Former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (ESOGE) during President Barrack Obama’s administration, Walter Shaub, recently spoke out against President Joe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents during his tenure as vice president — a position which doesn’t possess declassification powers — saying the whole saga is “appalling.”
When speaking to The Daily Mail, Shaub condemned the president’s “negligence” for appearing to store three batches of classified government documents in either the Penn Biden Center, a Washington, D.C. personal office, or his Delaware home.
Shaub also took a shot at former President Donald Trump during the interview.
“Trump knowingly resisted demands by the National Archives for classified records that he appears to have intentionally retained, and he obstructed the government’s efforts to recover them, whereas Biden immediately self-reported and turned the records over to the government at once,” said Shaub.
The former White House ethics chief from 2013-2017 added, “That’s not to say Biden’s retention of classified records was acceptable. The negligence exhibited in mishandling records, especially those stored in his garage, is appalling.”
Shaub also strongly criticized the Biden administration’s lack of transparency regarding the classified materials’ search status from six years ago.
“The White House was not at all forthcoming with the public about their discovery in more than one location,” Shaub said. Although, “when comparing the two cases, there’s no getting around the intentionality of Trump’s conduct. So far, there’s no evidence that Biden intentionally retained records or in any way resisted turning them over to the government.”
The final comment from Shaub may be conjecture since he seemingly doesn’t have ongoing access to sensitive government files related to the Biden or Trump cases.
Monday night, Alan Dershowitz, a legal analyst, said the responsibility that then-President Trump’s failure to declassify the documents in question would fall entirely on the United States government.
“Trump doesn’t have to prove anything [with declassification verification]; the government has to prove the opposite,” Dershowitz explained. Dershowitz is one of the country’s leading experts on the U.S. Constitution and a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School.
Biden had no authority to possess documents
The high-security documents Biden possessed were from 2016 or before; therefore, he had no way of declassifying the documents because he needed the presidential authority to do so.
Shaub didn’t try to justify the former vice president’s possession of classified documents at his personal home — or in his “locked” garage. He also didn’t address reports that Hunter Biden, the president’s song, claims to have rented or owned the same home in Delaware around 2018.
This week, Republicans in the House have made several demands to the Biden White House to disclose official visitor logs from the president’s Delaware home. However, the administration maintains no such records exist.
“Like every President in decades of modern history, his personal residence is personal,” the White House said in a statement.