Time between Biden doc discovery, public disclosure important

Politics

(NewsNation) — According to reports, a second batch of potentially classified documents belonging to President Joe Biden was discovered by White House aides in a separate location from where the first batch was found.

The Hill’s White House columnist Niall Stanage says a search was undertaken in wake of the first batch of documents being located. Stanage called the discoveries “clearly a problem” for the Biden administration.

Stanage tells NewsNation the time between the discovery of the first batch of documents and the public disclosure is one of the most important issues to note.

“It’s not just about the fact that there was a significant passage of time between the discovery and the public disclosure, it’s the fact that these documents were discovered on November 2, six days before the midterm elections. Election in which Democrats did unexpectedly well. So what you have is something being discovered but not disclosed that would plausibly have hurt Democratic fortunes in those elections. That is not a great look, to put it mildly,” Stanage said.

While there are differences between former President Donald Trump’s and Biden’s document situations, Stanage says the headlines are similar in the eyes of voters.

“The political implications and legal implications are quite different. From a political perspective, I do think this dulls the sharpness of democratic attacks on former President Trump for his conduct in relation to the documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago. Yes, there were differences, we can go into those. But the headline here is that President Biden and former President Trump appeared to have possessed documents marked as classified,” Stanage said.

In Biden’s case, former federal prosecutor David Weinstein thinks some of the documents may have become mixed in with some of Biden’s other files and taken out of the White House.

“It’s an unfortunate system or an unfortunate glitch in the system. I think we’ve all encountered this in our own filing systems,” Weinstein said.

Weinstein tells NewsNation he is surprised the White House is still dealing with so much paper. He thinks shifting to more of an electronic system, where officials check documents out electronically to be read and reviewed in a secure location, could be a solution.

He said it could “make things a little bit cleaner in the system.”

The Department of Justice is reviewing a “small number of documents with classified markings” found at the Penn Biden Center, the White House said of the first batch of documents. The White House did not immediately respond to a request from The Hill for comment about the possible discovery of additional documents.

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