Below is my column at Fox.com on the most recent discovery of classified documents at one of the homes of President Joe Biden. Despite the latest discovery, allies like Sen. Chris Coons were on Sunday shows repeating his assurance that “there is no there there.” The insistence that the record clearly shows innocent “inadvertence” now borders on willful blindness as inadvertent possession occurs over and over again with documents from both Biden’s time as a senator and as vice president. A decade of inadvertence.
Here is the column:
President Biden seems to attract classified documents the way some people think motor homes attract tornadoes. They just inexplicably happen.
After Biden publicly declared that he has “no regrets” in the discovery of unlawfully stored classified material in various locations, he assured citizens that the special counsel investigation would soon peter out when they find that “there is no there there.”
Well, there turns out to be more there and the “there” is yet another find in a private residence of Joe Biden.
A search of Biden’s home in Wilmington on Friday found six new clearly marked classified documents, bringing the total to roughly 30 classified documents. The latest search came almost three months after the first discovery in a closet in a D.C. office.
Yet, the president and White House still maintain that all of these documents are merely the result of “inadvertent mishandling” and that Biden has no knowledge of their storage over the prior roughly six years. There is a point when “inadvertence” becomes so incredible as to be miraculous.
At the start of this scandal, I questioned the inadvertence claim in light of one simple fact. These classified documents were presumably removed in 2017 and yet they were divided and distributed to different locations. Those locations have now increased to at least four: the closet, garage, library, and the new location at the Wilmington residence. That suggests that they were transferred more than once and sent to different locations for a purpose.
The most obvious purpose is that Biden was working on a book that discussed some of the underlying subject matters like China and Ukraine. However, Biden insists that he never had knowledge or interaction with the documents.
In other words, these documents just miraculously seem to appear in every spot where Biden worked or lived over the last 10 years. He possessed them with no knowledge or intent. It is the immaculate possession . . . over and over again.
There is still no confirmation of where the documents were found in the residence or their level of classification.
The latest batch of documents easily establishes “gross mishandling” of classified material, the standard being investigated by the special counsel. The only question is who is responsible and President Biden portrays himself as a mere pedestrian “surprised” over and over again by the discovery of classified documents in his home. He is fast becoming the Claude Rains of presidents in feigning shock that there is handling of classified material in this establishment.
Biden’s worst critic, however, may be Biden.
In 1977, as senator from Delaware, Biden torpedoed President Jimmy Carter’s nominee for CIA director over his alleged mishandling of classified documents. As with the current scandal, Ted Sorensen was accused of having the documents for work on a book. The motive did not matter. Sen. Biden expressed his signature revulsion at the very thought of the possession.
There was no evidence of ill intent, but Biden insisted that was not the issue. Biden argued that Sorensen could still be prosecuted under the Espionage Act and insisted the “real issue” during Sorensen’s confirmation hearing was “whether Mr. Sorensen intentionally took advantage of ambiguities in the law, or carelessly ignored the law.”
After all, Biden continued, “If he did so, can he now bring the activities of the intelligence community within the strict limits of the law? We will expect that in the future of intelligence agencies. If that is to be the case, then we must hold the director – DCI – accountable as well.”
Notably, some of the recently discovered classified documents may have been from Biden’s time as a senator — over ten years ago.
I have previously noted that Biden “has always been better at expressing revulsion than responsibility.” When it came to Sorensen, Biden could not imagine a rationalization for a nominee to excuse such mishandling of classified material, but as a president, “there is no there there.”
Biden has continued to make the case against himself with remarkable determination. His defense that some documents were housed in his “locked garage with my Corvette” may go down as one of the most imbecilic statements in modern political history. He then followed up with his “no regrets” comments (and his assurance of “no there there”) just before more classified documents were found “there.”
While special counsel do not mind defendants making fools of themselves, they do not want to join them in such public spectacles. In this investigation, the Biden defense is looking increasingly implausible in his claim of no knowledge or responsibility.
Indeed, if any witness or forensic evidence shows that Biden came into contact with any of these documents over the last 10 years, this dubious defense will take on a far more sinister appearance. It would establish not just intent and knowledge, but an effort to deceive the public and prosecutors.
Yet, even after the latest batch was found, Biden and allies like Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., are continuing to maintain that “there is no there there.” These continuing denials now border on willful blindness and the public reaction is likely to echo the president’s favorite tagline: “Come on, man.”