In 1994, Hillary Clinton held a high-profile press conference to answer any and all questions about the Whitewater investigation and various allegations of corruption that were threatening to derail her husband’s presidency. Then-First Lady Clinton sat before an army of reporters in the State Dining Room of the White House for an hour and let them do their jobs in the name of transparency. The Clinton White House insisted there was nothing to hide and decided to take questions regardless of the special counsel’s ongoing investigation.
Nearly 30 years later, something very different is happening inside the high walls of Joe Biden’s opaque White House. In stark contrast to the Clintons, Biden has chosen to keep the public in the dark and not answer any questions about his classified document fiasco. The president sends his press secretary out to the briefing room everyday not to provide transparency but to refer frustrated reporters to the White House Counsel’s office regardless of the question, as if it’s the lawyers who will shine some light on this all-consuming scandal.
Stonewalling the public is an old Washington dilatory tactic designed to starve the media of information so people lose interest over time. This is a failed strategy for Joe Biden, an unpopular president who has faced little to no scrutiny from the Democrat controlled Congress or his allies in the mainstream media for the first two years of his presidency. Those days are gone; there’s a new Republican majority in the U.S. House demanding answers and the spotlight is on the media to treat the Biden document investigation just like they treated the Trump document investigation — with vigor.
Since it’s been nearly three weeks since the document story broke, now’s an appropriate time to lay out the unanswered questions and outstanding issues that are swirling around — in case President Biden ever decides to open up.
Question Bucket 1: The Timing
-Why were Joe Biden’s personal lawyers looking in closets at the Penn Biden Center in the first place? Were lawyers really needed to pack up an office?
-Who were the points of contact at the White House pertaining to the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center? Did the timing of the discovery have anything to do with the raid at Mar-a-Lago?
-Why did it take over two months for the discovery of classified documents to be publicly disclosed? Did the midterm election have anything to do with the delay in disclosure?
-Why did it take well over a month to search Joe Biden’s garage in Wilmington after the Penn Biden Center discovery? Did a tip lead Biden’s lawyers to the garage? Why did it take weeks to search the rest of the Wilmington house and Rehoboth Beach house after the garage discovery?
Question Bucket 2: The Documents
-Who had access to the Penn Biden Center closet and the Wilmington House? How long were the classified documents stored in these locations? Did they ever get moved?
-Has Hunter Biden ever been to the Penn Biden Center? Was Hunter Biden aware that there were classified records there? Was Hunter Biden aware that there were classified records in the Wilmington house? Whose fingerprints are on the documents?
-When will the Biden White House release a list of visitors to the Penn Biden Center and the Wilmington House? Did Joe Biden ever conduct family business meetings at either location? Did foreign nationals from China, Russia, Ukraine or elsewhere ever visit either location?
Question Bucket 3: The Justice Department & National Archives
-Why did Joe Biden’s personal lawyers conduct the search of the garage after U.S. Attorney John Lausch had been tasked to review the Biden classified records matter on November 14?
-Why did DOJ decide against allowing the FBI to oversee the subsequent searches for classified documents until the January 21 search of the Wilmington house? What changed?
-Is the National Archives conducting a review of all Biden documents in their possession to see if anything is unaccounted for? Did the National Archives ever reach out to Joe Biden or his personal lawyers about his vice presidential records in the past?
-Will Special Counsel Robert Hur ask U.S. Attorney David Weiss if his investigation of Hunter Biden has uncovered any information that may be relevant to his case?
Question Bucket 4: The Investigation Going Forward
-Why did Joe Biden return to the Wilmington house after the special counsel was appointed? Were other Biden-affiliated properties searched that the public doesn’t know about? Are other searches being planned?
-Does Joe Biden keep any possessions in a private storage facility? Did Joe Biden or anyone connected to the Wilmington house or Penn Biden Center ever destroy or discard a government record of any kind? Are there security cameras at the Wilmington house and the Penn Biden Center? When will the American people see a list of general topics of the classified Biden documents, like in the case of Mar-a-Lago?
No matter how hard the White House tries, the Biden classified document scandal isn’t going away any time soon. If the president did nothing wrong, he should provide some much needed transparency to the American people and make these lingering questions go away.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United, and he served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President in 2016. @David_Bossie @Citizens_United