The Department of Justice reportedly considered, but ultimately declined to conduct the search for President Joe Biden’s mishandled classified documents — instead allowing the president’s personal attorneys to continue the search.
Despite the fact that many of Biden’s attorneys do not have the proper security clearance to view classified documents, the DOJ permitted them to continue the search for the documents being illegally stored in several locations without the FBI present.
Numerous critics have expressed concern about Biden’s classified documents scandal, questioning why the president’s personal attorneys were initially searching for the documents and why they were allowed to continue looking for them in Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, residence after a special counsel had been appointed to investigate the scandal.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the initial search, which was authorized by the DOJ, involved multiple people with no security clearances.
“Mr. Biden’s legal team prepared to search his other properties for any similar documents, and discussed with the Justice Department the prospect of having FBI agents present while Mr. Biden’s lawyers conducted the additional searches,” the outlet wrote.
“Instead, the two sides agreed that Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys would inspect the homes, notify the Justice Department as soon as they identified any other potentially classified records, and arrange for law enforcement authorities to take them,” the report continued.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) has asserted that no one would have known about the classified documents discovered in Biden’s old office at the Penn-Biden Center or the president’s home if CBS News had not reported on the scandal.
Despite the fact that the classified documents at the Penn-Biden Center had been discovered in early November — before the midterm elections — and the American people were not made aware of the issue until CBS’ report in January, the White House is still attempting to claim that they have been completely transparent about the scandal.
The Biden Admin and DOJ 𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐰 classified docs were stashed in a closet at the Penn Biden Center before the 2022 election. They also found docs in Biden's garage in December.
Why were Americans not notified?
Why was DOJ slow?
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) January 14, 2023
The White House has still refused to explain why Biden’s personal attorneys initially searched Biden’s home and the Penn-Biden Center for classified documents.
Meanwhile, five more classified documents were discovered at Biden’s residence on Thursday just hours after the White House revealed that one classified document was found in a storage area near the president’s garage on Wednesday.
On Saturday, Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer stated that the single document led the president’s attorneys to five more classified documents — which were apparently discovered because “Biden’s personal legal team did not have security clearances, so when they saw the one-page document with classification markings, they cleared the area and did not look further.”
A total of 25 classified documents have been found by Biden’s personal attorneys thus far, some of which were marked top secret.
Attorney Jonathan Turley, who also works as a professor at George Washington University Law School, spoke out about the scandal on Monday — questioning why the president allowed his personal attorneys to conduct the search for classified documents.
“It’s strange Biden did not use security officers or the FBI to conduct further searches,” Turley wrote in the New York Post Monday. “The president has a host of people who regularly handle classified material. So why use the lawyers?”
“The answer appears the same as in the case of Hillary Clinton’s emails: control,” he continued. “Using private counsel allows Biden to raise attorney-client privilege. Trump also used counsel, but eventually, the FBI raided his home to search and remove not just classified material but documents found in boxes with that material.”
“While that attorney-client privilege can be overcome under a ‘crime/fraud exception,’ it adds a level of initial protection,” Turley added. “It also allowed Biden to control the discovery and initial record of the discovery of classified information.”
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the DOJ declined to have the FBI conduct searches and instead allowed uncleared private counsel to do so. If true, it is a level of accommodation that would make a Kardashian
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) January 18, 2023