Classified Documents: Who Is At Fault Here?
Classified Documents: Who Is At Fault Here?
The saga of the classified documents continues on. Apparently no one seems to know that they had these documents in their papers, except for Donald Trump, and the National Archives had no clue things were missing, except when it came to Donald Trump. Funny, that.
Yesterday’s revelation that former Vice President Mike Pence ALSO had classified documents at his Indiana home just added to the sheer idiocy of the entire situation – especially considering that Pence himself had said he didn’t have any classified documents in his possession. Oops.
Donald Trump defended Mike Pence, which was a little surprising, given the personal history that now exists between them. Still, the former president was adamant that Pence had not done this intentionally.
“Mike Pence is an innocent man. He never did anything knowingly dishonest in his life. Leave him alone!!!” Trump posted on his social media site, Truth Social.”
Still, the revelation that now Pence is caught up in the classified documents problem had a lot of people caught off guard, which was probably summed up best by Senator Marco Rubio.
“I don’t know what the hell is going on around here. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen,” Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told The Hill. “I have no reason to believe it’s nefarious in any way, but clearly at the executive branch they’re just packing boxes.”
Rubio told reporters that he expects the subject to come up on Wednesday when Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines is set to appear before the committee to discuss unrelated topics. The Wednesday afternoon briefing is closed to the public.”
Other senators agreed that their rules regarding classified documents clearly does not extend to the White House’s protocols.
There are, however, major differences between how lawmakers on Capitol Hill and executive branch figures view such documents, at least in the minds of members of Congress. Senators and representatives may only view classified documents in a sensitive compartmented information facility in the basement of the Capitol, and documents are not allowed to leave with lawmakers.”
That same sort of process does not appear to be used at the White House under administrations of multiple stripes, lawmakers said.”
“I don’t get it,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters. “Anybody that deals with classified materials knows that they have to be maintained in a secure place and not available to our adversaries by putting them in a place that’s easy to penetrate. So — that’s not good.”
“I don’t know how this happens, but obviously it’s something that needs to be corrected,” Cornyn added.”
And then we get this little nugget today, proving that yes, this appears to be an ongoing West Wing problem.
Former President Jimmy Carter found classified materials at his home in Plains, Georgia, on at least one occasion and returned them to the National Archives, according to the same person who spoke of regular occurrences of mishandled documents. The person did not provide details on the timing of the discovery.”
An aide to the Carter Center provided no details when asked about that account of Carter discovering documents at his home after leaving office in 1981. It’s notable that Carter signed the Presidential Records Act in 1978 but it did not apply to records of his administration, taking effect years later when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. Before Reagan, presidential records were generally considered the private property of the president individually. Nonetheless, Carter invited federal archivists to assist his White House in organizing his records in preparation for their eventual repository at his presidential library in Georgia.”
The National Archives declined to comment when asked to provide a list of times that classified documents were turned over to the agency by former officials.”
Does anyone else feel like their brains are melting as they read these mea culpa reports? Given all that we are learning, here are a few of my conclusions so far…
1) The FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago now looks even more nakedly political.
The National Archives knew that Donald Trump had classified documents that they wanted. At least his were allegedly secured behind a lock that the FBI had asked him to use (which they then allegedly broke to get to said documents during the raid). But now we have Joe Biden with classified documents next to his Corvette in his garage – no raid. Pence finds some and contacts the proper authorities – no raid. The National Archives was apparently not looking for anything that Biden or Pence had. So why the raid? We all know why – it was a deliberate attempt to embarrass Donald Trump.
2) Team Biden deliberately held back the news of the finding of the classified documents in order to not hurt themselves in the midterms.
We have learned that the concealment of the classified documents news was orchestrated by Anita Dunn, former Obama lackey who now works in the Biden White House as a “senior advisor” to the president. And who is Anita Dunn married to? Why, that would be Bob Bauer, one of Biden’s personal attorneys. So a Biden White House senior advisor and Biden’s personal attorney are literally in bed together, cooking up a way to keep this news away from the press until after the midterms. Much swamp, such wow. And they only confessed to having the Penn Biden Center documents once CBS ran their initial report, not anything else – even though they already knew about the Wilmington garage classified documents. And then they just keep randomly “finding” more of them.
3) The Biden classified documents are different – by Team Biden’s own admission.
Donald Trump was president, and therefore had the legal ability to declassify documents if he chose to. Whether or not he did is another question, but everyone agrees that he had the ability to do it. Under an executive order by Barack Obama, vice presidents were given the ability to declassify documents as well. So, if Biden is going to make the argument that as vice president, he didn’t actually break any laws under Executive Order 13526, then Mike Pence benefits from that same argument. The problem for Joe Biden? His own lawyer, Bob Bauer, admitted that some of the classified documents that Biden had date back to his time IN THE SENATE. Pretty sure that Executive Order doesn’t cover Biden’s ass quite THAT far back. Sounds like Joey has some esplainin’ to do…
4) The National Archives is apparently run by utter morons.
Apparently, the National Archives doesn’t know what they don’t know. If they don’t know that a classified document exists – meaning that they are not explicitly told about it – then they don’t know to ask for it. Which brings us back around to the Biden classified documents – just how old are they, and why didn’t the National Archives know about them being missing for potentially decades on end? What does that record keeping look like? I mean, it’s not like classified documents get assigned a secret page number, and the National Archives has to figure out where the missing pages are… right? How does this even work? Ah, bureaucracy!
The real issue is that thanks to James Comey letting Hillary Clinton off the hook, we now have two sets of rules for the mishandling of classified documents. One is for the important people, like Biden, Trump, Pence, and anyone with political clout. There will be no charges filed against any of them, because the Comey standard now exists. Who DOES get slapped down for the mishandling of classified documents? The little people. Those without political power. We have seen that already. Equal justice under the law? HA.
Meanwhile, we have no idea where classified documents will turn up next. This has become a real-life version of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”, except it’s a lot less entertaining, and eventually, the game ends. When is this craziness going to stop?
Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click