The Press-Dispatch

January 25, 2023

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Wednesday, Januar y 25, 2023 The Press-Dispatch C-3 OPINION Submit Letters to the Editor: Letters must be signed and received by noon on Mondays. Email: Heritage Viewpoint By John Malcom and Charles "Cully" Stimson Race for the Cure By Star Parker Biden classified docs fiasco: What do we know so far? The struggle to protect life continues Friday, Jan. 20, pro-life Ameri- cans will March for Life in Washing- ton, D.C. Hun- dreds of thou- sands will march, as they have marched since 1973. But this year, it is different. This year, the march will take place, for the first time, in an America where Roe v. Wade is no longer the law of the land. This is what pro-life Americans have been working toward and pray- ing for all these years. And now we show that our nation is still a nation where dreams come true. And a na- tion where, despite often losing our way, sooner or later truth returns. Reading how the Supreme Court's decision in June of 2022, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organiza- tion, is widely reported, we see that many still do not understand what happened in that decision, which ended the Roe v. Wade regime. Pew Research reports that, in Dobbs, the Supreme Court ruled to "end the constitutional right to abortion." National Public Radio reported last June that the court reversed Roe v. Wade, "declaring that the consti- tutional right to abortion, upheld for nearly a half century, no longer exists." The Dobbs decision was not just about abortion. It was about restor- ing the way the court should be do- ing its job. The court cannot, despite what many in the media seem to think, create or end rights. The court's job, judicial review, is to apply, not cre- ate, reality. That reality is the U.S. Constitution. The complaint all these years about Roe v. Wade has been that only someone with either a very active imagination or a very active conviction that their personal opin- ion is more important than what the Constitution actually says could find a right to abortion in the U.S. Con- stitution. The conservative judges who ruled to overturn that decision did not rule as they did to "end" rights. They did it because nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there anything written that can be understood to be a right to abortion. Consider that the preamble of the Constitution explains its purpose "to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." Can anyone believe that the drafter of that passage felt that among those blessings of liberty is a right for a woman to abort her child? Or consider further that our Con- stitution, the operating manual for our free nation, had to be amended to make slavery illegal. Is it in any way conceivable that the original language of our Constitution did not prohibit slavery but somehow pro- tected a right to abortion? With legitimacy to claims that there is a right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution gone, now the bat- tleground is in the states. A major battle has been won, but the war rages on. At this writing, abortion is prohibited in only 13 states. Pew Research shows that after years of decline in the number of abortions, it ticked back up in 2020 to 930,160. And, despite all the claims about caring about racial justice in our na- tion, my organization CURE reports in a new policy briefing, "The Impact of Abortion on the Black Communi- ty," that in 2020, 39.2% of abortions were on Black women, who repre- sent just 14% of the childbearing population. The data also shows that 86% of abortions are done on unmarried women, which points to the critical link between this destructive be- havior and the collapse of marriage and family, the pillars of a healthy society. I believe that all the many prob- lems that our nation faces begin with absence of awe for the miracle of life. The other side of the coin of the right to life is the responsibility to protect life and responsibility in the behavior that creates life. Reverence is the beginning of responsibility, and responsibility is the beginning point for what freedom is all about. What do we know—so far, at least—about the Biden classified documents situation? The information provided to the public has come from people who work for, or are otherwise close to, President Joe Biden and has been filtered selectively through a media largely predisposed to protect the president. According to Bob Bauer, who is Biden's personal attorney and a former White House counsel and longtime Democratic power broker whose wife (Anita Dunn) is a senior adviser to the president, the classi- fied documents were "unexpectedly discovered" on Nov. 2 (six days be- fore the midterm elections) by one or more members of the president's team of personal lawyers. The documents were supposedly found in a closet in Biden's former office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, a think tank located in Washington, D.C., and affiliated with the Univer- sity of Pennsylvania. Bauer claims that Biden's lawyers immediately notified the National Archives and Records Administra- tion of the discovery. Each of the attorneys or non-law- yers who discovered those docu- ments is now a fact witness in the investigation, which itself could be- come awkward if not legally trou- bling for Biden, depending on what the special counsel recommends. It's been reported that the Univer- sity of Pennsylvania received more than $30 million in donations from anonymous Chinese donors shortly after the Penn Biden Center was es- tablished in 2017. On Nov. 4, the National Archives Office of Inspector General notified the Department of Justice of the dis- covery. The FBI commenced an in- vestigation five days later, and the day after that, the Justice Depart- ment notified Biden's lawyers that it is looking into the matter. On Nov. 14, John Lausch, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and an appointee of for- mer President Donald Trump, was tasked by Attorney General Merrick Garland with conducting a prelimi- nary investigation. On Dec. 20, Biden's lawyers in- formed Lausch that they had found a "small number" of additional clas- sified documents in a storage space in the garage of Biden's private home in Wilmington, Delaware, where he keeps his 1967 Corvette Stingray. According to Bauer, the Justice De- partment took possession of those documents the next day. On Jan. 5, Lausch briefed Garland about his preliminary conclusions and recommended the appointment of a special counsel. On Jan. 9, after the story broke about the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Cen- ter, the White House acknowledged the matter, and Biden stated that he was "surprised" to learn about the discovery and claimed not to know what was in the documents. Neither Biden nor the White House mentioned the classified re- cords that were found in his home until Jan. 12 after media outlets be- gan reporting on that discovery. At that time, the White House ac- knowledged the discovery and add- ed an additional page with classified information that it said was "discov- ered among stored materials in an adjacent room" to the garage at the home. The same day, in response to a reporter's question, Biden said, "by the way, my Corvette is in a locked garage. It's not like it's sitting out in the street." Also that same day, Garland appoint- ed Robert Hur, whose legal career is detailed below, as a special counsel to lead the in- vestigation into the matter. On Jan. 14, the White House is- sued a statement that yet anoth- er five pages of classified informa- tion had been discovered in a stor- age room adjacent to Biden's garage within hours after the statement it had issued on Jan 12. Biden has de- scribed the adjacent room as his "personal library." Robert Sauber, another attorney working for Biden who claims to have the requisite security clearanc- es, has stated that he made this sub- sequent discovery and that the attor- neys who made the initial discovery in the storage closet stopped their search immediately after they found the documents because they did not have the requisite security clearanc- es to review classified material. Sauber also claims that all of the recently discovered documents "were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the Archives." Biden's attorneys further claim that they also searched Biden's sec- ond home in Rehoboth Beach, Dela- ware, but did not find any classified documents at that location. It has been reported that some of the documents are labeled "Top Secret" and include briefing docu- ments and intelligence reports in- volving Ukraine, Iran, and the Unit- ed Kingdom. Assuming that all of that is true, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Not only should the spe- cial counsel delve into these ques- tions, but Congress should as well. Those questions fall into three broad categories: timing, access, and damage assessment. TIMING When the first set of classified documents were found before the election, why wasn't the press noti- fied immediately? Who decided not to inform the press that classified documents were found before the election, and why? What role did the midterm elec- tions held on Nov. 8 play in the deci- sion not to inform the press of the ex- istence of the classified documents that were found on Nov. 2? Did any attorneys working for Biden, in an official or unofficial capacity, notify the press, on deep background, off the record, or other- wise, about the discovery of the clas- sified documents before the election, and, if so, who told whom what and when? When was the president notified that the first set of classified docu- ments was found, and who notified him? Who did the attorneys who first discovered the documents notify? By what means did they notify the per- son(s)? How many White House person- nel knew about the discovery of the classified documents before the elec- tions, and who are they? Why did it take the National Ar- chives two days to notify the FBI? Who at the National Archives was first notified on Nov. 2 of the discov- ery of the documents, and who else did that per- son notify at the National Archives? What hap- pened be- tween Nov. 2 and Nov. 4 at the Na- tional Ar- chives re- lated to this topic? When did Garland find out about the exis- tence of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center? Why did it take the Department of Justice five days to commence an in- vestigation after it learned on Nov. 4 from the inspector general at the Na- tional Archives that classified docu- ments were found at the Penn Biden Center? Who at the Department of Jus- tice was involved in the discussions about the classified documents be- tween Nov. 4 and Nov. 9? Who at Justice decided to com- mence an investigation on Nov. 9? Why did the attorney general de- lay appointing Lausch until Nov. 14? What happened at Justice be- tween Nov. 9 and Nov. 14 related to this case? ACCESS Who packed up Vice President Joe Biden's office when he was the vice president? Name every single person who had access to, or could have had access to, those documents while Biden was the vice president. How did these documents end up in the locations where they were found and what led to this discov- ery? Since Biden left office as vice president in January 2017 but the Biden Center did not open until February 2018 (although other re- ports say Biden started using an of- fice there in 2017), it seems that the documents located there had been moved. Who moved them and how did that happen? Who had access to the Penn Biden Center from the time it was established until the day the docu- ments were found? Who had a key to the room and/ or closet where the documents were found in the Penn Biden Center? Name every foreign national who entered the Penn Biden Center, when they were there, the amount of time they were there, and the pur- pose for their visit. Which foreign na- tionals entered the room where the documents were found, when, and for what purpose? Who had access to the Biden res- idence from the time Biden left of- fice as vice president until the day the documents were found in his ga- rage or storage room in the house? Even though the president does not have visitor logs for his person- al residences in Delaware, the U.S. Secret Service must "clear" anyone who visits the home while Biden was/is president. Is the president willing to order the Secret Service to disclose the list of all persons cleared for entrance into his homes, and the dates of those entrances? Who had a key to Biden's house, or was granted access to the house, even once? When did they enter, for how long, and for what purpose? Assuming there are security cam- eras at Biden's residence, have the tapes been secured? How long do the tapes go back in time? Are there any gaps or unexplained malfunctions of the videotapes during all the time re- cordings were taking place? How did the documents get to the Penn Biden Center and Biden's home? When did they get there? Who brought them there? How ma- ny times have they been moved? By whom? Were any of the classified docu- ments copied, and if so, when and by whom? Why were they copied, and where are the copies? DAMAGE ASSESSMENT How sensitive is the information in each of the documents? In addi- tion to "Top Secret" information, do any of the documents contain sen- sitive compartmented information (SCI); that is, code-word-protected information with strict controls on need-to-know access, which often includes the most sensitive informa- tion about classified programs and the sources and methods of intelli- gence gathering? Has the Justice Department start- ed a damage assessment? When was it started? Who is conducting it, and when will it be completed? Will the outcome of the damage assessment be released to the public in an unclas- sified format? OTHER ISSUES While working at the Penn Biden Center, Biden was conduct- ing research for a book that covered Ukraine, among other topics. Is there any evidence that he examined any of these classified documents during the course of his research? What were the classified docu- ments near and were they stored in envelopes that clearly identified the contents as classified? Why were/are lawyers conduct- ing these searches, rather than FBI agents or national security officials? Did the lawyers have the requisite security clearances? Why were Biden's lawyers search- ing for this material six years after Biden's tenure as vice president end- ed and two years into his presidency? Why did the FBI or national secu- rity officials not conduct their own search after the documents were ini- tially discovered? How many other cases where there is a verified breach of nation- al security protocols where a for- mer government employee is found in possession of classified document has the FBI allowed the violator or his designees to conduct their own investigation? Are there more classified docu- ments out there, and if so, where and how many? Is there any basis to suggest that the information was, in fact, divulged to others—either intentionally or in- advertently—who did not have the requisite clearances or the "need to know" the contents of those docu- ments? The biggest question in terms of a potential criminal prosecution, of course, is whether Biden knew the documents were there, the same question that was asked about for- mer Secretary of State Hillary Clin- ton about the information residing on the server that was installed at the home she shared with former Presi- dent Bill Clinton in Chappaqua, N.Y. So far, Biden is denying this. What is classified information and what is the danger of improper dis- closure? Information can be classified at different levels: "Confidential," "Secret," "Top Secret," and "SCI." Each label is supposed to convey the level of harm that could reason- ably be expected to occur if the infor- mation is disclosed without authori- See HERITAGE on page 6

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