FIRST ON FOX: Obama administration ethics chief Walter Shaub said that President Biden’s retention of classified documents at his think tank and Delaware garage is ‘an inexcusable neglect’ of basic security protocols.
Shaub weighed in on the growing scandal that saw Biden’s White House attorneys turning over classified documents found at the president’s Penn Biden Center think tank and by his Corvette in his Wilmington, Delaware garage.
‘It’s nothing like Trump’s deliberate refusal to return classified records demanded by the National Archives, but Biden’s own retention of classified records reflects an inexcusable neglect of the most basic security protocols,’ the Obama administration ethics chief told Fox News Digital.
‘The fact that the White House didn’t mention that records were found in more than one location when first asked about them was a breach of trust with the public and a self-inflicted wound,’ Shaub said.
‘Based on what we know so far, it seems unlikely that he’s at risk of any of legal consequences, but I’m glad Garland appointed a special counsel to show even-handed treatment of the current and former president,’ he added.
Shaub’s comments come as the president weathers the growing scandal that legal scholars say could see Biden’s attorneys as ‘likely witnesses in a criminal investigation.’
‘We do not know what the evidence will show. The most serious discovery would be evidence that Biden worked off their documents or removed them from their classification folders,’ George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley previously told Fox News Digital.
‘That would not only destroy the ‘inadvertence’ defense but make his public comments potentially deceitful of both the public and investigators,’ he continued. ‘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.’
Turley said that intent ‘can be established not only at the time of the removal but during the storage of the documents’ and that if ‘these documents were used or knowingly possessed over the six years, it would qualify as an intentional act to unlawfully possess the material.’
‘The use of private counsel without clearances following the first discovery on Nov. 2 could itself be viewed as reckless and gross mishandling,’ Turley said. ‘Moreover, those lawyers are now likely witnesses in a criminal investigation.’
Republicans on Capitol Hill demanded the visitor logs this weekend following revelations that Biden’s lawyers had discovered a stash of classified documents inside the home’s garage. While it is common practice to keep comprehensive visitor logs at the White House, Biden’s lawyers say no such records exists for his home in Delaware.
‘Like every President in decades of modern history, his personal residence is personal,’ the White House Counsel’s Office told Fox News Digital on Monday. ‘But upon taking office, President Biden restored the norm and tradition of keeping White House visitors logs, including publishing them regularly, after the previous administration ended them.’
Biden is currently facing a special counsel investigation into his handling of classified documents after at least two stashes were found at his Wilmington home and a pro-Biden think tank in Washington, D.C.
The Secret Service also stated Sunday that while a detail is assigned to the home, they do not record visitors.
Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom and Peter Doocy contributed reporting.