Is this really the strategy Biden wants to use to explain the 'classified documents' fiasco?

President Biden has now been accused of having at least two tranches of classified documents at two separate office locations.  From the link, we see that a Democrat-friendly news source, NBC, broke the story.  We actually don’t know anything beyond that because the news source has a history of minimizing the damage to prominent Democrats during initial scandal damage control.  We know that the White House has not denied that the classified records were found, and therefore, we await only the details on exactly what was in those documents.

The focus and framing, the talking points, has been that Biden did not know that the documents were there, the lawyers did the right thing in calling the national records group to retrieve the records, and he is not asking what’s there on advice from his lawyers.

IMO, this framing is being done to mask the real issues here.  Let me summarize, and let the security professionals here at AT really dig into this. I am not a lawyer, and this is not a legal analysis.

This boils down to three things for me.

First issue is, documents were removed by someone from a secure location.  Either Joe Biden removed the documents or someone else removed them.  It is my understanding that removing documents from a secure facility is the very definition of mishandling classified documents and would be a potential crime.

Second issue is that he (as the namesake of the group) lost track of classified documents.  He is currently saying he did not know that the documents were there.  Either he forgot he took the documents to these locations or he forgot that someone else had brought the documents to him at those locations.  Bottom line is that as the senior member of the team, he forgot he had classified documents at these locations.

Third issue is that he stored classified documents in an unsecure location.  These documents were not in a secure facility or secured by the Secret Service.  At least one batch was locked in a closet in a public building with other offices.  I think the failure to secure classified documents is also a potential crime.

You have to wonder whether this is the ideal strategy to put out to the public: I removed classified documents from a secure setting (that could be a crime); I stored them in an unsecured location, a closet in my office (that could be a crime); and I forgot I had them — i.e., I left them there unattended for years (that could be a crime).  And, in forgetting I had them, I can’t say who had access to them.  I removed classified documents.  I stored them in a closet in an office building.  I forgot I had classified documents.

I can see why they are trying to keep the focus on anything but the root questions this raises.

I know — Biden takes classified documents so serious that he forgets about them and then loses them.

The spin makes it seem as though Biden does not take possessing, handling, or storing classified documents seriously.  He had classified documents that he should have known about, and he forgot about them.  I am not sure I would use that as my defense, but then again, at his age, it may work for him.

Maker S. Mark (a pseudonym) is a patriot who can understand and explain advanced math and science and is worried about the state of the nation and how to solve the problems we face.  United we stand, divided we fall.

Image: Marc Nozell via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

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