Goldman says Biden administration ‘doing things by the rules’ on classified documents

Goldman says Biden administration ‘doing things by the rules’ on classified documents

Goldman says Biden administration ‘doing things by the rules’ on classified documents

Washington— Democratic Rep. Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor, said Sunday that the Biden administration was doing things “properly” regarding the discovery of documents with classification marks at President Biden’s home. former office of a think tank in Washington, D.C. and in the garage of his home in Wilmington, Delaware.

“This administration is doing things by the rules,” Goldman said in an interview with “Face the Nation.” “There’s a chasm and a separation between the Justice Department and the White House that certainly didn’t exist in the last administration. And President Biden and his team contacted the Archives, they contacted the Justice Department , they did everything they could to cooperate. And that’s in direct contrast to what former President Trump did, where he obstructed justice at every turn.

Mr. Biden is face scrutiny of Congress after the White House acknowledged last week that about 10 documents marked classified, which date back to his tenure as vice president, had been discovered on November 2 at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

Richard Sauber, special adviser to the president, then confirmed Thursday morning that a second set of materials had been found in the garage of Mr. Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware, and recovered by the FBI. The White House did not reveal when the documents bearing classification marks were found at the Wilmington home, but Attorney General Merrick Garland later revealed the discovery was made on December 20.

Sauber said in his Jan. 12 statement that a single, one-page document marked classified was also found in a room adjacent to the garage, but later revealed on Saturday that five more pages were discovered in the chamber.

He attributed the discrepancy to the process the president’s personal lawyers followed when they searched for more government documents — because the lawyers don’t have active security clearances, they stopped their search and did not review a document with a classified mark if one was identified. Lawyers also suspended any further searches of the box, folder or other space where the sensitive document was found, Sauber said in the statement Saturday.

Because Sauber has a security clearance, he said he flew to Wilmington Thursday night to “facilitate” the delivery of the document to the Justice Department. It was while he was turning the file over to Justice Department officials that the five additional pages with classification marks were discovered, for a total of six pages, Sauber said.

When asked why the president would send lawyers without security clearance to search for more sensitive government documents, Goldman said the public doesn’t know the circumstances surrounding the decision. But statements from the White House indicate that the president and his aides are taking the issue of storing classified information “very seriously”, he said.

“They’re following the law, they’ve reached out and been as cooperative as they can be,” Goldman said. “And part of the reason they can’t speak is that they would potentially interfere with an ongoing investigation, which again this administration takes very seriously.”

Goldman said a White House attorney with a security clearance, like Sauber, would be involved in turning over the discovered material to the Justice Department because it is classified information belonging to the US government.

“When you have national security issues, you have to make sure those who have the authority to look at them look at them,” he said. “And again, we’re focusing on a lot of substantive details here. The whole picture is broad cooperation from the president who clearly takes this very seriously. And that should be really emphasized here. In addition to the importance independence from the Ministry of Justice.

Following the discovery of the files in Mr. Biden’s former office and at his home in Wilmington, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Thursday that he had appointed Robert Hur, a former United States attorney from Maryland, as special advice to supervise document investigation.

Hur is the second special counsel appointed by Garland to lead Justice Department investigations into documents marked classified, joining Jack Smith. Smith was selected in November to resume the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of sensitive documents found at his South Florida residence after leaving office.

Federal investigators have recovered more than 300 documents bearing Mar-a-Lago classification marks, according to court documents. The former president is under investigation for alleged improper deletion and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as alleged illegal concealment or deletion of government documents.

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GOP Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah on “Face the Nation,” Jan. 15, 2023.

In an interview with “Face the Nation,” Rep. Chris Stewart, a Republican from Utah who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said he thought it was “extraordinarily unlikely” that the documents found in Ms. Biden contained information such as nuclear codes or nuclear secrets. .

But he called the idea that the president didn’t realize he had filed the documents “nonsense” since each document is clearly marked on each page and usually comes in a cover page with the level of classification.

“It’s not the kind of thing that you just sit on your desk and think, ‘Oh, I forgot they’re classified.’ It’s very clear they’re classified,” Stewart told “Face the Nation.” “And for those who think that, well, the president didn’t realize he had them. That’s just nonsense. Of course he knew he had them. They’re so obvious.”

Stewart said the House Intelligence Committee requested an analysis of the documents and the “potential harm” they might have from Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, which the committee is expected to receive “in the coming weeks.”

“If these documents were available for a long time, in an environment as open as a garage for heaven’s sake – now I understand that the garage was closed as the president pointed out, but they were still available – it is important for us to understand the potential damage to these documents and the availability of these documents it may have caused to US and US security,” Stewart said.

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