If the writers at Saturday Night Live aren’t already working on a sketch where Obama-era classified documents continue to be found in the most ridiculous of places, then someone should get on to it immediately. The fact that the White House confirmed that aides to President Joe Biden had located documents with classified markings at two locations inside his home in Wilmington, Delaware, is simply tailor-made for comedy.
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The documents were reportedly located in a “storage area” in Biden’s garage and an adjacent room, the White House Counsel’s Office announced via a statement on Thursday morning. Biden frequently spends weekends at the home, which is located in an upscale wooded enclave on a lake, but it remains unclear when the documents were brought there or why they were in a storage area.
A number of classified documents had been discovered last fall at the offices of the Penn Biden Center, where Joe Biden kept an office after he left the vice presidency in 2017 and until shortly before he launched his Democratic presidential campaign in 2019.
The White House is cooperating fully with the Department of Justice (DoJ), and for his part Joe Biden has remained on the defensive, telling reporters “It’s not like they’re sitting out on the street.”
A special counsel has already been appointed.
Found In the Biden Home
The tranche of files was discovered “among personal and political papers” during a search of the president’s homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, following the disclosure of the documents uncovered at Penn Biden Center. According to CNN, no classified documents were located at the Rehoboth property.
“As was done in the case of the Penn-Biden Center, the Department of Justice was immediately notified, and the lawyers arranged for the Department of Justice to take possession of these documents,” White House Counsel explained in its statement.
Republican lawmakers have been critical of this week’s disclosure, as the documents were reportedly discovered just days prior to the November 2022 midterm elections. On Wednesday, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to answer questions about the first cache of files.
“This is under review by the Department of Justice,” she said. “I’m not going to go beyond what the president shared yesterday.”
Mishandling of More Than Documents for Joe Biden
It would now appear that President Biden isn’t just mishandling the classified documents, but in how it is being handled.
Biden said on Tuesday he was “surprised” when he found out the first batch of files were found at his former offices, but it still took some two months to allow the information to be disclosed. As the BBC noted, “it is an iron rule of presidential scandals that bad news dripping out over an extended period of time is much more politically damaging than one-time revelations, however bad they may be.”
In this case, it looked bad on Tuesday – but looks downright terrible on Thursday, especially as it is clear this wasn’t an isolated case of carelessness on the part of Biden or his team. The administration should expect a thorough investigation.
“Now that Democrats no longer have one-party rule in Washington, oversight and accountability are coming,” Rep. James Comer (R-Kentucky), the new chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told reporters on Wednesday.
In addition, the Justice Department is reviewing the records that were found at the Penn Biden Center and Attorney General Merrick Garland has asked John Lausch, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, to review the matter. This may not be the scandal that brings down Joe Biden but it certainly will distract from any of the president’s recent accomplishments and could be a serious campaign issue in 2024.
It also sets up another possible SNL skit – Joe Biden and Donald Trump sharing a jail cell. That’s comedy gold!
Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.