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OPINION
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Biden Just Created Even More Questions About His Classified Document Scandal

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AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Judy Woodruff's exclusive interview with President Joe Biden was the journalistic equivalent of a full-body massage. 

Check out this remarkable exchange over Biden's mishandling of classified documents.

Wooodruff: Classified documents. It's clear there's a difference between the way you've handled this and former President Trump. You've cooperated with the archives, with the FBI. But I want to ask you about quickly about what you said last September. You said just possessing classified documents is you said 'totally irresponsible.' So what was totally irresponsible about the fact that you had some.

Biden: What they've informed me not to speak to this issue to anyway, try to prejudice the investigation that's going on. But what I was talking about was what was laid out. All these documents were a top secret, code word and all the rest. And I'm not at liberty and I'm not even sure, I made voluntarily — no one's had to threaten to do anything — voluntarily opened every single aperture I have in the house, offices, everything. For them to come and look and spend hours searching my home. Invited them. Nobody. And so, in the best of my knowledge, the kinds of things they picked up were things that from 1974 and stray papers. There may be something else, I don't know. But one of the things that happened is that what was not done well is as they packed up my offices to move them, they didn't do the kind of job that should have been done to go thoroughly through every single piece of literature that's there. But, I'll just let the investigation, you know, decide what's going on and we'll see what happens.

Let's do an old-fashioned, 90s-era "fisking" of this remarkable exchange, shall we?

"It's clear there's a difference between the way you've handled this and former President Trump. You've cooperated with the archives, with the FBI."

Wow, Judy... that's a hell of a lot of grace you're affording the president on this scandal. There, in fact, IS a difference between Biden's classified document mess and the Mar-a-Lago raid... it's mostly in that Trump kept his presidential documents in a secured office in a reinforced compound with an extra lock installed on the advice of federal officials as Biden's were tossed in the corner of his garage, next to his Corvette with easy access for his crackhead-felonious son. 

Also, let's be clear... Biden did NOT "fully cooperate with the archives or the FBI."  Biden's personal attorneys found classified documents in the DC office of his think tank. They notified the White House (NOT the FBI), and the White House notified the archives (NOT the FBI) and the archive kept it quiet until the Inspector General of the Archive discovered the situation, and THEY notified the FBI. 

"But I want to ask you about, quickly, about what you said last September. You said just possessing classified documents is, you said 'totally irresponsible.' So, what was totally irresponsible about the fact that you had some?" 

Biden: "What they've informed me not to speak to this issue to anyway, try to prejudice the investigation that's going on." 

Uh-huh. First of all, who is "they" who's informed Biden not to speak to the issue? Biden can say whatever he wants to say about this. It's not a violation of law or ethics for him to declare his innocence, which he has done, and to answer any question anyone might have. 

As we pointed out often in the past on this issue, Joe Biden has claimed his innocence. In fact, if he really isn't supposed to say anything about this issue so that he wouldn't prejudice the investigation as he claims, then he shouldn't declare his innocence. Certainly, the president declaring his innocence would prejudice the investigation if the FBI agents were worried about keeping their jobs if they found something to the contrary.

But more importantly, the fact that he has declared his innocence means that he believes he's done nothing wrong. And the truth is on his side. And if you have done nothing wrong and you haven't violated the law, and the truth is on your side, then there is literally nothing stopping you from answering any question that might come up about this because if you're completely innocent, anything you say will just support your innocence. How could you possibly say something that could get you in trouble if you haven't done anything wrong?

But of course, he has done something wrong. And that's why he's been told not to say anything.

Biden: "But what I was talking about was what was laid out. All these documents were a top secret, code word and all the rest."

So, when Biden said that Trump having classified documents was totally irresponsible he was really talking about the documents being all laid out with top secret code words and all the rest. What the hell is he talking about? That famous image of all the documents laid out was taken by the FBI after they posed the picture strewing the documents across the floor. That's not how Trump kept the documents. And how do we know that Biden's documents didn't have top secret code words and all the rest? Biden can't wiggle out of this. If it was irresponsible for Trump to have classified documents, then it's irresponsible for Biden. 

End of discussion.

Biden: "And I'm not at liberty, and I'm not even sure, I made voluntarily — no one's had to threaten to do anything — voluntarily opened every single aperture I have in the house, offices, everything. For them to come and look and spend hours searching my home. Invited them."

First of all, the beginning of this sentence is completely incoherent, goes in several directions and proves that he's trying to self-edit and not get himself into trouble by saying something that he's not supposed to say. He's lying when he says he voluntarily opened every single aperture in his house and offices because it took several days, if not weeks, to negotiate with the Justice Department on whether his beach home would be searched, and he had his own personal lawyers search for documents before he allowed the Justice Department into any of his apertures. 

Biden: "Nobody... And so, in the best of my knowledge, the kinds of things they picked up were things that are from 1974. Stray papers. There may be something else, I don't know."

Holy cow, where to begin? First, adding the caveat "to the best of my knowledge" is a thing shifty politicians do to make sure they don't get stuck in a lie. Also, he's revealed now that there was a document that dates back nearly five decades, which is a hell of an admission. Either he's held onto a classified document that he should not have had in his possession as a senator back in the mid-70s, or he deliberately acquired that classified document from the archives in the intervening years. Why? Was it because it was something he didn't want anyone else to see as he was mounting his run for president?

And finally, he says there may be something else we don't know. Wait a second, he just said that he opened up every single aperture in his house, offices and everything for them to come in and spend hours searching his home. How can there still be something else? This is a typical CYA moment where if more documents are discovered, this statement won't come back and bite him in the butt.

Biden: "But one of the things that happened is that what was not done well is as they packed up my offices to move them, they didn't do the kind of job that should have been done to go thoroughly through every single piece of literature that's there."

Oh, and there's the cherry on top. He's blaming his staff. The people who are in charge of packing his things up didn't do a good job, and that's how these classified documents happened to mistakenly end up at his home. Going back to 1974? Somebody explain that, please. And also, why isn't this excuse good enough for Donald Trump? Does somebody think that Donald Trump was personally packing his boxes when he left the White House? I don't think Donald Trump has ever personally packed a box in his entire life. No offense.

Well, there you have it. In just one minute, Judy Woodruff showed herself to be the partisan hack that she's always been. And Joe Biden, while saying he's not supposed to say anything about this issue, says enough to open up another ten questions that we all have that he's going to deflect and lie about in the future. But one thing's for certain, it's clear there's a difference between the way he's handled this and the way former President Trump has. Yes, very clear. 

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