Multiple media outlets reported a team from the Department of Justice conducted a 13-hour search of the president’s Wilmington residence on Friday and seized more than a half-dozen additional classified documents at President Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Del., on
Friday after conducting a 13-hour search of the home, the president’s personal lawyer said Saturday evening.
Six documents with classified markings — including some from his time as a senator and others from his time as vice president — were taken by investigators, along with surrounding materials, according to the statement from Bob Bauer, Mr. Biden’s attorney.
Bauer, a former Obama administration figure, is husband of Biden’s senior White House adviser, Anita Dunn. Dunn was also a key fixture of the Obama White House, serving as communications director. Bauer is a former partner at Perkins Coie LLP, the law firm deeply tainted for its role in the fake charges in the Trump-Russia FISA abuses. His former clients and bosses include former President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The New York Times reports once the discovery of the original batch of documents was revealed, Ms. Dunn was adamant that the White House should keep the public information flow to a trickle and focus instead on how different Mr. Biden’s case was from the broader investigation into his predecessor, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Ms. Dunn also stressed the need to underscore the differences between Mr. Biden’s situation and that of Mr. Trump.
In other words, there was no “good faith cooperation,” the stalling was all about Anita Dunn managing the public relations.
According to reporting by Liza Carlisle of The Republic Brief, on Thursday came the news that the Biden DOJ and the White House had agreed to stay quiet about the emergence of those classified documents, in a report by the Washington Post. As Nick Arama pointed out, a couple of major missing puzzle pieces remain about the doc’s story:
This failure to be straight with the American people prevented Americans from finding out about Joe Biden’s actions before the midterm election. The White House also hasn’t explained why they had a personal attorney searching through Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center, to begin with. That indicates something else we haven’t been told yet.
As Ms. Carlisle pointed out, Red State’s commentary on the update included this take:
It was a p.r. move, done in the best interests of Biden and his hangers-on, not the American people, apparently. Recall that Biden personal attorney and Special Counsel, Richard Sauber was the one who found “new” classified documents earlier this week.
Notice, also, the shrill tone of Joe Biden’s replies to media questions over the past day about the documents. He snapped at one reporter, saying it ‘quite frankly bugs’ him” that this is a topic for him to respond to.
With a new story published Friday by the New York Times, though, many of these seemingly separate puzzle pieces are fitting together. And there was a major revelation to be culled from the NY Times’ report, which I only saw thanks to a new piece from my Hot Air colleague John Sexton. He highlights exactly who inside the White House public relations team pushed for this slow roll scheme–and it’s a name many long-time political watchers will recognize:
Today the NY Times published its take on the behind-the-scenes decisions about this potential scandal. The Times points to another top Biden adviser as one of the few people who were in-the-know from the start: Crisis PR specialist Anita Dunn.
According to Ms. Carlisle’s reporting, the discussions on how to deal with the matter, at least at the start, were confined to the husband-and-wife pair of Bob Bauer, the president’s top personal attorney, and Anita Dunn, a White House senior adviser; Mike Donilon, the president’s longtime confidant and speechwriter; Mr. Biden’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens; Stuart F. Delery, the White House counsel; and Richard Sauber, a White House lawyer overseeing the response to investigations, according to people familiar with the situation.
The White House has refused to explain why it took nearly six weeks after the initial discovery of documents to search the president’s home in Wilmington, Del., where a second batch was found on Dec. 20. And it has not said why personal lawyers for the president who do not have security clearances were the ones conducting the searches, but people close to the case said that was done with the approval of the Justice Department.
According to reporting by Michael D. Shear, Peter Baker and Katie Rogers of The New York Times, the handful of advisers who were aware of the initial discovery on Nov. 2 — six days before the midterm elections — gambled that without going public, they could convince the Justice Department that the matter was little more than a minor, good-faith mistake, in contrast to the allegations claiming former President Donald J. Trump intentionally concealed classified documents at his Florida estate.
In the short term, the New York Times reported the bet seems to have backfired. Mr. Biden’s silence while cooperating with investigators did not forestall the appointment of a special counsel, as his aides had hoped, but still resulted in a public uproar once it became clear that the White House had hidden the situation from the public for more than two months. Mr. Biden’s advisers still hope that the trust they believe they have engendered with investigators by not litigating the matter in public may yet pay off in the long run, by convincing the special counsel that nothing nefarious took place.
The choice to keep silent for so long exacerbated the political damage when the news finally leaked out on Jan. 9. The days that followed, with a series of rolling disclosures and misstatements by the president’s public relations team, cemented the impression that Mr. Biden had not been forthcoming, observed the writers at The New York Times. Ms. Jean-Pierre, the press secretary, has been pummeled day after day for refusing to provide answers with Ms. Jean-Pierre even walking off and refusing to answer press questions.
As our friend Mike Davis of the Article Three Project and former Chief Counsel for Nominations, U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Law Clerk, Supreme Court Associate Justice Gorsuch tweeted:
Six documents with classified markings — including some from his time as a senator and others from his time as vice president? Now we know why Biden squirrelled away his Senate papers at the University of Delaware Library pursuant to an agreement that prohibits the University from providing public access to those papers for an indeterminate length of time. The next question for investigators should be, are there any classified documents in the papers hidden at the University of Delaware Library?
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Penn Biden center
Attorney Bob Bauer