The FBI staged an unannounced armed raid on President Donald Trump's home in Florida, confiscated papers left over from his presidency, and now he's charged by a special counsel with a long list of crimes relating to those documents.
Even though Trump's lawyers had been cooperating with government officials over the paperwork they wanted. And incidentally, Trump held the authority as president to declassify any of those that he chose.
Fast forward to the same issue of classified documents, only this time it was Joe Biden who kept documents for a decade – dating back to his years as senator and vice president.
While he never had held, at that time, the authority to declassify them, they, in fact, were found in his offices, in his home and apparently even in a stack of boxes in an unsecured garage next to his collectible Corvette sports car.
His excuse? The oft-used, "I didn't know."
Biden, throughout a special counsel's mostly unreported investigation into the apparent violation of federal law, repeatedly claimed that "there is no 'there' there."
He made clear he expected nothing to happen.
Part of that reasoning was that he and his lawyers have claimed "as soon as documents were discovered," they notified National Archives.
However, that "may not only be false, but was knowingly false at the time it was made," explained Jonathan Turley, the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University Law School.
He's also not only testified as a constitutional expert before Congress, he's represented members of that body in court.
He explains the problem.
One of the closest aides to Biden and a close friend to Hunter Biden is Annie Tomasini. She referred to Hunter as her “brother” and signed off messages with “LY” or “love you.”
Tomasini was once a senior aide to Joe Biden and, according to the Oversight Committee, inspected the classified material on March 18, 2021, two months after Biden took office — nearly 20 months before they were said to be found by the Biden team.
The committee [investigating the Bidens} now alleges that the White House “omitted months of communications, planning, and coordinating among multiple White House officials, [Kathy] Chung, Penn Biden Center employees, and President Biden’s personal attorneys to retrieve the boxes containing classified materials. The timeline also omitted multiple visits from at least five White House employees, including Dana Remus, Anthony Bernal, Ashley Williams, Annie Tomasini, and an unknown staffer.”
Turley explained such a situation would demolish the Biden's claimed timeline.
"That could have an immediate impact on both the criminal and impeachment investigations."
The investigation finally reached the headlines just recently, as Special Counsel Robert Hur interviewed Biden.
Turley explained the evidence comes from a House Oversight Committee investigation of the Bidens, in which members "released a new timeline on the discovery of classified documents in various locations associated with Biden."
"The most glaring problem is that, after they were removed at the end of his term as vice president, the documents were repeatedly moved and divided up. Some were found in the Penn Center office used by Biden in Washington, D.C. Others were found in his garage and reportedly in his library.
He noted that while Biden insisted he was "surprised" by the discovery of the documents in November 2022, "In reality, Biden’s counsel and associates conducted repeated searches and declared repeatedly that no further classified documents were found. That was repeatedly found to be untrue."
There is concern, he explained, that Biden's lawyers changed how the documents were stored, and confused whether classified markings were visible.
Further, the "discovery" likely happened months before Biden claimed.
"The timeline would now more closely mirror Trump’s timeline in the knowing retention of classified material, the failure to turn over all of the classified material despite assurances from counsel, and alleged false accounts about the document’s discovery," Turley explained.
At issue is when and what Biden knew about the lies regarding the discovery of the documents.
"It also raises the question of whether the president knowingly possessed classified documents and lied about their removal, use, and discovery. Finally, if Biden repeated his public denials to Hur, there could be added allegations of false statements to federal investigators, another commonly-charged federal crime," Turley said.
A report at The Gateway Pundit explained on Monday the House Oversight Committee launched a new target for its investigations: "whether Joe Biden’s stolen classified were used to make his family millions of dollars."
A statement from the members of Congress said, "We are investigating whether classified documents President Biden was caught mishandling included sensitive information related to specific countries involved in his family’s foreign business schemes that brought in millions for the Bidens."
Committee chief James Comer wrote to Special Counsel Robert Hur demanding more information about Joe Biden’s stolen classified documents.
The House Oversight Committee last week revealed that five White House employees were involved in Biden’s stolen classified documents case, the report said.
And the committee "revealed Joe Biden and his attorney lied" about those issues.
The report charged that Joe Biden "lied" regarding when the documents were found, because they were discovered "nearly TWO YEARS before Joe Biden’s lawyer said he ‘found’ them."
"Recent reports indicate you recently interviewed President Biden and other individuals involved in this matter, and the Committee now seeks information from your office to further our investigation. As detailed in the Oversight Committee’s bank memoranda and Impeachment Inquiry Memorandum, evidence suggests President Biden may have used certain members of his family-particularly his son, Hunter Biden-to accumulate millions of dollars from foreign individuals and entities for the benefit of his family and himself.”
“Indeed, the Biden family received millions of dollars from foreign sources while President Biden served in public office and afterwards. If any of the classified documents mishandled by President Biden involved countries or individuals that had financial dealings with Biden family members or their related companies, the Committee needs access to that information to evaluate whether our national security has been compromised."
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