The former top ethics official in the Obama White House has accused President Biden of neglecting the “most basic security protocols” surrounding the handling of classified documents.
“It’s nothing like [former President Donald] Trump’s deliberate refusal to return classified records demanded by the National Archives, but Biden’s own retention of classified records reflects an inexcusable neglect of the most basic security protocols,” Walter Shaub told Fox News Digital. Tuesday.
Shaub also praised Attorney General Merrick Garland for appointing a special counsel to investigate Biden over the discovery of sensitive papers at his Delaware home and at a think tank in Washington where he kept an office after serving as Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years.
A special counsel is also looking into the handling of a trove of classified documents found by the FBI at the 76-year-old Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida resort Aug. 8.
Biden lawyers initially found materials with classified markings on Nov. 2, 2022, at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement — but the discovery wasn’t revealed until after CBS News reported on it Jan. 9.
The White House later confirmed that more classified documents had been found at the president’s residence in Wilmington.
“The fact that the White House didn’t mention that records were found in more than one location when first asked about them was a breach of trust with the public and a self-inflicted wound,” Shaub said.
He then lauded Garland for appointing former Maryland US Attorney Robert Hur to investigate Biden’s classified documents.
“Based on what we know so far, it seems unlikely that he’s [Biden is] at risk of any legal consequences, but I’m glad Garland appointed a special counsel to show even-handed treatment of the current and former president,” Shaub said.
Garland tapped Jack Smith, a veteran prosecutor, in November to probe the materials found at Mar-a-Lago.
Richard Painter, a former chief White House ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration, tweeted Tuesday that the keeping of documents at the Penn Biden Center demanded further scrutiny.
“DOJ, Intel and Congress … need to find out what was happening in the ‘think tank’ and who had access to the offices for six years,” he wrote.