President Joe Biden was criticized by Walter Shaub, the Obama administration’s ethics chief, on Tuesday for unlawfully holding onto secret information.
Shaub claimed that Biden showed a “inexcusable ignorance of the most fundamental security protocols.” Yet Shaub compared former President Donald Trump to Biden in order to diminish the gravity of his acts.
“Biden’s own retention of secret records indicates an appalling violation of the most fundamental security measures,” Shaub said to Fox News. “It’s nothing like Trump’s purposeful refusal to release classified records ordered by the National Archives.”
In addition, Shaub criticized the White House for keeping secret the second finding of classified documents, those at Biden’s private residence in Wilmington, Delaware, even though the White House had previously disclosed the discovery of those records at Biden’s private office in Washington.
The first batch of records was purportedly found by Biden’s private counsel on November 2, and the second on December 20. But they forgot to mention the second when they revealed the first last Monday.
“When originally questioned about the records, the White House failed to indicate that they had been discovered in other places,” which Shaub described as “a self-inflicted wound and a breach of the public’s trust.”
Shaub went on to say that he is “happy” that Attorney General Merrick Garland hired Robert Hur as a special counsel to look into Biden, but he asserted that it is “unlikely” that Biden is “at risk of any of the legal repercussions.”
What offences are being considered?
The unlawful removal and retention of secret materials is a federal offense that is punishable by up to five years in prison, however the Justice Department has made no mention of legal action.
However, Biden might be in the clear because the five-year statute of limitations for improper retention of confidential documents applies, according to Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman on Tuesday. Six years have passed since Biden’s resignation as vice president.
However, it is unclear when the records discovered inadvertently in Biden’s possession were retained, as well as the reason behind their retention and subsequent refusal to be returned.