On Monday, a bombshell report revealed that a batch of documents, some of which were marked “classified,” was discovered in a closet at the Washington D.C.-based Penn Biden Center, where President Joe Biden maintained an office after his vice presidential service.
Richard Sauber, Biden’s special counsel, indicated that the White House Counsel’s office was alerted immediately after the documents were discovered. The National Archives and Records Administration quickly took custody of the sensitive documents.
However, Biden is far from out of the woods, as it was reported that in a shocking move, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed John Lausch, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, to oversee the developing matter.
Former President Donald Trump appointed Lausch in 2017.
Lausch has been tasked with investigating the discovery of the documents at the Penn Biden Center, a think-tank set up for the former vice president at the University of Pennsylvania, Fox News reported.
The optics of the situation are nothing less than utterly humiliating for Biden and the White House, especially in the wake of Biden’s Justice Department raiding former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home last year for similar reasons.
Depending on how the investigation proceeds, it could even toss a massive wrench in the gears of the current DOJ investigation into Trump regarding classified documents. Garland’s DOJ will need to tread extremely carefully at this point.
Several high-profile journalists and GOP politicians weighed in on the stunning announcement, with many crying foul as to the report’s ultra-convenient, post-midterm election timing.
“Biden is being investigated by the DOJ for taking classified documents from the White House as VP and leaving them in a closet at his Penn BIDEN Center office. The discovery was conveniently kept quiet until AFTER the midterms,” Virginia Republican Bob Good tweeted.
Biden is being investigated by the DOJ for taking classified documents from the White House as VP and leaving them in a closet at his Penn BIDEN Center office.⁰⁰The discovery was conveniently kept quiet until AFTER the midterms.
— Congressman Bob Good (@RepBobGood) January 10, 2023
Indiana Republican Jim Banks echoed Good’s concerns as far as the timing of the ordeal.
“Classified documents were found at Joe Biden’s think tank before the midterms. Why are we just finding out now?”
Classified documents were found at Joe Biden’s think tank before the midterms. Why are we just finding out now?
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) January 10, 2023
Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, asked if the DOJ would treat Biden and his people the same as it did Trump, as far as the FBI is concerned.
“No FBI raid this time?” Hawley tweeted.
No FBI raid this time? https://t.co/S0ns54Xjl3
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 9, 2023
In Trump’s case, many, including the former president, insist that he had the sole power to declassify documents at will, which he claimed he did regarding the documents recovered at his private Florida residence. That’s one of the powers afforded to the nation’s chief executive.
However, as a vice president, Biden would not have had the same powers to declassify documents. That point was also widely discussed across social media on Monday.
“The power to declassify documents rests solely upon the U.S. president. Biden kept classified documents from the Obama administration that he did not have the authority to declassify. Yet, the FBI has not conducted a raid on his private residence,” political analyst Camryn Kinsey tweeted.
The power to declassify documents rests solely upon the U.S. president.
Biden kept classified documents from the Obama administration that he did not have the authority to declassify.
Yet, the FBI has not conducted a raid on his private residence.
— Camryn Kinsey (@camrynbaylee) January 10, 2023
With Hunter Biden’s investigations — which could eventually envelop his father and other family members — and this new classified documents debacle, the Bidens better have quite the legal fund ready to shell out to an army of lawyers because it looks like they could be in for quite a rough ride in the year ahead.
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