new digs? I understand that he may not have physically moved them, but he must have selected them and ordered that they be moved. If documents are moving around by themselves in Washington, that would be a real concern.

            1. “Did HE not move them out of the white house or executive office building or similar proper location to his new digs?”

              I don’t know who moved them.

              “he must have selected them and ordered that they be moved. ”

              Why? For all we know, they were moved inadvertently, not by selection.

              A good set of questions from law prof. Ryan Goodman:
              1 How many docs?
              2 Classification level?
              3 Who responsible for moving them?
              4 Who knew of them?
              5 When discovered?
              6. Date on the documents (h/t @notimmediately)
              7. Who occupied both locations before Biden took office (h/t @harmonyis1)
              8. What is the specific second location?

              I’d say that similar questions should be asked for Trump.

              Along with: who did the search to check for any remaining missing docs, and where did they search?

              1. Why? For all we know, they were moved inadvertently, not by selection.

                Biden had them moved. They are his papers. His responsibility. We all know he is a demented old fool. But you insist he is fit to be President. He has no excuse for this cluster expletive.

                1. That they’re his responsibility doesn’t resolve the question of whether they were selected vs. moved inadvertently.

              2. 1-8, and countless others:

                Submarines under attack have a number of evasive techniques. One is to flood the water with decoys. The pursuer then becomes distracted and disoriented.

                Stay on target. Ignore the enemy’s decoys.

              3. Sea lionizing is convenient for ATS. He has no answer so he supplies more questions. That is one of the tools of those that lie and deceive.

          2. Anonymous:

            The documents were declared months ago, but that information was kept secret until after the midterm elections. Do you consider this doing the right thing?

            Also, why do you assume that no one knew the documents were there. Wouldn’t the person who boxed up classified documents on Iran and other national security issues figure he was removing classified information? Wouldn’t that guy know where he left the boxes? Trump claimed that he declassified the information, and the National Records Office boxed and sent it to him. The government always knew where they were.

            The National Archives often takes years to get documents from former presidents. It’s not at all uncommon for there to be either delays or disputes over what goes where, and who’s entitled to what. Trump was going through lawyers in negotiating what documents he wanted to keep. The FBI advised Trump on security for the room in which the documents were kept.

            Meanwhile, Joe Biden just announced a second cache of classified documents. Yet there have been no armed, predawn FBI raids to see what else is there.

            You are justifying the double standard, perhaps because of bias.

            1. “why do you assume that no one knew the documents were there.”

              I have no idea whether anyone knew and never suggested otherwise, as I do not pretend to know things I don’t know. Stop asking loaded questions.

              “The National Archives often takes years to get documents from former presidents.”

              Not CLASSIFIED documents.

              “there have been no armed, predawn FBI raids to see what else is there.”

              Right, and there ALSO weren’t any raids of MaL for many more months while they negotiated with him and then subpoenaed him, while Biden is acting quickly to search and turn over any other docs that remain in an unsecured location. That you willfully refuse to deal with this differences speaks to your own bias. Trump obstructed and had his lawyers file false statements; so far, there’s no evidence of either for Biden.

              1. You blabber continuously and make believe you have a lot of information hidden by links and sentences phrased in such a way they say very little. Many of your links say nothing or prove you wrong, From a lack of knowledge you draw conclusions.

                “Trump obstructed and had his lawyers file false statements; so far, there’s no evidence of either for Biden.”

                What do you mean by obstruction? Trump had a right to a hearing before a court. The FBI raid should never have taken place, but you argue about an affidavit that the FBI won’t release. We know the FBI lied to the FISA Court so an intelligent person would be suspicious about the affidavit. Now it should be released and we should question under oath all those that had a part in the affidavit. Dictators use your tactics. Classical liberals resort to the courts where these things belong.

                You say his lawyers filed false statements. They looked and didn’t find. That is different than filing a false statement. You are making statements not based on fact. Why don’t you prove your statement and quote from theirs? You can’t because you are lying. You finish off that there is no evidence for Biden, but then you continuously say there is no evidence against Biden for other things even when the laptop proves differently. You are not to be trusted

                I picked your last sentence, but much of what you say above in multiple statements is wrong or an attempt to deceive.

          3. “Biden at least acted responsibly once the documents were found”

            Such juvenile spin can only come form ATS.

            1. “Biden at least acted responsibly . . .”

              By leaving classified documents in a facility, for six years, that is funded by the communist Chinese?!

              1. You get it Sam. ATS does not. There are two reasons for that ATS is anti-American in spirit or is Stupid. ATS can pick or both.

        2. “. . . who had access to them . . .”

          Classified documents stored for years at a facility that was funded by the communist Chinese. And that does not raise alarm bells?!

    1. “No one is above the law…”

      Except Nancy Pelosi if there are Covid lockdowns and she needs her hair done.
      Except Hillary Clinton when she has a bootleg server with classified information she backed up to the Cloud, and then deleted with BleachBit while under subpoena.
      Except Hunter Biden selling access to VP Joe Biden.
      Except Joe Biden’s quid pro quo in Ukraine to get the prosecutor fired who was investigating Burisma, which paid his drug addict, unqualified son millions of dollars as an oil and gas executive.
      Except for Eric Holder for withholding subpoenaed information.

      One way for thee, another for me.

  2. What is Law but the glue that holds a society together? If the bond is broken can a society be just? I say a resounding unequivocal NO it can’t.

    Should our laws become suspect to arbitrary and capricious interpretations and enforced by one class of society, against another, then the foundation of our government does not exist but in meaningless words waiting to crumble into waste.

    1. This is beyond two tiered “justice.” This is blatant corruption with serious national security implications. Gitmo would be too good for these traitors.

  3. We still don’t know what is in either set of documents, but we know that the initial speculation about the Trump docs being nuclear secrets, etc. were clearly wrong:

    WaPo (11/16/22) “That review has not found any apparent business advantage to the types of classified information in Trump’s possession, these people said. FBI interviews with witnesses so far, they said, also do not point to any nefarious effort by Trump to leverage, sell or use the government secrets. Instead, the former president seemed motivated by a more basic desire not to give up what he believed was his property, these people said.”

    With a little perspective, this story, like the Mar a Lago raid, becomes very much about the behavior of the federal agencies/employees tasked with handling these issues. While there had been a great deal of deference given to former President’s in retaining records they could unilaterally declassify and consider ‘personal’ papers, there is every indication that those same agencies played a game of “gotcha” that indicated they knew which documents were in Trump’s possession and did everything they could to escalate and create a law enforcement confrontation, rather than exercise diplomatic caution in assisting an ex-President archive/retain records he was legally able to access/keep.

    Look at how Obama, Bush and Clinton records had been handled after they left office and compare to how the same agencies treated Trump. If these records turn out to be personal letters from foreign leaders, copies of Trump’s own correspondence, or records classified after Trump left office, it dramatically changes the narrative (and hews much closer to what WaPo reported after the mid-terms, rather than the hype present immediately after the raid.)

    It bears asking, how is it that no one in those same agencies knew that the Biden docs were missing? We can assume they were moved to these offices in 2018, as soon as the office opened, but there are no facts to support that premise. We only know that they were unaccounted for from at least January 2017 until November 2022. They quite literally could have been anywhere. We’ve seen zero evidence that the Trump docs had been anywhere else between the point that WH employees packed/moved them from the WH to the locked areas at MAL, which is a residence. The Secret Service has been present at that location since Trump left office, there was considerable security already in place to protect the personal residence/storage and additional security was put in place after the initial visit from the FBI to assess. That dramatically changes the setting for how urgently/aggressively the federal agencies needed to proceed, based on the risk of an intelligence leak.

    Lastly, how troubling is it that Federal agencies, including Law Enforcement, leak like a sieve, often deceptively, but we never heard a whiff of any of this before the midterm election? How did we go months without anyone leaking that the FBI had possession of the laptop, that career diplomats had raised the same questions Trump had during the Biden admin, even as the impeachment process was underway? How did no one leak that the FBI/DOJ had full knowledge of Clinton’s funding of, or the flimsy lack of evidence for, the bogus Dossier? How did Trump’s tax records leak from the IRS, but we never heard a whisper about the numerous flagged bank transactions for Hunter Biden? Where are the protective briefings for elective officials instead of FISA search warrants if a politician has an (R) after their name?

    There’s a pattern here that grows more evident by the day. It is not only that there are two standards in applying the law, there are very different standards applied in the processes employed, the protections offered and the application of the rules in place, based upon who it helps/harms politically. This cannot long stand.

    P.S.- That isn’t a call to arms. It’s a gnawing worry that we are running out of time for honorable people on both sides to start doing the right thing. In which case, everyone should be praying that there are enough conservatives who are motivated by a love of the Constitution to restrain those on their own side who are motivated to respond in kind to the untethered “ends justify the means” lunacy that has seemingly taken hold of everyone on the left, outside of Alan Dershowitz and Glenn Greenwald.

    1. My prediction: it will turn out that Trump’s documents are basically harmless while Biden’s are dangerous.

      1. My prediction: it will turn out that Trump engaged in obstruction and false statements, and Biden didn’t.

        1. That’s a different point. I agree that there is a genuine issue regarding potential obstruction and false statements by Trump and/or his team.

          That has nothing to do with the legality of either Trump or Biden being in possession of documents potentially harmful to the national defence.

          1. It’s not legal for either of them to have classified docs while out of office, but AFAIK, the DOJ doesn’t prosecute for that alone. AFAIK, there has to be some additional crime, like obstruction. Please correct me if you’re aware of someone who was charged solely for possession.

              1. Daniel: I have not seen others discuss this, but some commenters may believe NARA didn’t realize documents were missing because the original was intact and archived and Biden was working with a copy. However, that fails because 24 CFR 2400.30 provides that “All copies of classified documents reproduced for any purpose including those incorporated in a working paper are subject to the same controls prescribed for the document from which the reproduction is made.”

                1. Thanks Lin. There is actually a real concern here that classified documents, or copies of them, were in effect smuggled out of the government’s control by Biden without any of the responsible agencies discovering it. So much for our vaunted control systems.

                  Jesse Watters had an interesting angle on all this. Not only was the office cleanup done by a lawyer, but it was a very senior lawyer indeed, ms D Remus, former WH counsel, Obama ally and now a partner at Covington. Apparently she is one of Biden’s private lawyers. Why was she assigned to close out the office unless there was something very unusual and delicate going on? Watters speculates that this is a conspiracy by the Democrat establishment to stop Biden from running in 2024.

                  1. Daniel: I want to apologize to you (and others reading this). As you can see by the time posted, I (now) already nite-nite when it occurred to me that the citation I gave you from the CFR didn’t sound right. (This is because I had worked for the DOD while in school. I remembered that DOD was Title 32, but couldn’t remember the rest.) so I entered “search” words regarding transmitting/copying docs, and the citation I gave you popped up, which I then sent. But hen I went to bed thinking, “that didn’t sound right,”. Sooooooo, Title 32 CFR is still correct, but the rest should be general guidance under 32 CFR 2001.45, specifically (b)(3).
                    Please accept my apology, thanks in advance.

                2. Lin, aren’t there rules of when copies can be made and under what circumstances? Aren’t they listed?

                  Could Biden knowingly have the files copied outside of the regulations, so that no one could know he illegally took them?

                  1. Hello S. Meyer: Yes and presumably yes. In my haste, I typed the correct Title 32 CFR, but the wrong chapter and part (which pertained to a particular Office within DOD),- although what it actually said virtually applies to all under DOD). So I went back and re-cited the general reference, 32 CFR 2001.45, specifically (b)(3).
                    Whether Biden did it surreptitiously or openly is of no consequence; both copies and originals are controlled under the regs, for security purposes. If you simply do a search on the provision(s) cited, you can read more.

                    1. Lin, thank you. There is no reason to search more. Almost all the questions being raised in defense of Biden are a smokescreen. This is the left’s way of gaining control. The do so on every issue and never will stop. They did this during the cold war and perhaps during the war itself.

                      Clinton gave a lot of control over uranium when she was in power, but that was not the first time. We shipped uranium to the Russians in the 1940’s and a lot of other stuff that should never left our shores in their direction.

                    1. When I read the details of the search results, the cases all involve more than just unauthorized retention, where the materials are turned over as soon as they become aware that there are classified materials in their possession. Maybe you found a case where the DOJ prosecuted for that, but I haven’t found such a case, and your suggested search terms haven’t led me to such a case.

            1. “Why? For all we know, they were moved inadvertently, not by selection.”

              When Sandy Berger removed documents illegally placing them in his socks, he was discovered but should have gone to jail. When Hillary Clinton violated the law by copying documents onto her private computer, where those documents ended up on other computers, she should have gone to jail as well. That is enough to rebut your statement, ‘inadvertently moved’. Is everything illegally done by Democrats inadvertent? Trump legally had documents at MAL and was raided even though he let the FBI in and said they could come in again. Trump met the requirements, but Biden did not. The only reason there is any dispute about Trump is the left, like the fascists they are, believes their enemies are all guilty, and it is only a matter of searching for a crime.

    2. Overall, I agree with most of your comment, however you managed to bury the lede in the 3rd or 4th paragraph –
      It bears asking, how is it that no one in those same agencies knew that the Biden docs were missing?
      The questions raised by this critical question leads to some serious issues of intention – 1-Was anyone in the relevant agencies notified at the time of removal? And if not, why? 2-Who actually removed the documents? 3-Depending on the amount of documents removed, were there multiple people involved? 4-Did the person or persons involved have proper security clearances? 5-Is there any log showing who accessed the documents after they were placed in the storage facility? And on and on.
      The answers to these and other questions could lead to serious threats to national security and possible foreign espionage.

    3. This difference in treatment of Trump and Biden is an outrage. Until a full-out raid of every Hunter and Joe residence is carried out there is no justice in this country.

        1. ATS innocently asks in whimpering voice,,, “What’s the probable cause for the warrant?”

          Secret documents in a Biden office funded by the Chinese.

    4. A well reasoned comment unlike what typically comes out of Washington DC. However your hope, that ‘honorable people” on both sides will somehow come together to save the constitution and the nation is I am afraid a pipe dream. The Democrats and the corrupt media in this “country” have made that impossible. It is time for everyone to find their own way.

  4. So, President Obama is responsible for Vice President Biden’s influence peddling and redistributive change. That said, 50 shades of Clinton’s Water Closet.

  5. There is a bold phenomenon today, which is the explicit, and open double standard for Democrats and Republicans.

    Democrats claim every election they lost was stolen or hacked. Al Gore. Stacey Abrahams. Hillary Clinton. There are reams of video of politicians and pundits claiming the 2016 election was hacked, stolen, and illegitimate. Democrats claim whenever Republicans question election integrity, that they’re insurrectionists who should be barred from holding public office, prosecuted, and sent to special camps.

    Democrats routinely riot, loot, and commit arson when unhappy. We observed billions of dollars in damages as cities burned for a year, and armed Democrat gunmen seized entire city blocks of Seattle, successfully keeping police out as they raped, murdered, and stole with impunity. Democrats excused them, bailed them out of jail, did not charge most of them, and the few who were charged were mostly diverted to rehabilitation programs. One, single, time, some Republicans broke off from a peaceful rally, trespassed into the Capitol building, while some of them were waved inside by police. Most of them took selfies and milled around like happy tourists. A group split off and shoved police, broke windows, and tried to disrupt the Senate. Of course that was wrong. However, Democrats claim that ALL Republicans are guilty of insurrection. Anyone who was at the peaceful rally, miles from the Capitol, was deemed guilty by association. Anyone who pointed out the clear disparity in how the rioters were treated by the justice system was guilty of insurrection. People who were guilty of illegally parading and trespassing were sent to solitary confinement for 9 months. Anyone who put hands on a police officer should be charged as such. However, the Democrats who promoted anti-cop bigotry, defunded police, and made famous the phrase, “Cops are pigs. Fry ’em like bacon,” suddenly claimed to be concerned about police. The Capitol police who died after January 6th did so by natural causes, or by suicide. Sadly, due to the defund the cops movement, police suicide is skyrocketing. Add it to the data on all the increase in murders due to Democrats defunding police. Politics matter, apparently, when dealing with rioters in court.

    Democrats waged war on fossil fuels, shutting down as much domestic production as possible, as well as the Keystone Pipeline with our Canadian allies, and tied up as much as was left in court and environmental reviews as possible. Yet Democrats blamed Russia for high gas prices. Biden managed to bring the price down a bit by reducing our strategic reserves. OPEC responded by reducing its production by the same amount. Now we don’t have enough reserves to weather an embargo, and we don’t have sufficient domestic production. Oil companies lost money during the pandemic shutdowns. Now that they’re making more, Congress wants to tax them to the nickel which would, again, interfere with domestic oil production and development, making the problem worse. Yet Democrats blame Republicans for the mess they made.

    Democrats claimed Trump violated the Emoluments Clause because foreign guests paid the going rate to stay at Trump hotels in his portfolio, of which he had already divested control. Democrats fought to keep the Hunter Biden laptop out of the public eye, in which Joe Biden, his brother, and son, allegedly received money from foreign nationals for political favors.

    Democrats claimed Trump should be executed, go to prison, and/or be barred from public office because The NA and National Records Office packed up and shipped documents to his home that he claimed to have declassified. His claim was making its way through the court system, through his lawyers. He had informed the FBI of where the documents were kept, and received advice on the security required while the argument made its way through channels. Meanwhile, Joe Biden brought classified national security documents to an office in his barely visited think tank, kept them in a closet, for years. This information was kept from the public until after the presidential and midterm elections. Hillary Clinton infamously kept classified and Top Secret information on a bootleg illegal server in her house, backed it up to the Cloud, lied about it, and then wiped the server clean with BleachBit, while under subpoena.

    The amount of willful blindness, cognitive dissonance, and plain lack of reason to accept this double standard boggles the mind. Any attempt to point these obvious disparities out to Democrats is often met with angry derision and resistance. They don’t WANT to know.

    1. I *almost* feel guilty for responding to the drivel of yet another Karen Her entire piece is premised on equating Trump’s intentional theft of documents, lying about them, refusing to return them and fundraising over it, with the discovery that 10 or so classified documents got packed away when Biden left office. Biden never took them intentionally, immediately returned them, and they were kept in a secure location, in a locked closet in a locked office at PennBiden. Trump claims he packed the documents, claimed they are his property, lied about returning all of them in response to a subpoena, forced the NARA and DOJ to get a court order, then fundraised over his “victimhood”. Biden immediately notified the NARA when the papers were discovered in a locked closed in a secure office to which the public did not have access. Trump stored our national secrets in a locker by a swimming pool and in his office to which any number of MAL employees had access. He even went through the boxes after the subpoena, shifted the contents among boxes and moved some to other locations. His conduct was intentional, and criminal. Biden’s was not. You’re just repeating more alt-right rhetoric for even suggesting there’s any comparison.

      Karen S: Democrats do NOT lie about losing elections–that’s your hero. Republicans got the single recount in Fla. stopped before it was completed because they knew Al Gore won. He accepted this graciously–and see where it got us–Dubya and the war in Iraq. Hillary did win the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College because Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian hackers to spread lies about her in key districts on social media. This was proven not just by Mueller, but by a Republican Senate investigation and by Dan Coats, Trump’s head of American Intelligence. She won the popular vote. Did she grouse about it, hold rallies, fundraise over it, and refuse to go away? No. That, too, was Trump. And, what happened with Gore and Clinton are true–unlike the Big Lie. Republicans didn’t “question election integrity”–they bought into the Big Lie, some of them encouraged the rioters, some were even present at the insurrection, and some refused to accept the certified vote totals–all based on absolutely no facts. Time has proven that 2020 was a free and fair election that Trump lost. Will he stop lying about it? No. Will disciples like you see him for the habitual liar and narcissist that he is? No.

      How dare you claim that people upset over the murder of George Floyd are “Democrats”? The Democrat party was not behind these riots, which have been over and done with for years, but you just can’t shut up about it or stop the false comparison with J6, which was not a peaceful rally, family event, or a just a few people who got out of control. The stage was set for this attempted insurrection by Trump, who planned for lying about winning long before Election Day because he’d done such poor job pretending to be President, our public health and economy had gone to hell, and every poll predicted his loss. He can’t stand to lose, and even threatened to require the Secret Service to forcibly eject him. So, he started the Big Lie, went on “Stop the Steal” campaigns, told his followers to come on Jan 6th, promising it would be “wild”, and told them to “fight like hell or you’re not going to have a country any more”.Then, there were the pre Jan 6th reconnaissance missions conducted by the Proud Boys, documented by a British film maker. He thought that if he could stop Biden’s victory from being accepted, the election could be thrown to state legislatures, which would let him win. He even lined up slates of fake electors who signed false election certificates claiming he won, when he didn’t. These people committed felonies by falsifying election records. If you believe there’s any comparison between spontaneous George Floyd protests that were not orchestrated by Democrats, and for which Democrats have no responsibility, and the planned insurrection, plotted by Trump with the support of the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and 3 Percenters long before Election Day, then you’re deeply delusional.

      You are again try to use big words you don’t understand: “cognitive dissonance”. There’s no “double standard” or “disparities” involved here–you misrepresent the facts to downplay Trump’s criminality, and falsely blame Democrats by making up facts because you listen to and believe the lies you hear on alt-right media. YOU are the one who doesn’t want to know.

      1. Karen S: “Al Gore. Stacey Abrahams (sic). Hillary Clinton…Democrats routinely riot, loot, and commit arson when unhappy…fought to keep the Hunter Biden laptop out of the public eye, in which Joe Biden, his brother, and son, allegedly received money from foreign nationals for political favors.”
        Gigi: Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump

        1. Trump is indeed the root of so much evil in this country because of his massive ego, constant lying and the endless coverage of this hog every single day on alt-right media. What “fighting” was done to “keep the Hunter Biden laptop out of the public eye? Your alt-right media sources harp on it day and night, make all sorts of clalims about what they claim is proven, and ignore the shaky provenance of the item–that being the fact that Giuliani took possession of the item, copied it, distributed it to Republican members of Congres, and then turned it over to the FBI. What, exactly, with specific citations to proven facts, are disclosed on the “Hunter Biden laptop”, other than dick pics? What specific crimes committed by Joe Biden are proven by the laptop? You don’t know, you can’t say, but you still believe. There is no “routine” looting, rioting or arson being committed by any “unhappy Democrats”, either. You just make stuff up.

      2. GiGi:
        “You are again try to use big words you don’t understand: “cognitive dissonance”. There’s no “double standard” or “disparities” involved here–you misrepresent the facts to downplay Trump’s criminality, and falsely blame Democrats by making up facts because you listen to and believe the lies you hear on alt-right media. YOU are the one who doesn’t want to know.”
        My, my you are condescending towards Karen. Karen perfectly used the words. In your blind screed, you couldn’t see that.

        1. Gigi is jealous of karen because Gigi is spewing propaganda that the left and their media tells her, and she can’t HANDLE the truth. Good little Comrade Gigi is doing her part.

        2. Yes, I admit Karen S. annoys the crap out of me. In her mind, she is a medical professional, a legal expert, and political expert, but is none of these. She cherry-picks slanted articles that say things she likes and cites them as proof positive of some point or another because she doesn’t understand the difference between peer-reviewed scientific articles and punditry, as just one example. She defends Hydroxychloroquine as a COVID treatment, even though multiple studies prove it is not only ineffective but produes worse outcomes than taking nothing at all. But, she still believes because Trump pushed it. Any BS lie about Democrats she repeats as established proof–such as Joe Biden has taken bribes from the Chinese–based on the laptop. Where’s the proof? She’s just a deep disciple who hates Democrats, tries to come up with false equivalencies between spontaneous protests over George Floyd’s murder that she claims were conducted by Democrats and the planned insurrection on Jan 6th, and harps endlessly about Hillary Clinton as 2 more examples. Clinton was investigated by the DOJ and found to have not committed any crimes. She believes the classified documents Trump stole was due to his being a “pack rat” and “poor housekeeper”, even though he admitted taking them on purpose because “they’re mine”, lied about returning them, etc… She accused Dr. Christine Blasey Ford of lying about Brett Kavanaugh because she would be going on lucrative speaking tours, appear on talk shows and write a book, none of which happened. She thinks that doctors kill babies born alive upon request of the mother, which does not happen anywhere, and has always been illegal. Yes, she is annoying. You can’t have an honest give and take about political matters with someone who just repeats what they hear on Fox as if it’s gospel and who refuses to believe facts.

    2. A great summary of what has gone on in this country for many years now with no repercussions for Democrats. Two-tiered justice.

  6. All I know for sure is, it’s been a great century for late night comedians! It would be really hard to make this stuff up!

    1. it’s been a great century for late night comedians!

      Not when compared to the 70’s 80’s and 90’s Carson, Leno, Letterman, Stewart. Those guys were entertainers, comedians. Not what is happening now. Chist, Guttfeld! is kicking the rest around the block.

      1. (You know who used to make me laugh, Flip Wilson. He was apolitical. Geraldine, all time cIassic. Still laugh thinking of his Christopher Columbus discovering America.)

  7. “When you saw the photograph of the top secret documents laid out on the floor at Mar-a-Lago, what did you think to yourself looking at that image?”
    Biden seem to struggle to find words to express his revulsion: “How that could possibly happen, how one anyone could be that irresponsible. And I thought what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods.”
    The most explosive petards are the ones you construct for yourself. Hypocrites seem to be the best builders. Maybe it’s all that shooting their mouths off!

    I suppose Biden has to go hat-in-hand to his CCP masters and do the mea culpa now.

    It’s been a great week so far with BootyJudger pulling his ” you’re doing a heack of a job, Brownie” moment. I suspect even mule-brained, principle-challenged Dims don’t like being stuck in airports tortured by consoles with CNN on them but then again ….

    1. CCP masters.


      That’s it in a nut shell.

      “mule-brained, principle-challenged Dims don’t like being stuck in airports tortured by consoles with CNN on them but then again ….”


      See! I just love this stuff!

    1. Or that it showed how his bagman in the Ukraine was to arrange the payoff when he went there two days before Trump’s inaugural. You know, anything’s possible, right, Professor?

    2. Not a very believable story involving the King of the liars since ABC and CBS disclosed his lying and plagiarism in 1988.

    3. “. . . a possibility is that the documents were planted.”

      By the Russians?

      It does, say the Wise 50, have “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

  8. Professor Turley, Make your case for the appointment of a special counsel by legal and policy explanation and analysis instead of trying to make the case by outrage using words like comical, incomprehensible, incredibly shrinking, and irresponsible.

    1. Make your case for the appointment of a special counsel by legal and policy explanation

      Very simple read the statute creating the special counsel.

      The short version. The Special counsel is used when the Attorney General is perceived to have a conflict with his boss. The President.

      That’s why the laptop with evidence of the President collecting a percentage of Hunters business dealings need a SC
      Why Biden stealing documents and not being found out for 4 years, needs a SC
      That’s why naming a SC to continue to go after Trump, is in violation of the statute

    2. The case is trivial – We have SEVERAL instances were crimes have inarguably been committed, and even more where we have credible allegations of crimes where the president of the united states is atleast a subject and possibly a target of any investigation.

      That is CLEALY the circumstance in which an SC must be appointed.

      There remains through today no basis for a Trump SC. Trump is not president. The purpose of an SC is for conflicts between an investigation and the interests of the elected heads of an administration.

      Garland is conflicted from leading an investigation of Biden.

      If there is an actual conflict between Garland and investigating Trump – that is not a reason for an SC.
      That is a reason for an investigation of DOJ.

      1. My comment was directed at JT but thanks for providing your explanation and analysis on the special counsel issue.

    3. Potential violation of 18 USC 1793(f) plus manifest conflict of interest. The conditions for appointment of a special counsel are thus met. This assumes that at least some of the Biden documents could harm the national defence if seen by adversaries. This assumption is supported by the reports saying “some” of the documents are top secret sci.

  9. Moving out of the White House on Inauguration Day, technically Trump was a private citizen not a president.

    Both Biden and Trump were wrong, but Trump was a private citizen when the U-Haul (or “Air Force 2” helicopter) was being packed up heading to Florida.

    1. All Trump’s belongings were moved out by the time of the inauguration.

      As vindictive, spiteful, senile, and stupid as Biden is, do you really think Biden would allow Trump to remove anything if Biden had control???

    2. Trump is not a private citizen until Biden takes the oath of office.

      Though why you are fighting over this is beyond me. There is no rules that you can concoct that does not also apply to Biden.
      But there are priviledges that presidents and even ex presidents have that vice presidents and ex-vice presidents do not.

      WH papers from a presidents term ate the Personal property of the President. NARA is a temporary custodian by laws enacted to prevent the WH papers of ex presidents from being last because the ex president could not afford to preserve them.

      Regardless, they end up in the Private presidential library of the ex-president.

      This is NOT true of ex vice presidents who have no personal property rights in WH papers.

      Presidents have unlimited declassification authority. Vide presidents have no declassification authority.
      Presidents have unlimited authority to declare WH papers personal property. Vice presidents have no such authority.

      Ex-Presidents maintain a federally paid for government office for the rest of their lives.
      I do not beleive Ex-VP do.

    3. Trump is not a private citizen until Biden takes the oath of office.

      You have several problems with your arguments.

      First Trump’s status is only relevant if he carried the documents with him personally.
      If he ordered their removal While president – the order remains valid until countermanded.
      Next, If and only if Trump carried them personally – they need not arrive at MAL while Trump is still president.
      They merely need to leave the WH.

      Next, If Trump carried the documents from the WH personally while still president – they are Declassified.
      Just as if he handed them to someone who did not have clearance while president.

      The above is mostly speculative as the most likely scenario in both the BIden and Trump case is the documents were moved by GSA to the Trump and Biden homes. In neitehr instance is either Trump or Biden guilty of anything.

      However the Trump documents remained at MAL. The Biden documents were then transfered to a private fascility.
      THAT Transfer is a crime.

      Though I would note. The president can order GSA to move classified documents to his home during the transition.
      The vice president can not.

  10. There is one salient omitted point.

    Biden’s case is that he stole classified documents and did not return them and he has NO AUTHORITY as Vice President.

    Trump’s case is that he took documents for which he HAS authority under the Presidential Records Act and is therefore shielded from legitimate prosecution.

    Somebody please actually READ the STATUTE.

    1. You are correct, but there are more factors, and nearly all are favorable to Trump.

      Presidents have the power to declassify. VP’s do not.
      Presidents have the power to claim as personal property WH documents. VP’s do not.

      ex-Presidents and ex-VP’s retain unlimited security clearance for life – subject only to constraint by the current president.

      Ex-Presidents (and probably VPs) maintain official government offices with a locked SCIF. And their offices are protected by the SS.

      Trump’s documents never left his residents, and probably not his office.

      Biden’s documents were moved to a non-government fascily where they could be accessed by people without security clearances more than a year After Biden left office.

      There is this ludicrous claim that Trump failed to cooperate with NARA/FBI.
      But the only president of VP ever investigated for this was Trump.

      NARA has not requested th return of documents from Bush/Chenney or Obama/Biden

      Only Trump.

      We have no idea what other presidents and vice presidents have kept.
      Until now – NOW we KNOW Biden not only kept classified documents but that he moved them from ex-VP’s offices to a private think tank where people without clearances could access them.

    2. Bill Cohn: There is no “statute” that protects Trump from: 1. knowingly stealing classified documents; 2. creating a false affidavit claiming the records had all been returned when they hadn’t; 3. lying about the papers being his property–which they weren’t. If there were such a statute, then his attorneys would have fought the initial subpoena the NARA was forced to get after he only turned back a few documents upon initial request. What alt-right media told you this tale? And, BTW: he took the papers because he just can’t stand the fact that he failed to get elected–it would have been the first actual “election”, because he got into office initially by cheating with the help of Russian hackers. He is not, and has never been, eithically entitled to be called “President” because his “victory” was the product of lying and cheating. He stole the papers because he has to be a big shot who has “top secret” documents. Because he’s such a liar and so closely associated with Russia, he does not receive routine briefings that his predecessors receive.

      Here’s the more “salient point”: Biden didn’t knowingly take any papers. You can’t have “stolen” something you didn’t know was included in materials that were moved from Washington to his office at PennBiden. And, that office was part of a “think tank”–not a location where the public has access, unlike MAL. Biden didn’t tell anyone to pack the papers–but Trump DID. He claimed, and still claims, they are his property, and he made up the story about “declassifying” the papers mentally–something that has no support in law.

  11. There also the issue of “excessive” secrecy. Classifying things that shouldn’t be classified in the first place.

    I’m guessing more than 75% of information has no legitimate secrecy concerns. Many documents and words censored to avoid accountability, not actual national security reasons.

    For example: apparently the Press used a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act request) to find out what prisoners were eating for lunch (ie: turkey sandwhich, taco, yogurt, etc). This was apparently stamped “Top Secret” info at great expense to American taxpayers. 20 years later, apparently it’s still classified information.

    The federal Freedom of Information Act is federal law. Agencies can’t simply make up things to avoid complying with federal law. We could probably declassify at least 75% of these records. Maybe Trump and Biden had ridiculous documents like this that should have never been classified in the first place?

    1. AZ – I agree with you that it will probably turn out that none of these “highly classified documents” have national defense implications at this point – for both Trump and Biden. Presidents before the PRA carrried tons of classified documents with them when they left office. Eisenhower kept his at Gettysburg College and Truman kept his at a federal bank in Kansas City. No one accused them of trying to sell the documents to the Russians. But, for some reason, Trump is supposed to prove that he was not in cahoots with the Russians.

    2. We do classify far too much.

      I doubt that if any of us read the MAL documents or the Biden Center documents we would be shocked.

      There is likely nothing in any of the most classified documents that has not been reported on CNN.
      I would note that is a defense – both for Trump and Biden.

      The courts long ago ruled that information that is already public knowledge is not classified, and that it can not be reclassified.

  12. JCH….how many uncleared people saw the contents of the documents?

    The Documents may have been in Biden’s possession from the day he and Obama left Office and he would have been in illegal possession of them the entire time.

    What other documents were removed, destroyed, hidden, leaked, or otherwise compromised?

    This is a very big deal….if for no other reason than it destroys the Trump Case….and in time shall see the removal of AG Garland.

    Good riddance to Garland for sure.

    1. Ralph.

      There is zero doubt that classified documents can not get to the Biden Center legally.

      But there are likely many ways ex-VP Biden could Legally posess classified documents – At his exVP office in his home guarded by SS.

      We are all slowly become experts in classified documents as a result of Clinton/Trump/Biden.

      Clinton had no declassification authority and no authority to have a classified document in her possession outside of the State Department.
      Worse still all her classified documents were in electronic form.
      That is not legally possible. Classified documents are either on paper, where they are numbered tracked and signed for, or electronically on the governments secure network – where access is also tracked AND there are no provisions for removable media or printers.

      Clinton Faxed classified paper documents to her made in here home – a crime.
      But more commonly her staff transcribed classified documents from the secure network and then emailed them to her – a crime.
      And she then emailed them to others – a crime. And she stored them on a server in her basement at her home – a crime

      Biden and Trump were only dealing with paper documents.

      These are supposd to be tracked rigorously – so that is a government failure in both cases.

      Biden retained his all access security clearance as ex-president. Constrained only by the current president Biden could ask for any classified document and have it provided to him for review. If he was left with that document – he would personally have to sign for it and would personally have to secure it in a SCIF when he was not reviewing it.
      More likely an FSO would bring him the document, allow him to read it and then return it.

      As VP he could have Classified documents at the Naval Observatory, or at his DE home – Clinton could not do this.
      If those documents were at his home when he left office. he could end up with possession without committing a crime.
      That is ONLY true of presidents and vice presidents.
      Anyone else with a classified document at home has committed a crime.

      More likely these documents were at the National Observatory when Biden left office and GSA shipped them all wherever Biden asked.
      Probably NOT legal, But likely accidental, and there is never going to be a prosecution.

      Everything that is legal for the VP or exVP is also legal for the president or ex President.

      But there are two large additional factors. All WH documents are the property of the President – including classified documents.
      Most of these are in NARA’s custody until the Private Presidential library opens, After which NARA remains responsible for managing access to Classified documents at the presidential library.
      VP’s have no ownership interest in WH documents – including Their own work.
      But presidents do.

      The 2nd factor is that Presidents can declassify at whim.

      If the VP orders all papers at the National Observatory transfered to his home or storage at the end of his term.
      Any classified documents remain classified.

      If the president orders classifed documents transfered to his home or storage – they are defacto declassified.

      There are only two ways the marked documents at MAL are still classified.
      The first is They were moved to MAL prior to the transition. In which case they remain classified. But there presence at MAL is legal.
      The other is Trump or a chrony snuck into the WH after Jan 20,2021 and stole them and brought them to MAL.

      All other scenarios declassify the documents.
      If Trump ordered them to MAL – they are declassified.
      If he ordered them declassified – they are declassified.
      If he carried them onto Marine One personally – they are declassified.

      Conversely there is no scenario where the Biden documents are not still classified.

  13. May we begin at the beginning. There is no power provided by the Constitution related to the classification of materials. President George Washington, of the executive branch, generated and archived documents related to negotiations with Great Britain initiating the executive branch function of classification. Classification is a function of the executive branch. No law regarding classification is constitutional. The legislative branch has no authority to usurp the power of the executive branch.

  14. Surely, Professor Turley, you must be mistaken!
    Why would he have anything like that in an old office here?
    Certainly, any sensitive information he had would now be in Beijing?

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