Update (1850ET): Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday called for Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents by President Biden while he served as vice president. Graham said the appointment of a special counsel is necessary to investigate Biden after Garland announced the appointment of career prosecutor Jack Smith to investigate former President Trump’s possession of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
“I think if you believe a special counsel is necessary to assure the public about the handling of classified documents by Donald Trump, you should apply a special counsel to the mishandling of classified documents by President Biden when he was vice president,” Graham said during an interview with Martha MacCallum on Fox News.
“If there is not a special counsel appointed to find out how this happened with President Biden regarding classified information … it will hurt the country,” Graham warned.
Graham warned that many conservatives believe prosecutors and the media are applying a different set of standards for Trump and Biden.
“Every conservative out there is completely disgusted with the standard that exists in America when it comes to conservatives and everybody else,” he said.“Garland, if you’re listening, if you thought it was necessary to appoint a special counsel regarding President Trump, then you need to do the exact same thing regarding President Biden when it comes to handling classified information,” Graham said.
Additionally, President Biden has broken his silence on the issue.
At a news conference Wednesday for the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico, President Biden said he doesn't know why classified papers were lying around in his former office at the Penn Biden Center (this was before the second batch of classified papers were discovered).
“People know I take classified documents and classified information seriously,” he said.
“When my lawyers were clearing out my office at the University of Pennsylvania, they set up an office for me — a secure office in the Capitol, when I — the four years after being vice president, I was a professor at Penn.
“They found some documents in a box — you know, a locked cabinet, or at least a closet. And as soon as they did, they realized there were several classified documents in that box. And they did what they should have done: They immediately called the Archives — immediately called the Archives — turned them over to the Archives.”
“And I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office.
“But I don’t know what’s in the documents. I’ve — my lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents they were. I’ve turned over the boxes — they’ve turned over the boxes to the Archives. And we’re cooperating fully — cooperating fully with the review and — which I hope will be finished soon, and will be more detail at that time.”
As a reminder, when informed about the FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence to retrieve classified documents, Biden asked “how could anyone be that irresponsible?”
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As we detailed earlier, a second batch of classified documents have been found at a different location from his Washington D.C. office at the Penn Biden Center, NBC News reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The search for more classified documents was prompted by the November 2022 discovery of a trove which were contained in a folder that was in a box with other unclassified papers. The first batch of classified documents was found the day before midterm elections, and not reported until Tuesday of this week - so apparently the DC-to-MSM leak apparatus is well under control.
The classification level, number and precise location of the additional documents was not immediately clear. It also was not immediately clear when the additional documents were discovered and if the search for any other classified materials Biden may have from the Obama administration is complete.
Biden aides have been sifting through documents stored at locations beyond his former Washington, D.C., office to determine if there are any other classified documents that need to be turned over to the National Archives and reviewed by the Justice Department, the person familiar with the matter said. -NBC News
On Monday the White House issued a statement confirming that a "small number of documents" from the Obama-era, and which bear classified markings, were found at the Penn Biden Center on November 2. They were discovered in a locked closet.
How much in Chinese donations to UPenn did these cost? https://t.co/pMh9mibOrX— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 11, 2023
On Tuesday Biden told reporters that he was "surprised" by the discovery, and that he had no clue what was in the documents.
Of note, as Vice President, Biden did not have the authority to declassify his documents - an argument that former President Trump has made several times regarding classified documents found during a DOJ raid of his Mar-a-Lago home last year.
I told you, MORONS:— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) January 11, 2023
Now, the chair and vice-chair of the Senate intelligence committee have asked DNI Avril Haines for access to the classified documents, as well as an intelligence community damage assessment, and a briefing on both the Biden and Trump documents.