Something to Hide? President Biden, Former-VP Pence Caught With Multiple Classified Documents Months After President Trump’s Scandal


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Secret Service vehicles were spotted at U.S. President Joe Biden’s beachhouse in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware after he was caught with multiple classified documents.

Charlie Spungin, Sage Ponchock, and Reid Waxman, Staff Writer

On Jan. 9, news broke that U.S. President Joe Biden was found to be in possession of misplaced, classified documents both in his Wilmington, Del. residence and in his Washington, D.C. office. 

The first batch of documents was found in a locked closet on Nov. 2nd at the Penn Biden Center in Washington. One week later, on Nov. 9, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) decided to launch an assessment to determine whether the formation of a Special Council would be needed.

CBS News broke the news of this investigation and conflict on Jan. 9. Since then, multiple other documents have been found in President Biden’s possession. On Jan. 20, the FBI found additional classified documents in a consensual 13-hour search of his Wilmington residence.

The issue at hand arises because of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which was created after President Richard Nixon attempted to destroy records and documents amid the Watergate investigation. The Act states that presidents must turn over all records and documents to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) at the end of their respective administrations. 

AP United States Government teacher Mr. Nicholas Cramer strongly believes that classified documents should be stored in the National Archives for the utmost protection.

“I think the main importance is, of course, these documents are labeled with varying degrees of top secret classified,” Mr. Cramer said. “Having them in a secure location where they can be held accountable is important to ensure that wandering eyes don’t find that.”

Former President Donald Trump also had controversy regarding federal documents, taking place following his departure from the White House. From May 2021 to the present, the FBI, DOJ, and NARA have been dealing with this case. This case with President Biden has served as a reminder of what happened with former President Trump.

“When the FBI found classified documents in President Biden’s house at home and his office in Washington D.C, I instantly thought of what was found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago just down the street from me,” freshman Gus Doesky said. “It was really shocking.”

Former President Trump has been noncompliant with the government in handing over the documents. Because of this, the FBI executed a search warrant and raided President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach on Aug. 8, 2022, to seize these documents. It was later revealed that the FBI found 11,000 government documents and 48 empty folders labeled as ‘classified.’ 

Unlike former President Trump, it appears there has been no attempt by President Biden to hide documents or to obstruct federal investigations. The White House and President Biden’s lawyers claim that it was entirely unintentional, and they plan to fully cooperate with the investigation. 

“The White House is cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records, including a small number of documents with classified markings,” lawyer Richard Sauber said.

This investigation of President Biden sheds light on a potentially larger issue of misplaced documents. Now, the last two presidential administrations have found themselves caught in an investigation related to classified records. Many, including Mr. Cramer, have noticed this trend.

“I’m obviously disappointed to hear that more documents have been misplaced, regardless of who is misplacing them and how,” he said. “I am happy to see that they’re proceeding and taking care of the documents.”

On Jan. 24, former Vice President Mike Pence’s lawyers found about a dozen classified documents in his home in Carmel, Ind.

Like President Biden, former Vice President Pence has cooperated with the FBI’s investigation into the documents and how they ended up in the Indiana home. Greg Jacob is set to be former Vice President Pence’s representative for the NARA.

“Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence,” Jacob said. “Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry.”

The FBI and DOJ’s investigation is set to continue for what could amount to months. This investigation may jeopardize President Biden’s chance for reelection in 2024, as many candidates — both Democrats and Republicans — are expected to challenge President Biden for a seat in the Oval Office.