A lack of visitor logs could impede the discovery of who may have had access to classified documents at President Joe Biden’s Delaware home, but law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out there are some individuals without clearance we know for a fact saw them and they are “likely witnesses in a criminal investigation.”
As more details emerge about the ongoing investigation into classified documents found at Biden’s former office at a university think tank and his Wilmington, Delaware home, experts have worked to parse out implications from available information. On Monday, after the president’s counsel and Secret Service had both ruled out a readily available list of known visitors, Turley, of George Washington University, spoke with Fox News Digital presenting concerns over the investigation’s handling.
Following the initial report, it was learned that the Department of Justice had known about the documents discovered at the University of Pennsylvania since November, yet Biden’s personal lawyers were permitted, without security clearances, to go over the files at his home. “Use of private counsel without clearances following the first discovery on Nov. 2,” Turley suggested, “could itself be viewed as reckless and gross mishandling.”
“Moreover, those lawyers are now likely witnesses in a criminal investigation,” he noted.
Though the law professor admitted we “do not know what the evidence will show” he posited that the “most serious discovery would be evidence that Biden worked off their documents or removed them from their classification folders.”
“That would not only destroy the ‘inadvertence’ defense but make his public comments potentially deceitful of both the public and investigators,” Turley continued referencing Biden’s statements thus far on the scandal. “While gross mishandling does not require evil intent, unintentional violations are often addressed outside of the criminal justice system. The most serious violations have been prosecuted where material was intentionally removed.”
Concluding that point, he told the outlet, “Intent can be established not only at the time of the removal but during the storage of the documents. If these documents were used or knowingly possessed over the six years, it would qualify as an intentional act to unlawfully possess the material.”
As it happened, Biden’s government lawyer Special Counsel Richard Sauber, in trying to project an air of transparency, had reported that the president’s personal attorneys had come across at least one classified document and then supposedly “stopped searching the immediate area where the document was found.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 15, 2023
If, as Turley suggested, the document lacked a classified heading but had once been in a classified folder before winding up inadvertently or otherwise in Delaware, how would the lawyers lacking clearance have known the material they were looking at was classified? Even if it had possessed the proper heading, the sensitivity of that document and what they may or may not have read on it remains unknown.
In that line of thought, University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter contended to Fox News Digital that the “White House needs to cooperate fully with this investigation, which involves helping the special counsel find out how the documents got to the Penn Biden Center and to his home and who knew they were there (if anybody), as well as cooperating with a DOJ or intel assessment of who may have access to the documents.”
“This is particularly a concern with respect to the Penn-Biden center where the Penn president raised tens of millions from the Chinese, and many people (including Penn donors) had access to the center and must have had a chance to look in Biden’s office and notice the locked closet, raising curiosity about what was inside and perhaps a desire to find out,” he added.
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