In this highly detailed series of reports, split into 4 parts, investigative reporter Kurt Dillon breaks down the legal and factual elements of each case
So far, we’ve addressed two key elements of these classified document cases. In the first part of this series, we addressed what SCIFs are and why they are so important to both of these cases. If you haven’t already read it, it’s available here:
Why Biden’s Document Situation is So Different than Trump’s: Part 1 – There’s Just No Escaping the SCIF
In the second installment, we learned that most documents are automatically declassified after 25 years, and what exceptions there are to that general rule.
We also addressed how and why certain documents are classified, and then, more importantly, we looked at all of the laws and protocols that exist in America with regard to declassifying documents that were previously classified. If you missed that segment, you can get caught up here:
Why Biden’s Document Situation is So Much Different Than Trump’s: Part 2 -Classification/Declassification
In this, the third installment of my ground-breaking investigative series, we’re going to look at the issues of cooperation vs obstruction. That is, we are going to examine the factual evidence regarding how each of these presidents has, or has not cooperated with federal investigators, or possibly even taken steps to obstruct those investigations.
In order to accomplish that goal, we need to first understand the background of when each of these subjects was originally found to be in possession of documents that might have still been classified at that time. Once we have that established – the starting point, if you will – we can begin a timeline of events that will lead us from that point to today.
We will begin with the much more highly publicized Donald Trump Scenario.
As with all outgoing presidents, the timeline begins just days before Trump leaves the White House for Mar-a-Lago.
Jan. 19: Trump tells the Archives that he has designated Mark Meadows, Pat Cipollone, Pat Philbin, Scott Gast, Steven Engel, and Michael Purpura, who served in his administration either within the White House or Justice Department, as his representatives to handle matters pertaining to records from his presidency.
May 6: The Archives requests that Trump turn over missing records and sporadically reiterates that request between May and December.
December: (unknown date) – A Trump representative informs the Archives they located 12 boxes of material at Mar-a-Lago and the agency arranges for them to be securely brought back to Washington.
Jan. 18: Fifteen boxes of records, some containing documents that are marked as classified, are retrieved from Mar-a-Lago by Archives representatives.
Feb. 7: The Archives confirms that in mid-January, it arranged for the 15 boxes containing presidential records to be transported from Mar-a-Lago to the agency. The letter admit that Trump’s representatives are “continuing to search” for more records that belong to the Archives.
Feb. 9: The Archives Office of the Inspector General sends a referral to the Justice Department requesting it investigate Trump’s handling of records. The referral notes a preliminary review of the 15 boxes taken from Mar-a-Lago indicated they contained newspapers, printed news articles, photos, notes, presidential correspondence, and “a lot of classified records.”
They also claim in that request:
“Of most significant concern was that highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.”
Feb. 18: David Ferriero, then-archivist of the United States, sends a letter to House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney informing her some of the boxes retrieved by the Archives in mid-January contained items marked ‘classified’ and asked Trump’s representatives to continue searching for any additional presidential records that had not been transferred to the Archives.
Also in that correspondence, Ferriero tells Maloney that because the Archives identified classified information in the boxes, its staff had been in communication with the Justice Department.
April 11: The White House Counsel’s Office formally transmits a request that the Archives provide the FBI access to the 15 boxes retrieved from Mar–a-Lago for its review.
April 12: The Archives says it communicated with Trump’s “authorized representative” about the 15 boxes of seized records and told his attorney Evan Corcoran about the Justice Department’s “urgency” in needing access to them. The agency also informs Trump’s counsel it intended to provide the FBI with the documents within the next week. Corcoran later requested the Archives delay the disclosure to the FBI until April 29th.
April 29: The Justice Department’s National Security Division tells Corcoran that there are “important national security interests in the FBI and others in the intelligence community getting access to these materials.”
More than 100 documents with classification markings totaling more than 700 pages were among the materials in the boxes retrieved by the Archives from Mar-a-Lago, according to the Justice Department.
The department adds that access to the documents is necessary “for purposes of our ongoing criminal investigation.”
On that day, Trump’s attorney requests another delay before the records are given to the FBI and said if the extension was not granted, his letter serves as a “protective assertion of executive privilege.”
May 10: Acting Archivist Deborah Steidel Wall informs Corcoran in a letter that there is “no basis” for the former president to make a “protective assertion of executive privilege,” and she therefore would not honor Trump’s “protective” claim of privilege.
Wall also tells Corcoran that the Archives would provide the FBI access to the records taken from Mar-a-Lago as early as May 12.
May 11: The Justice Department obtains a grand jury subpoena seeking “any and all” documents bearing classification markings that are in Trump’s possession at Mar-a-Lago. The subpoena sets a May 24 deadline for the requested records to be turned over and for Trump’s custodian of records to appear in federal district court in Washington.
In a separate letter from Jay Bratt to Evan Corcoran, Bratt thanks him for “agreeing to accept service” of the subpoena and says Trump’s custodian of records may comply with the subpoena by handing over the responsive documents to the FBI. He also notes the custodian will have to provide a sworn certification that the documents “represent all responsive records.”
May 16-18: FBI agents conduct a preliminary review of the 15 boxes retrieved from Mar-a-Lago and find documents marked classified in 14 of them.
May 24: Trump’s lawyer asks for an extension for complying with the subpoena, and the government ultimately pushes back the date to June 7.
May 25: Corcoran informs the Justice Department in a letter that Trump has the absolute authority to declassify documents.
June 2: Corcoran reaches out to the Justice Department and requests FBI agents retrieve the documents that are responsive to the May 11 subpoena from Mar-a-Lago.
June 3: Three FBI agents and Bratt, the Justice Department counterintelligence chief, travel to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the materials in response to the subpoena.
Trump’s attorney and custodian of records are present and turn over one large envelope, “double-wrapped in tape,” that contains documents.
During this visit, agents allege that though they were permitted into the storage room, they were prevented from looking in any of the boxes.
The custodian of records for Trump’s post-presidential office signs a certification attesting that a “diligent search” was conducted of boxes moved from the White House to Mar-a-Lago to locate documents covered by the grand jury subpoena and that “any and all responsive documents” were provided with the certification.
FBI agents and Bratt are given access to the storage room, which contains boxes containing “clothing and personal items” of Trump and first lady Melania Trump.
June 8: Bratt sends a letter to Trump’s team warning that “Mar-a-Lago does not include a secure location authorized for the storage of “classified information” and asking the room be secured.
Trump’s attorneys acknowledge receipt of the letter a day later. Trump directs his staff to place a second lock on the door to the storage room.
June 19: Trump designates Kash Patel, a former Pentagon official, and John Solomon, a conservative commentator, as his “representatives for access to Presidential records,” in a letter to the Archives.
June 24: Federal investigators issue a subpoena for security-camera footage at Mar-a-Lago, and Trump’s team complies, turning over the footage to the U.S. government. (On Sept. 7, the Justice Department said the grand jury subpoena for Mar-a-Lago’s security cams was issued on June 24, and not June 22).
Aug. 5: The Justice Department seeks and obtains a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago from a federal magistrate judge in West Palm Beach.
The department says that prior to seeking the warrant, the FBI “uncovered multiple sources of evidence” indicating classified documents were still at Mar-a-Lago, despite the sworn certification made June 3rd and despite having previously claimed that they were not allowed to open any boxes while in the Mar-a-Lago storage room which they subsequently required to have additional security added to the room.
Federal prosecutors also claim that the FBI:
“…developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation,” but provided no evidence to support that claim.
The search warrant approved by the judge allows the FBI to search the “45 Office,” which is Trump’s office space at Mar-a-Lago, as well as all storage rooms and other rooms used or available to Trump and his staff where boxes could be stored.
Aug. 8: The Justice Department executes the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago beginning around 10 a.m. At least two of Trump’s lawyers, Christina Bobb and Lindsey Halligan, are present, but not allowed to be in the residence while it is searched. Bobb signs a receipt listing the property seized by the FBI at 6:19 p.m.
Among the items taken by agents are Trump’s passports. The Justice Department says in its later filing that, consistent with the parameters of the search warrant, “the government seized the contents of a desk drawer that contained classified documents and governmental records commingled with other documents,” which included two official passports.
Federal prosecutors wrote in the filing:
“The location of the passports is relevant evidence in an investigation of unauthorized retention and mishandling of national defense information; nonetheless, the government decided to return those passports at its discretion.”
During the execution of the warrant, the government seizes 33 boxes, containers, or items of evidence from both the storage room and Trump’s office. An investigative team reviewing the materials finds that 13 boxes or containers contain documents with classified markings, including more than 100 unique documents with classification markings. Three documents marked classified are located in desks in Trump’s office, prosecutors said, and 76 more were found in the storage room.
A partially redacted photo included in the Justice Department filing shows some documents recovered from Trump’s office had colored cover sheets indicating their classification status.
Aug. 11: Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers a statement about the search and reveals he personally approved the decision to seek the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago. The Justice Department also moved to unseal the warrant amid requests from media companies.
Aug. 12: Trump does not oppose the release of the search warrant, and the federal magistrate judge unseals it.
Aug. 15: The Justice Department returns Trump’s passports to his lawyers. A Trump spokesman tweets an email that confirms the FBI used a filter team to screen out evidence that was seized but not responsive to the warrant, a direct contradiction to the prosecutor’s earlier claims that the passports were legally seized pieces of evidence.
Aug. 18: The federal magistrate judge who approved the search warrant application holds a hearing about requests to make public the underlying affidavit and asks the Justice Department for potential redactions, to be submitted a week later.
Aug. 22: Trump files a lawsuit against the Justice Department asking for the appointment of a special master to review the seized records. The request comes more than two weeks after the initial search.
Aug. 24: The acting archivist sends a letter to staff addressing the investigation, characterizing the agency as “fiercely non-political” and refuting claims of harboring political motivations.
Aug. 25: The Justice Department submits a redacted version of the underlying search warrant affidavit. Finding the submission satisfactory. The magistrate judge ordered its release a day later.
Aug. 26: The redacted affidavit is made available to the public.
Separately, in a letter to Congress, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines confirms the Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are facilitating a classification review of relevant materials seized. The intelligence office will also review risks to national security.
Of particular note, in this timeline is that despite several discrepancies between each side’s point of view, there is absolutely no action in this timeline that could even loosely be considered a lack of cooperation and certainly nothing that could be considered obstruction.
Clearly, the former President and his designees remained cooperative with both the Archivists as well as investigators from the beginning. Put simply, you cannot be ‘uncooperative’ or ‘obstructing’ by notifying government officials and the Archives on numerous occasions and telling them that additional materials were discovered and are ready to be turned over.
Next, and perhaps most important, is the issue that we investigated in the second part of this series – and that is the classification status of the Trump documents.
As we saw, on May 25th, 2022, Trump representative Evan Corcoran officially reminded the DOJ the President of the United States has the absolute authority to declassify documents – a statement that we now know is absolutely true after reviewing all of the laws pertaining to the declassification of previously classified materials.
To this day, no representative of the DOJ, the FBI, nor any Judge, has ever even attempted to suggest that Donald Trump did not have the authority to declassify those documents even has he sarcastically explained, “just by thinking about it.”
Further, both Trump and other members of his staff have alleged that the President issued a standing order that all documents transferred to the residence in the White House were automatically declassified.
While there are now a couple of White House staff members who claim they do not remember such a standing order, that assertion doesn’t even come close to refuting the claim.
While arguments can be made until the cows come how as to whether or not Trump’s ‘standing declassification order’ was heard by enough people or not, the fact remains that it is absolutely impossible for anyone to ever prove otherwise in a court of law. The last time I checked, proof beyond any reasonable doubt is still required to find someone guilty of a crime in the United States, and no matter what you might think of Donald Trump, such evidence simply doesn’t exist.
Lastly, while the government investigators desperately want to convince anyone who will listen that a crime was committed by removing the documents to his home in the first place, that predisposition completely overlooks the fact that there is no evidence the former President ever packed even a single box on his own. A necessary element to proving intent and culpability.
Not to mention the onslaught of former government officials who have now been shown to also have possession of documents that are classified or were classified at one time – making it impossible to prosecute Donald Trump without prosecuting each one of them as well.
For all of these reasons, it doesn’t take a legal expert to understand that there is no possible way that Donald Trump can ever be charged with any criminal offense as a result of this document situation.
The Joe Biden Situation
After reviewing the case against Donald Trump, your mind is probably already forming how drastic the differences between the two scenarios actually are.
As with the Trump scenario, we will begin our review by looking at a timeline of events.
First, I’ll preface the timeline with the following refresher:
During a “60 Minutes” interview back on Sept. 18, CBS’ Scott Pelley asked President Joe Biden what he thought about the recently released image of top-secret documents that FBI agents had discovered during a search of former President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago.
Biden’s response: “How could that possibly happen? How one — anyone could be that irresponsible? And I thought, ‘What data was in there that may compromise sources and methods?’ … Totally irresponsible.”
Now the Timeline:
Nov. 2: While packing files in preparation for vacating office space used by the former vice president at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C., personal attorneys for Biden come across “what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records, including a small number of documents with classified markings,” according to a Jan. 9, 2023, statement released by Richard Sauber, special counsel to Biden. The University of Pennsylvania-affiliated think tank was established in 2017 after Biden was no longer vice president, and its offices opened in February 2018, about a year before Biden took a leave of absence to run for president.
Nov. 4: The National Archives Office of Inspector General contacts a prosecutor at the Department of Justice and informs him about the documents — which bear classified markings and are now secured in a National Archives facility. The office of the Penn Biden Center “was not authorized for storage of classified documents,” Attorney General Merrick Garland says in remarks on Jan. 12.
Nov. 9: The FBI begins “an assessment, consistent with standard protocols, to understand whether classified information had been mishandled in violation of federal law,” Garland says.
Nov. 14: Garland taps U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John R. Lausch Jr. to conduct an initial review related to “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or other records” at the Penn Biden Center. The New York Times, citing “a person familiar with the situation,” later reports that Lausch, who was nominated to be a U.S. attorney by Trump in 2017, was chosen because his work was more likely to be viewed as “impartial.”
Dec. 20: Biden’s personal counsel informs Lausch that additional documents from Biden’s time as vice president bearing classification markings have been found in the garage of Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. The FBI takes possession of the documents, Garland revealed at a Jan. 12 press conference.
Jan. 5: Lausch briefs Garland on the results of his investigation and recommends a special counsel be appointed to investigate further. As we wrote in our story “What to Know About the Special Counsels Investigating Trump and Biden,” a special counsel is someone appointed by the attorney general when “investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances,” according to Justice Department regulations.
Jan. 9: CBS News breaks the story about classified documents being found in early November at the Penn Biden Center and Garland assigning Lausch to do a preliminary investigation. Several hours later, Sauber, special counsel to the president, releases a statement that for the first time publicly acknowledges the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center.
Jan. 10: During a press conference in Mexico City, Biden acknowledges his lawyers came across “several classified documents” in a box in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center and says that “they did what they should have done: They immediately called the Archives” and turned them over. Biden says he was “surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office” and that he didn’t know what is in them. He says his team is “cooperating fully” with the National Archives and the Department of Justice review.
House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, a Republican, sends a letter to Debra Steidel Wall, the acting U.S. archivist, raising “concerns about inconsistent policy and procedures at the agency that creates the appearance of political bias.” Comer requests all documents between National Archives and the White House, the Department of Justice, and anyone inside or outside the agency regarding the classified documents discovered at the Penn Biden Center. Comer also announces his intent to interview at least two NARA officials about the matter.
Jan. 11: Biden’s personal attorneys search his Delaware homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach. In the Wilmington home, Sauber later says, the attorneys come across a document with classified markings. The attorneys do not have active security clearances and immediately stop searching and contact the Department of Justice, Sauber says.
Jan. 12: Referencing the lawyers’ searches, Sauber says in a statement, “During the review, the lawyers discovered among personal and political papers a small number of additional Obama-Biden Administration records with classified markings. All but one of these documents were found in storage space in the President’s Wilmington residence garage. One document consisting of one page was discovered among stored materials in an adjacent room.” No presidential documents were found in the Rehoboth Beach home.
Garland announces the appointment of Robert Hur as a special counsel “to investigate whether any person or entity violated the law in connection with this matter.” Garland says the appointment “underscores for the public the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters, and to making decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre releases a statement from Sauber saying that Biden’s team has “cooperated from the moment we informed the Archives that a small number of documents were found, and we will continue to cooperate,” including with the new special counsel. Sauber says, “We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovering this mistake.”
Jan. 14: Sauber releases a statement saying that the evening after lawyers completed their Jan. 11 search, he accompanied DOJ officials to the Wilmington residence. Sauber, who has a security clearance, says he went to assist in transferring the documents to the DOJ. During the transfer of the document found in the room adjacent to the garage, Sauber says, “five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages.” DOJ took possession of the documents.
CBS News, citing an anonymous source, reports that, in all, “roughly 20” classified documents have been found at Biden’s home and office.
Jan. 19: During a tour of storm damage in California, a reporter asks Biden if he has any regret about not revealing the existence of the documents in November, before the midterm elections. Biden responds, “We found a handful of documents that … were filed in the wrong place. We immediately turned them over to the Archives and the Justice Department. We’re fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly. I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets. I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. It’s exactly what we’re doing. There is no there there.”
Jan. 20: Investigators with the Department of Justice – with the cooperation of the Biden team – conduct a “thorough search” of Biden’s Wilmington home and take “possession of materials it [the department] deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials,” according to a statement released the next day by Bob Bauer, a personal attorney for Biden.
According to Bauer, the search is conducted after Biden’s legal team offered to make the home available to DOJ for a search. “[H]aving previously identified and reported to DOJ a small number of documents with classification markings at the President’s Wilmington home, and in the interest of moving the process forward as expeditiously as possible, we offered to provide prompt access to his home to allow DOJ to conduct a search of the entire premises for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material,” Bauer writes.
Bauer says that during the nearly 13-hour search, investigators “had full access to the President’s home, including personally handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades.” Some of the documents with classified markings “were from the President’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as Vice President. DOJ also took for further review personally handwritten notes from the vice-presidential years.”
Sauber, from the White House Counsel’s office, also releases a statement on Jan. 21 saying that DOJ officials conducted a “comprehensive search” of Biden’s Wilmington home, and that “The President’s lawyers and White House Counsel’s Office will continue to cooperate with DOJ and the Special Counsel to help ensure this process is conducted swiftly and efficiently.”
The issues and differences between Biden’s level of ‘cooperation’ and Trump’s
With yet more classified documents seized during a long-overdue search by the FBI of the president’s Wilmington, Del., home, President Biden’s apologists are even more stridently portraying him as a cooperative public servant who “self-reported” his wrongdoing — as compared to his predecessor.
Put aside the absolute legal fact that, even if this were true, it’s completely beside the point. The main issue here is and always will be Biden’s serial violations of the federal criminal law that controls classified intelligence, not how supposedly helpful he has been to investigators. What’s more, the fact remains that Biden’s lawyers did NOT self-report and certainly not in the manner in which they suggest.
That’s because in order to “self-report” a crime, a person needs to report their own criminal actions directly to law enforcement personnel.
Biden and his aides absolutely did not do that. Moreover, a close look at the timeline elucidates that the White House hoped this issue would slip quietly into a black hole, with no publicity and no criminal investigation. This is further evidenced by the fact that all parties involved opted to do without any public declaration of the classified document discoveries until well after the mid-term elections were decided.
On Nov. 2, 2022, the first batch of classified documents — some of which were marked “TS/SCI” (i.e., top secret, sensitive compartmented information), the classification level applied to the government’s most sensitive intelligence — were found by Biden’s private lawyers at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, in an office the president used as a private citizen after his term as Obama administration vice president ended.
As we learned in Part 2 of this series, the TS/SCI classification is not only the highest but as we learned in Part 1, no documents with that classification should EVER be removed from a SCIF by anyone except the sitting POTUS. Further, because of the SCIF protocols we learned about, we know that there is no possible way TS/SCI classified documents could be accidentally removed from a SCIF, or inadvertently packed by aides into boxes for storage.
Because of these facts, we know that Biden’s possession of those TS/SCI documents from the years when he was vice president, was indicative of several felony offenses of federal law.
First, the Penn Biden Center did not open until February 2018. Biden obviously took the documents when he left the Obama White House in January 2017, so they had to have been illegally retained at some other unauthorized location for 13 months. This also necessarily means that they had to have been illegally transported at least twice.
Second, Biden directed his Penn Biden Center office to be packed up by his private lawyers, who did not have security clearances (and by the way, even if they had them, that would not be enough to authorize them to review or even be in the unsupervised access to TS/SCI documents which we learned in Part 1 of this series are ‘eyes only’ documents not viewable by people with just a standard top-secret security clearance.
Causing national defense information to be exposed to unauthorized persons is, you guessed it, yet another felony.
What happened next is critical: The Biden private attorney who took the lead on the first batch of documents is Patrick Moore. Moore did not report his discovery of highly classified documents retained in an unlawful place to law enforcement — i.e., to the FBI or the Department of Justice (DOJ).
We do not know who at the White House participated in the deliberations over what to do about the discovery of the classified documents, and almost assuredly never will.
What we do know is that the White House did not report the discovery to law enforcement. Instead, it reported the discovery to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), an executive agency (i.e., it reports to the president) that is essentially a records repository, not a law enforcement agency.
Further, NARA’s leadership, under acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall, has worked closely with the Biden administration. When former President Trump tried to assert executive privilege over government records he had retained at Mar-a-Lago, it was up to Biden — under the Presidential Records Act — to decide whether to support that claim.
Also, if you’ll remember, in the Trump timeline, on April 11, 2022, it was the White House counsel that made the decision to refer the matter to the FBI for action.
Politically, though, Biden did not want to be seen as participating in an investigation of his rival, so he denied any responsibility or even knowledge of the investigation – a situation we now know was a lie.
To help him out of that pickle, Wall issued an edict rejecting Trump’s executive privilege claim, as if she had made the decision about a presidential privilege that only Biden had the legal authority to make.
More recently, when House Republicans demanded information from NARA about Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, NARA refused to cooperate. Instead, Wall, once again running interference for Biden, sent this letter in response to House Rep. James Comer’s request for information.
Provision of its own records to Congress, the agency claimed, could interfere with the special counsel’s probe, so it must be left to the Justice Department to decide on disclosure matters. This is exactly the stonewall position the Biden White House wants executive agencies to take.
In alerting NARA about the documents found on Nov. 2, Biden was not reporting his likely criminal offenses. At best, the Biden White House was letting the records repository know that there was a batch of Obama-era records that needed to be returned to government files. We don’t even know if the White House told NARA that some of the records were classified. In any event, the White House arranged for representatives of NARA officials to take the documents.
So, who reported the matter to law enforcement? That was done by the office of NARA’s inspector general, Dr. Brett M. Baker – NOT the Acting Archivist Debra Wall, who was the one who contacted the DOJ in the case of the Trump documents as soon as she realized there might be classified documents included in the former president’s documents.
The IG is not an ordinary executive official. Rather, it is a watchdog position, created by Congress to keep the agency on the straight and narrow by conducting internal investigations and reporting misconduct to Congress. Most executive agencies have IG offices — and Baker has worked in several of them.
The NARA IG’s office would have recognized that, if classified information was included in the Biden documents, then there were potential crimes being committed, and the Justice Department would have to be notified — just as NARA notified the DOJ when it found classified information in boxes of records that Trump returned to NARA about a year ago.
Because of all these facts, we now know that neither Biden nor his legal team reported his misconduct to law enforcement or to the public. Furthermore, there is reason to believe he intended for the public never to know.
That’s because the public only learned about Biden’s illegal retention of classified intelligence because CBS News, not Biden or his legal teams, reported it on Jan. 9th. Only then did the White House and the president confess that the CBS report was true.
Quick fact, ask any prisoner anywhere in America, you can never claim that you are cooperating after you get caught.
But here’s the thing: Prior to Jan. 9, there had also already been a second discovery of illegally retained classified documents: the ones found in Biden’s Wilmington garage on Dec. 20.
CBS mustn’t have known about that one yet because it wasn’t mentioned in their January 9th report. Clearly, though, the Biden White House knew about it, yet opted to keep it under wraps.
By then, Biden’s private lawyers had already found the documents in his garage. And it’s only thanks to NARA-IG Baker that the Justice Department had opened an investigation, so the Biden lawyers quietly told the DOJ, which quietly sent the FBI to Biden’s home to retrieve the garage documents.
Yet, when the White House conceded on January 9th that Biden had retained documents, it still concealed the December 20th garage documents thereby only confirming what it knew the world had already been made aware of, even though they knew there was more to the story.
Obviously, the White House hoped that no one would find out about the second discovery in the Wilmington garage. But then CBS’s Jan. 9th report was quickly followed by press reports about the documents found in the garage, as well as yet a third set of classified documents found in Biden’s Wilmington home (in his den) on Jan. 12th.
By that point, the cat was already out of the bag, and there were so many violations that Attorney General Merrick Garland had no choice but to appoint a special counsel to conduct a criminal investigation.
In summation, Biden did not self-report to law enforcement, and Biden has not been transparent with the public.
Clearly, the president and his legal teams hoped to bury the whole story and failed epically. Further, once the truth emerged, he did what Washington politicians do: He said as little as he thought he could get away with, gauged by what the news media had uncovered, and he pretended that these grudging, mounting concessions showed self-reporting and transparency.
Don’t forget to be on the lookout for the 4th and final segment of this series: Why Biden’s Document Situation is So Much Different Than Trump’s: Part 4 – The Hunter Factor, within the next couple of days!
Veracity Editor’s Note:
This unbiased, non-satirical, fully attributed article was thoroughly researched by our team of fact-checkers and found to be accurate. The sources relied upon for the factual basis of this article were: The National Archives, WhiteHouse.gov, House.gov, Senate.gov, CBS, CNN, The New York Times, The New York Post, Fox News, The Associated Press, Reuters, and veracityreport.org.
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This article was compiled and written by Chief Political Correspondent Kurt Dillon – Because the Truth Matters!