“With the discovery of yet more classified documents at President Biden’s Wilmington home on Friday, the disclosure of which was withheld from the public until after the NFL playoff coverage began on Saturday evening, the Biden team is trying to put its best spin on things: The president, you’re to believe, is being fully cooperative.
The truth of the matter is that, like most criminal suspects as to whom there is already strong evidence of felony offenses, Biden consented to a search knowing that, if he did not, newly appointed special counsel Robert Hur would apply for a judicial warrant from a federal judge. Biden would then have been subject to the same political damage that has dogged former president Donald Trump since the Mar-a-Lago search in August: a judicial finding of probable cause to believe he has committed multiple offenses for which the penal code prescribes prison terms of up to ten years (for each offense).
(…) The president did not consent to an FBI search of his home because he is unconcerned. He consented to it because he knew law enforcement had more than sufficient evidence to compel a search of his home. From his standpoint, with his 2024 reelection hopes now teetering, it was better to pose as a cooperative volunteer than be forced to open his door to federal agents brandishing a judicial warrant.
On this point, the scandal is: Why did the Justice Department wait so long? And why, in the interim, did both DOJ and the Biden White House allow Biden private lawyers who did not have security clearances conduct what turn out to have been incompetent searches that both (a) exposed them to secret intelligence they were not authorized to possess, and (b) failed to locate the secret intelligence they said they were looking for? (And recall that Biden spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre assured us nearly ten days ago that Biden’s lawyers had completed the search for classified documents—only to have still more documents be discovered hours later.)
Remember the timeline here. The first batch of classified documents was found illegally stored in Biden’s office on November 2—i.e., over two-and-a-half months before the FBI finally conducted Friday’s search. Contrary to Biden’s claim of self-reporting, he did not report that discovery—evidence of a serious crime—to law enforcement. Rather, his private lawyers reported it to the Biden White House, which then notified not the Justice Department but the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It appears Biden was hoping NARA would just return the documents to the files and no one would be any the wiser.
The discovery, however, came to the attention of NARA’s inspector general—the watchdog official who reports agency wrongdoing to Congress. It was the IG’s office that, on November 4, notified the Biden Justice Department. (Read more: National Review, 1/22/2023) (Archive)