In a letter issued by the president on February 4, 2021, Biden vowed the highest standards of transparency would be “revitalized” and implemented within his administration.
“In a democracy, the public deserves as much transparency as possible regarding the work of our national security institutions, consistent with legitimate needs to protect sources and methods and sensitive foreign relationships,” Biden’s letter stated.
“The revitalization of our national security and foreign policy workforce requires a recommitment to the highest standards of transparency,” the president wrote.
But Biden has failed to live up to his promised standard.
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On Wednesday, Rep. James Comer, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, requested the National Archives disclose “all documents and communications between or among the White House and the Department of Justice or NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] regarding the documents retrieved from President Biden’s personal office at the Penn Biden Center.”
The National Archives has apparently not complied. Comer told Fox News on Saturday the National Archives is stonewalling the Oversight Committee’s investigation.
“I have jurisdiction over the national archives. This agency is supposed to do a briefing anytime something like this happens. They have not,” Comer said. “Not only have they not given us a briefing, even though we’ve requested one, they have not answered any of our simple requests for information.”
Meanwhile, there appears to be a blame game brewing within the Biden administration about who is responsible for the mishandling of classified documents — some of which are top secret.
A report by CNN revealed Biden administration officials are blaming the National Archives for refusing to treat then-Vice President Biden’s records with the “same high regard” as it did former President Obama’s records.
“While the National Archives sends staff members to the White House to gather files and papers of the President, they do not treat all vice presidential papers with the same high regard, officials said,” CNN reported, citing “former and current administration officials and others familiar with the process.”
Law enforcement has reportedly begun interviewing individuals responsible for the violation. According to NBC News, Joe Biden’s former executive assistant Kathy Chung, hired to the post after a recommendation from Hunter Biden, was questioned by law enforcement over the classified documents stashed in three separate locations. Chung’s employment as Joe Biden’s assistant was in part due to Hunter Biden, who recommended his father hire her, according to Hunter’s laptop emails.
Hunter and Chung remained in close contact over the course of Joe Biden’s tenure as vice president. Their correspondence included arranging Biden family business meetings with former University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, who oversaw the Biden Penn Center.
While the White House appears to be trying to deflect blame, former Department of Justice prosecutor Andrew McCarthy argued Thursday that Biden has already admitted guilt. Biden has claimed no knowledge of the violation.
“That’s not a defense to a charge of mishandling classified information,” McCarthy stated. It is tantamount to an admission of guilt.”
“For conviction, federal law requires prosecutors to establish that the defendant was grossly negligent. There is no need to prove that an accused was trying to harm the United States; just that he was trusted with classified information and carelessly flouted the standards for safeguarding it,” McCarthy said.