The federal investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents before taking office has quietly expanded to encompass a broad review of security procedures from the Obama era and internal White House processes. This inquiry has involved numerous witness interviews, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
In fact, while Americans likely have no idea that the investigation is still ongoing, Federal prosecutors and FBI agents, working under the supervision of special counsel Robert Hur, have been conducting witness interviews for nearly nine months.
Robert Hur’s appointment as special counsel was prompted by a series of disclosures. Late in 2022, the White House informed the National Archives about the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., where Biden had a private office following his vice-presidential term’s conclusion in early 2017.
During 2017-2019, Antony Blinken served as the managing director of the Penn Biden Center. His association with Biden spans over two decades, with roles that include being Biden’s national security adviser during President Barack Obama’s first term.
After the classified documents’ discovery at the Penn Biden Center, Blinken expressed his lack of prior knowledge but pledged full cooperation with the Justice Department’s review. The White House echoed this commitment.
The situation escalated when Biden’s personal attorney revealed the existence of additional classified records in the garage of Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware residence. Now caught red-handed and unable to cover up the findings, the Justice Department appointed Rober Hur as special counsel for further investigation.
The secretive interviews have focused on a wide range of former White House aides, including high-level advisers, executive assistants, and even a White House attorney. Approximately 100 witnesses have been estimated to have been interviewed so far, with recent interviews taking place last week. Some witnesses have also been asked to return for follow-up interviews.
Unlike the high-profile media attention garnered by special counsel investigations into former President Donald Trump’s identical case, Hur’s investigation focused on a sitting president, has largely operated with no attention from the media. But sources indicate that the investigation has cast a wide net, collecting documents dating back to the early Obama administration and delving into the secure transmission of highly sensitive information to the vice president.
Sources reveal that investigators are looking into details of internal procedures related to classified materials, with a special focus on how then-Vice President Biden acquired, reviewed, and disposed of classified briefing materials. Of particular concern to the investigators is the context surrounding Biden’s notetaking habits and document storage practices, including the locations where he kept documents, briefing materials, notes, and notecards. They are also inquiring about a personal iPad and cell phone used by Biden and whether any classified materials were ever handled on these devices.
Investigators are focusing on email correspondence dating as far back as 2010 and seeking contextual information about these exchanges from witnesses. They are also probing witnesses about using or not using locked cabinets and safes. Investigators have been on the lookout for documents dating back to Biden’s time in the Senate.
President Biden responded to questions about the timing of revealing documents before the midterm elections by explaining that a few documents had been “misfiled” and he was cooperating with the National Archives and the Justice Department. He expressed confidence in the lack of substantial issues.
Meanwhile, special counsel Smith has been actively pursuing former President Trump and two aides for their alleged involvement in a conspiracy to obstruct government efforts to recover classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Mar-a-Lago was then raided publicly after Trump expressed his willingness to provide the FBI with whatever they needed for the investigation. Trump now faces questionable legal challenges relating to his case.
By contrast, Biden’s lawyers asserted that all classified documents found in locations linked to him were voluntarily provided to the government. They expressed confidence that a comprehensive review would reveal these documents were inadvertently misplaced.
The stark contrast between the investigations into President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents highlights a concerning inequity. Biden’s case unfolds with little media attention, with investigators quietly expanding their probe into his actions, involving numerous witness interviews and an extensive review of security procedures. This stands in stark contrast to the high-profile investigation into Trump’s identical case. The unequal treatment in these cases raises questions about fairness and transparency in the legal process.
It’s quite interesting to see how the rules seem to bend and stretch depending on who’s in the hot seat and how the media dictates which documents case is “newsworthy.”