Biden’s Classified-Records Headache is Garland’s Special-Counsel Nightmare

Below is my column in the Hill on the implications of the discovery of classified documents in a prior private office of now President Joe Biden. The discovery (and later addition of a second batch of classified material at a second location) is magnifying the inherently conflicted position of Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Here is the column:

The Justice Department reportedly is investigating the discovery of 10 classified documents found in an old private office used by President Biden when he served as vice president. The discovery could not come at a worse time for the Justice Department — or a better time for former President Trump.

While there are significant differences in the number of the documents involved in each case and the reported response of the Biden and Trump teams, the underlying allegation — removing and retaining classified material — is the same. Moreover, there remain questions that are likely to be pursued by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the coming weeks. Those questions not only deal with the scope of the alleged violations but the increasingly conflicted and irreconcilable positions of Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding the Biden and Trump investigations.

Biden’s lawyers have said they found the documents just days before the midterm elections and are “cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records.” The White House Counsel’s Office notified the National Archives on Nov. 2 of the discovery as it was closing out a Washington office, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, that Biden used as part of his relationship with the University of Pennsylvania after he left the vice presidency in 2017.

That academic appointment itself is considered controversial by some Biden critics. Biden was made an honorary professor from 2017 to 2019 and reportedly paid nearly $1 million for a few visits to the school. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was paid $371,159 in 2017 and $540,484 in 2018-2019. He has used the appointment to claim the status of a professor in speeches.

The newly discovered material reportedly includes some top-secret files with the “sensitive compartmented information” designation, also known as TS-SCI, which is used for highly sensitive information obtained from intelligence sources.

There is no accusation of false statements or obstruction in this instance, both of which are being investigated in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago matter. However, the incident further highlights AG Garland’s unintelligible position.

This controversy will again raise prior cases of knowing or negligent removal of classified material by government officials and the relatively light punishment given in even some of the most egregious cases.

After the raid on Mar-a-Lago, experts and pundits went into a frenzy about Trump being given an “orange jumpsuit,” and some insisted that even a misdemeanor conviction should bar him from office. It is not clear if the same view (which I criticized then) will now apply to Biden — but some of those experts have rushed to distinguish the two cases and assure us that there really is no comparison.

NBC and MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Alene White Vance, for example, called it an “apples to oranges” comparison, even though we still do not know the full facts of what was found and whether there may have been other violations.

There indeed are obvious differences in the two cases, but the underlying danger of a misdemeanor charge still remains in both. Presumably, the documents found in Biden’s private office were knowingly removed by someone, and they reportedly contained clear classification markings.

Moreover, questions remain about whether other documents may be at other locations — and that is the problem with Garland’s approach to repeatedly protecting Biden from the appointment of a special counsel.

Notably, Biden himself joined in the condemnation of Trump removing classified material to his private quarters. In a 2022 interview, CBS’s Scott Pelley asked Biden: “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 seemed to struggle to control his disgust before replying: “How that could possibly happen, how anyone could be that irresponsible. And I thought what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods.”

The same questions are being asked now about Biden’s own potential “irresponsible” handling of classified material and the true extent of any violations. On Monday, during a state visit to Mexico, Biden declined to answer questions from reporters.

The Biden classified documents matter has been referred to U.S. Attorney John Lausch for investigation. But the discovery will only magnify questions for Garland.

Some of us have criticized Garland for refusing to appoint a special counsel to investigate influence-peddling allegations against Biden’s son, Hunter, despite an overwhelming basis for such an appointment.

In contrast, Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate Trump soon after Trump announced his 2024 presidential candidacy. That again raised questions about Garland’s treatment of Biden, who is actually the president, may also be a presidential candidate in 2024, and may be involved in the underlying allegations against his son.

Now, with this new document discovery, Biden may be accused of the same underlying crime as Trump — yet Garland has elected, once again, not to appoint a special counsel. Instead, he is keeping the Biden matter within Justice Department ranks. While U.S. Attorney Lausch was appointed by Trump and is widely respected, Garland was not willing to keep the Trump case in the hands of a similarly respected Justice Department prosecutor.

For two years, some of us have pushed Garland to adopt a clear, consistent approach with the appointment of a special counsel on the Hunter Biden influence-peddling investigation and other matters. His inexplicable refusal now, regarding this new case, will make a bad situation even worse for the Justice Department.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

37 thoughts on “Biden’s Classified-Records Headache is Garland’s Special-Counsel Nightmare”

  1. Jonathan: It doesn’t appear everyone at Fox accepts your attempt to conflate the Biden/ Trump cases. Carl Rove was on Fox this week and had a different take. He said the “differences” between the two cases are significant and pointed out that “For example, how many documents in Biden’s case, there appears to be about 10. In the case of President Trump, hundreds”. Rove also pointed that Biden’s lawyers “immediately” notified “appropriate authorities” while Trump engaged in an 18-month fight with NARA. Rove said further: “We spent a year and a half watching the drama unfold in Mar-a-Lago, and it had to end in a police search to recover the documents”. Trump was apparently watching because he lost no time in lashing out at Rove on Truth Social. Trump claimed Rove was “as usual, wrong”. The former president also erroneously claimed Biden, as VP, “had no power to declassify”. The VP does have the same power as the president. Once again, Trump shows he doesn’t know what he is talking about!

    1. Seriously? You just said that, Carl Rove?

      Carl Rove, William Barr, George Bush, Dick Cheney, etc., dues-paying members of the American Deep Deep State “Swamp” one and all! Are there really people who don’t know this? Do you really think that little ol’ “W” had the “right stuff” or otherwise wherewithal to launch and prosecute a far-reaching, international, 20-year war, initiated by Mossad on 9/11 to deliver support to Israel 50 contested years after its creation, all by himself and of his own acumen, gravitas and sway?

      William “Mr. Deep Deep State” Barr is but one of the Deep Deep State threads that runs through history. The Bush Dynasty thread has been expanding since since the American Revolution.

  2. The Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement

    That “think tank” is a money laundering scheme for the communist Chinese to funnel money to Biden, and a vehicle for China to spread its evil ideology in America.

    If you are cncerned about foreign influences in America, start with those academic centers.

  3. Solvermn: No. The “basic facts” are NOT the same. Mere possession of classified documents is not a crime if it is inadvertent and the documents are immediately returned to NARA upon request. That’s what Biden did–and some of the documents are so old that they may no longer be classified, which may explain why the NARA didn’t miss them–they are from years ago, and although they bear “classified” markings, many may have since been declassified. When the first batch was found, Biden immediately undertook an investigation of all documents in every location where they could be. That was the right thing to to, and it proves that he has the character and integrity Trump lacks.

    On the other hand, Trump STOLE over 100 classified documents, 60 of which were marked “Top Secret”, and they are all of much more recent vintage. He took them because he’s a sore loser. He knew he lost in 2020, buts wants to still appear to be a big shot because he’s got control of our top-secret information. What he planned to do with this information is unknown–try to bargain away his criminal liability, make a deal with Russia, somehow leverage the documents as a means to get back into power knowing that America mostly can’t stand him? We don’t know, but we do know taking the documents was no mistake. He admitted he took them deliberately when he said: “they’re mine”. He knew better because lawyers and the NARA told him so, but he still asserted that the secret information contained in these documents belong to him and/or that he “mentally” declassified them–which is impossible. When the NARA demanded return of the papers, he selected a few, but kept a large number, which forced the NARA to get the DOJ involved. In response to a subpoena, his lawyer lied, under oath, which forced the NARA to get a search warrant to force the return of the documents. Then, he humiliated a federal judge he appointed by getting her to sign orders after she bought the false argument that he had some possessory right to the documents, which he didn’t. Judge Cannon’s order was reversed by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, all Republicans, and of 3 judges, Trump appointed 2, and she was forced to dismiss the case and vacate her orders. The SCOTUS refused to get involved.

    People like you who rely on the lies put out by alt-right media are the ones who are struggling with some sort of mental derangement: immunity to facts, coupled with blind allegiance to the alt-right media lies and fact-spinning. You are also consumed with hatred for Joe Biden that is drummed up by your alt-right media sources who continue to claim that Biden has dementia, all the while ignoring Trump’s serious emotional immaturity, narcissism, and basic stupidity. Biden has turned around the economic, public health and international relations messes caused by Trump, as the most-recent economic numbers show. Employment is at it’s highest level in 50 years. Biden got an Infrastructure Act, Veteran’s Burn Pit Relief Act, COVID Relief Act, Violence Against Women Act, and Inflation Reduction Act passed, and yet, you believe Biden has dementia and is impaired. How anyone could believe the lie that the “basic facts are the same” and/or that Biden is demented is beyond me, and that sort of argument can only come from alt-right media to a dedicated disciple who just can’t accept facts.

    1. Gigi: Thank you for your analysis of the big difference between the Biden/Trump cases. I would only echo what Andrew Weissmann, the FBI’s former General Counsel, has said: “It’s not a crime to accidently take and retain government docs, you return them, there is no crime. That is not what Trump did. If he had simply returned everything this [would] have been a non-story”. But Turley bizarrely claims “Biden may be accused of the same underlying crime as Trump”. What crime(s) Turley doesn’t say. Did Biden refuse to return the material he retained? Nope. Did NARA/DOJ have to issue a subpoena and a search warrant to recover the material in Biden’s office or home? Nope. Has Biden claimed the material was magically made “declassified” by some mental process and he had a right to keep it? Nope. Now that AG Garland has appointed a Special Counsel to investigate Turley’s whole argument falls apart. I think when the dust settles this will turn out to be a “non-story”.

      But this whole episode is a big embarrassment for the Biden administration. Why did Biden wait until after the mid-terms to disclose the facts? There are a lot of unanswered Qs. It’s a PR nightmare that will haunt Biden for months.

  4. You can imagine the conversation between Joe and his lawyers. Hey Mr. lawyer man I think I’ve got some top secret stuff stowed away in a closet and in my garage. I wanted you to go find these top secrete documents and get em over to the National Archives pronto. Then the next phone call. Look Garland, should we just not tell anybody? Garland replies, there’s a good possibility that information about these top secret document will leak so it will be better to just get ahead of the story. Yea, damage control replies Joe. Good idea. By the way Garland I want you to wait until after the midterms before you tell the press what to say. Garland genuflects and replied yes master err I mean big guy boss man.

    1. Do U suppose this is conveniently exposed just as Rep K. McCarthy is assigning committees to investigate OTHER Biden admin missteps just to divert their attention?

  5. OK, Garland has appointed former Maryland US Attorney Robert Hur as Special Counsel to investigate the classified docs that were in Biden’s possession while he was not in office, in non-approved locations. No doubt Turley will continue griping that the SC wasn’t also asked to investigate HB’s laptop.

    Notice that unlike Trump and some Republicans when Jack Smith was named Special Counsel, Biden and Democrats are not attacking the appointment.

    1. Based on Garland’s prior actions (American moms are terrorists), one realizes Garland needed pressure to do what he finally did. I thank Professor Turley for his pressure which might have led to the appointment, but this is only the beginning and a lot of pressure needs to be applied to make sure the follow through is adequate. So far the DOJ has not followed the rule of law.

  6. There is no conflict whatsoever for Garland. He is a Democratic Party apparatchik who will serve Biden in every way until and unless teh Party decrees otherwise, at which time he will drop Biden like a hot coal. And he knows 90%+ of rthe media and the “chattering class” will cover for him no matter what he does as long as he remembers his place.

    He abandoned any conventional morality about “right” and “wrong,” if that was ever an issue, many years ago.

  7. I read a story recently that the Penn-Biden center had received a $30 million donation from the Chinese and that they asked for a set of keys to the office
    will his attorneys also review the records that he donated/deposited at the University of Delaware? Will the FBI search his Delaware houses?

  8. It has been my observation that members of the prog/left party are never aware of either their hypocrisy or any illegal actions of any member of their tribe. There is no problem or ethical problem in their eyes – only in the eyes of Americans and therein lies the situtation.

  9. “While there are significant differences in the number of the documents involved in each case and the reported response of the Biden and Trump teams, the underlying allegation — removing and retaining classified material — is the same.”

    No, actually, the “underlying allegations” for Trump are 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(e), 2071, 1519. You are referring to 793(f) not (e), and you’re totally ignoring 2071 and 1519 … because it’s not convenient for your pretense that the situation is “the same.”

    Are you ignorant about the crimes alleged of Trump after all this time? Or do you know them but are purposefully misleading your readers? Either way, it speaks poorly of you.

    “there remain questions that are likely to be pursued by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the coming weeks”

    Great. Let them ask those questions of both Biden and Trump, and see who answers and what the answers are.
    Here are some questions suggested by 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’ll add: who did the search to check for any remaining missing docs, and where did they search?

    “The Biden classified documents matter has been referred to U.S. Attorney John Lausch for investigation. ”

    You neglect to say that Lausch was chosen specifically because he’s one of the remaining Trump-appointed US Attorneys.

    Biden in response to a question yesterday: “I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn there were any government records that were taken there to that office … They turned over the boxes to the [National] Archives and we’re cooperating fully with the review, which I hope will be finished soon, and there will be more detail at that time.”

    1. Several of your points are relevant – despite the fact that you are obviously prejudging the results.

      But some are NOT relevant and many are missing.

      On of the most significant factors for Both Biden and Trump is WHERE the documents were discovered.

      The reason that is important is that There are far more ways that Classified documents can legitimately exist at the residence of a president, vice president, ex-president or vice president.

      Unlike virtually anyone else in government finding classified material in the homes of ex-presidents and vice presidents is NOT proof of a violation of the espionage or other national security statutes.

      There is no legal means for the Sec. State to have classified information in their home.
      There is no legal means for the CIA director to have classified in their home.

      Finding classified documents in the home of any government official is prima fascia proof of a violation of 18 US 793(f).

      But uniquely that is NOT true of presidents, vice presidents and ex-presidents and vice presidents.
      First because classified information routinely follows them to their homes while they were in office,
      and could trivialy have been left there.

      Second because during the transition WH and GSA staff have hours to clear the entire WH and Naval Observatory.
      The contents of which are either sent to storage, sent to where the VP or President asked or sent to there homes.
      Again a simple way that Classified material can get to an ex-president or vice presidents home.

      Finally – and ONLY for presidents/Ex-presidents. they have the authority while president to ORDER
      The declassification of classified documents.
      Or the transfer of classified documents anywhere on the planet.
      They can do this right up to the moment the new president completes the oath of office.

      If the president ordered aides to pack up his desk, his east wing bed room, whatever and send it to MAL – those documents are at MAL legitimately. Arguably they are also declassified.

      If the president boxed up various documents himself and took them on Marine one as he left the WH – those documents are legitimately wherever he took them. Arguably they are also declassified.

      While Trump is incorrect that he can not declassify by thinking, he has the absolute power to declassify anything by acting.
      While president it is litterally impossible for the president to violate the espionage act.
      And if an action done by the then president appears to violate the espionage act – then it constitutites a declassification of that material.

      With respect to the laws that are variously being claimed to have been broken By Trump.
      None of those apply to actions that occured WHILE Trump was president.
      None of them apply at all UNLESS they purportedly classified documents arrived at MAL Still classified – which is not an established FACT,
      AND subsequent actions while no longer president violated the espionage act or other national security laws.

      With Biden we already have PROOF of a subsequent act that violated the Espionage Act.

      While VP Biden like Trump has myriads of ways that Classified documents could have legally gotten to his home after he was no longer Vice President.
      The VP has no limitless declassification authority – therefore we KNOW any marked classified documents in Ex-VP Bidens posession remain classified.
      Next, We KNOW these documents were moved into the Biden Center Offices and that the move occured when Biden was no longer VP.
      That means the mere presence of the Documents at the Biden Center is prima Fascia proof that the espionage act was violated.

    2. We do not know why Lausch was chosen.
      It is speculation to assert that is because he was a Trump appointee.

      Regardless, Garland’s appointment of an SC to investigate Trump do NOT meet the standards of the law.
      There is no conflict of interest between the WH and DOJ that would require an SC.

      There is a self evident conflict between DOJ investigating Hunter Biden and the WH that requires and SC.
      There is a self evident conflict between DOJ investigating Classified documents found in Biden Center offices that requires and SC.

    3. The alleged violations of the laws you cite has specific elements defined as requirements for each Crime.

      The only portions of your list that are relevant are those portions that are elements of the alleged crime.
      While actual elements that you have omitted are relevant.

      We do not get to make up what constitutes a crime.
      The law does that for us.

      In the case of Trump and Biden we have unusual circumstances that can not occur except for ex-presidents and Vice presidents.

      And that is that the mere presence of classified documents in the home of an ex-president or vice president is not itself prima fascia proof of a violation of the espionage act. For every single other person the presence of classified material outside of government fascilities is sufficient to prove a violation.

      The classified material involving Biden was NOT found in his home – therefore the prima fasci proof of a violation of the espionage act once again applies.

      Further Vice presidents do not have unlimited declassification authority – prima fasci marked classified documents in the posession of the ex-Vice President are still classified.

      It is not impossible to prove that the marked classified documents at MAL are still classified. It is not impossible to prove that they were handled in violation of 18 US 793.

      But the specific fact that this involves an ex-presidents home – one that was an official presidential residence in the past means the mere presence of marked documents is NOT sufficient proof to establish the elements of the crimes alleged.

      While the mere presence of marked classified documents at Biden Center is more than sufficient proof all by itself.

      The FACTS whether those of you on the left like that or not is that you are FAR from proving a violation of the law on the Part of Trump.
      While the actual violation is already proven with regard to Biden.

    4. With respect to Biden’s remarks.

      These documents were removed from the government at some point in time – likely while he was VP.
      It is LIKELY that removal was legitimate, and with his power.
      He may have ordered them to his home.
      Or they may have been removed by GSA to his home during the transition.

      Regardless had these documents been found in one of Biden’s homes while he was ex-VP there would be little issue.
      Had they been found in his home while he was president there would be no issue at all.

      But they were not found in his home.

      They were found in his officies at UofP Biden Center.

      While there are many legal ways for these documents to get to Ex-VP bidens home.
      There are no legal ways for them to get to Biden Center.

      Next while they can legitimately get to ex-VP Bidens homes – either with his knowledge or without.
      They can not get moved to Biden Center without his direction.

      For Biden to have NOT violated the espionage act these documents:

      Had to be transfered to his home without his knowledge.
      Later Transfered to Biden Center without his knowlege.
      And never been encounterd by him in his office at Biden center while he was reviewing the material in the closet for his book.

      Every single one of these elements MUST be true for Biden to be innocent.

      I would note – Contra the left, there is no established duty for either Trump nor Biden to notify anyone of marked classified documents in their homes as ex-presidents or VPS.

      Both Biden and Trump retained there security clearance on leaving office. The law was not violated in these documents being transfered to their homes.

      But Biden in particular retains a duty to protect the documents.
      Trump only has that some duty if the documents are actually still classified.

      Regardless, Trump did not move classified documents from MAL to somewhere else.
      Biden did.

    5. I always find it interesting to see how those on the left will rewrite the law to mitigate their own malfeasance and amplify that of those they hate.

      Ranked from most egregious to least.
      Ranked from most certainly criminal to least.

      Hillary Clinton
      Joe Biden
      Donald Trump.

  10. “…Washington office, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, that Biden used as part of his relationship with the University of PennsylvaniaCommunist Chinese Party (CCP), after he left the vice presidency in 2017.

  11. Did anyone else consider the “leaked” photos at Mar-A-Lago were staged? i.e. “Notably, Biden himself joined in the condemnation of Trump removing classified material to his private quarters. In a 2022 interview, CBS’s Scott Pelley asked Biden: “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?”” Again I ask at his “private office at UPenn, he was paid by UPenn almost a million dollars for “??????”. I realize they used his name but he used their space.

  12. Apples and oranges indeed. The “classified” records in Trump’s possession (which he very plausibly claims to have declassified) are in the nature of mementos for a future presidential library. In contrast, the indisputably classified records from Biden’s private office appear to be in the nature of foreign intelligence reports regarding Ukraine (and other places/things) which were germane to his interventions there while a private citizen. Trump’s matter is the national security equivalent of an overdue library book dispute, while the Biden matter hints egregious criminal self-dealing using national secrets. Ethically speaking Biden’s case (if he is guilty) is akin to a former judge using sealed court records stolen from the public archives to blackmail a business rival — but on a vastly more consequential geo-political scale.

  13. Q: What will it mean to have a Special Counsel? Will the investigation be walled off and slow-walked? I don’t think you’ll be finding leaked pictures of file folders marked classified on the internet with this investigation.

    Can Congress continue to investigate or will they decline to investigate, deferring to the Justice Department? To me, the Mueller investigation was a way to continually leak negative political information about Trump, on the taxpayer’s dime, long after they knew Russian collusion was a hoax.

    Secondly, why did the MSM and DNC even publish the story of the documents? So far, they haven’t roused themselves to identify the second location? Suddenly, everyone is pushing for Special Counsel and I want to know what that means for the bigger picture. I’ve seen the Starr, Mueller, and Durham investigations produce little while spending a lot of taxpayer money.

  14. While there are significant differences in the number of the documents involved in each case…

    Huh? Where did you learn that little fact? The only “significant difference” between the two is how they are being treated by the DOJ/FBI and the media.

    At this point we don’t know anything about the 2nd “batch”. 6 years after leaving office, how many more locations and batches exist. How many documents were originally taken to these locations? Were they originally inventoried, with controlled access? If not, then the number of documents being turned over just as easily could be all that remains of a much larger batch.

    1. There are many angles to all this, and many questions:

      1. Was Biden and his team invited to Penn and paid handsomely for doing almost nothing because he said funding would grow? It appears China increased its donations to Penn dramatically after Biden was given his position. Was there a deal between the Biden family and the Chinese on this? Was Penn part of it? Was Chinese money laundered to Biden through Penn?

      2. Were the classified documents “signed out” officially when Biden left office or were they smuggled out?

      A. If they were signed out, why was he allowed to retain them for so long under insecure conditions?

      B. If they were smuggled out, who did that and why?

      3. How many classified documents were taken? The second story refers to “at least” one more batch? Are there more? Where were these new documents found and what were the security arrangements for them? Who is conducting the search and is law enforcement involved? If not, why not?

      4. Why was a former WH counsel and now Covington partner involved in a routine clearing out of the D.C. office where the first batch of documents was discovered? This is not something lawyers ordinarily do, certainly not senior lawyers, unless there is a sensitive issue involved that is known in advance.

      5. What are the documents about and what is their classification level? Some are reported to be Top Secret SCI. Why did Biden want to keep them?

      6. Was there a potential risk to the national defence, within the meaning of the Espionage Act? Under 18 USC 763(f), gross negligence in the handling of such documents is enough for criminal liability. Biden said he was not even aware the first batch of classified documents was in his office; that would appear to be a prima facie admission of gross negligence.

      It is unlikely Garland and DOJ will pursue this or make public what they find. It will be up to the House to seek. answers. The chances of success are remote.

      With these issues it is likely that the only possible indictment of Trump will be for false statements/obstruction, since, so far at least, that is an allegation that Biden does not face, and Trump could be indicted for this without obvious double standards. But if a proper investigation were to be conducted, Biden and his team might also face potential indictments for this, either for past statements which we do not yet know of or for statements made in response to current questions. I doubt this will happen.

      It’s possible that this issue will be used by some Democrats to seek to pressure Biden not to run in 2024. If that is so, the media may do more to expose this than would otherwise be expected.

      1. Thanks Daniel. Yeah, a ton of questions.

        Were supposed to believe some of Biden’s attorneys were rummaging through boxes in a closet and discovered some highly classified documents, which they then immediately notified the proper authorities to come get. That’s the sanitized, supposedly 2 months later, made for public consumption story. No one in government ever voluntarily tells the public the entire truth about something they did that was potentially in violation of the law. As bad as this is all on its own, this is undoubtedly just the tip of the iceberg.

        1. “No one in government ever voluntarily tells the public the entire truth about something they did that was potentially in violation of the law. As bad as this is all on its own, this is undoubtedly just the tip of the iceberg.”

          You are right Olly, as usual. Documents get lost, and the paper trail gradually disappears.

          We had a recent discussion on Joe McCarthy who was not a likable fellow. However, Joe was right and proven so by multiple investigations. We hear little of that. We are more sympathetic to the communists that spied for Stalin than we are to those that revealed the truth or turned against Stalin (ie Whittiker Chambers).

          We look at the era and everyone recoils when they hear the name McCarthy and everyone’s brain shuts down. What happened to a lot of the documents of the era? They are gone. Even newspaper archives have months that disappeared so that no one can trace what actually happened. What do the missing papers show? Based on the available information, those papers put McCarthy in a better light, especially since what he said was proven correct.

          We are doing the same thing again, today. We are letting our secrets go to our enemies, We don’t blame the ones doing that, rather we blame the ones that are trying to prevent those things from being done. All one has to do is look at our enemies, China and radical Muslims in particular (huge in numbers).

          Today we see how China has been provided our secrets by globalists and by the left. Biden appears to be one of them. Radical Islam has created the term Islamophobia so that right-thinking people are afraid to say anything. Radical Islam does not mix with our Constitution. Their law (Constitution) is Sharia law which dominates anything else. There are many good Muslims but we must be aware of those who adhere to the precise dictums of the Koran and other writings. Many of the peaceful statements were early in Muslim history. The hateful and violent statements later. Where there is a conflict, the latter statement is the one that counts, and those are the violent ones.

          History is repeating itself.

  15. Me. Turley I have the upmost respect for you as an impartial observer and commentator. What is your opinion of Trump’s response to Karl Rove that the discoveries are totally different as he was President and Biden was VP when the documents were removed? Being that the President has a whole different set of powers vs. a VP.

    1. Being that the President has a whole different set of powers vs. a VP.

      Enumerated POWERS.

      If you find your self being led astray by the chaff used by the apologists. Recenter yourself back on Constitutional Powers.

      The President has unreviewable power to declassify. Vice President can only declassify documents they create.
      President Trump therefore has no classified documents. When you hear about all the “gaslighting” this classified (‘marked classified’ is a fake made up, meaningless determination.) nothing burger, is gaslighting. Repeatedly telling all of us, something that in plain view is not real.
      There is NO Classified issue concerning Trump.

      Vice President Biden is completely different.
      Classified documents scattered across DC and who knows how many other states. Like Clintons wife, direct violation of laws governing classified information. Those laws have ZERO reference to intent.

      The President is final authority on declassifying information.
      The President is final authority on what is determined to be covered by the Presidential Records Act.

      Back to recenter on POWERS. The PRA cannot tell the President what to do with his records. Constitutional separation of POWERS controls. Presidents have followed along voluntarily. Now the DoJ is using it as a legal cudgel to punish President Trump.
      This will never get to court, because everyone knows these simple facts.

  16. AG GARLAND has shown his true colors as AG, BIASED LEFT WING SOCIAL JUSTICE/AG. People use to speak highly of him, including Mr. Turley, we are thankful they never appointed him to the Supreme Court. He Manages a Left Wing Social Justice/Radical/Biased DOJ which needs to cleaned out from top to bottom along with the FBI. All Left Wing/Democrat BIASED. Allows ANTIFA and others to burn down blds and etc. Seeks to prosecute Republicans, Parents, Regilgous and etc. AG Garland should resign but it goes deeper, DOJ needs to swept clean of Radicals/Social Justice/ and etc.

    1. 234currency: Yes, in a properly run republic with three distinct branches of government, this should happen. Unfortunately, we have about five or more branches of government. We have the DOJ/FBI/CIA who appear to be answerable to no one. Then we have the DEEP STATE, which is comprised of unelected bureaucrats running a shadow government and their minions in private business like Twitter, Facebook, and Google taking orders from them. Then we have corporations who demand adherence to the tenets of ESG from the broader citizenry (Larry Fink comes to mind) with government approval, of course. And furthermore, the MSM is a major wing of government control right now.

      My point is, good luck with the ‘clean sweep’ of “Radicals/Social Justice/ and etc”. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole.

    1. I read the many comments pointing out the differences between these documents and those in the Trump situation. The basic facts are the same. They both took Possession of classified documents without following proper procedure. However Biden has an air tight defence for his actions. It is so powerful that even his political Enemies will not raise challenge. People all over the world will praise him for his candor and honesty. I suspect this defence will be presented in the following manner.
      He will call for a meeting with the press and say; I have been struggling with dementia For a year or more before I became president. I did not realize how far this illness had progressed. I resign as president of the United States effective immediately. 🤣

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