How About a Little Context for Pence’s Classified Docs?
The former vice president is the latest to discover classified material that was handled inappropriately.
Mike Pence is a truly unique politician because he places great value on honor and integrity. He’s the same guy, after all, who makes a point to avoid being alone with a woman who’s not his wife. Leftmedia personalities mocked him for that, just as they’re now mocking him for discovering classified documents at his Indiana home.
This does seem to be a rather disconcerting fad among members of the last three administrations, but there are some key differences.
Before we get to those differences, the gist of Pence’s story is that after multiple batches of classified documents were found in Joe Biden’s garage and think tank (chuckle, snicker), Pence ordered a search of his own home. Lawyers found “a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently boxed and transported.” They added that Pence was “unaware” of their existence, and they alerted the National Archives. The FBI retrieved the documents a day later.
The actual material in those documents remains unknown, though we suspect a good bit of the problem here is what constitutes “classified” material in the first place. In other words, these aren’t the nuclear codes or valuable intel that jeopardizes national security or personnel. The documents are probably low-level briefings or some hand-scribbled notes. That goes for Biden and Donald Trump, too. Heck, with Hillary Clinton it was just wedding plans and yoga routines, right?
Then again, anyone in government who handles classified material must be cringing right now. Every last one of them knows they’d be in a jail cell already.
That said, “I don’t believe for a minute that Mike Pence is trying to intentionally compromise national security. Same thing about Biden and Trump,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “But clearly we’ve got a problem here.”
Does that problem mean Merrick Garland will appoint another special counsel? He did for Trump, which backed him into a corner for Biden.
Trump actually came to Pence’s defense. “Mike Pence is an innocent man,” he declared. “He never did anything knowingly dishonest in his life. Leave him alone!!!”
Now, let’s talk about what’s different here.
First of all, again, everyone knows Pence is not a corrupt political thug like Joe Biden, who used the vice presidency to cash in on a pay-to-play scheme involving his lout of a son, Hunter. Second, Pence immediately came forward with the discovery as opposed to covering it up until after a major national election like Biden did.
Biden is also cognitively impaired, and he haphazardly kept documents in a box in his garage next to his Corvette. He insisted the garage was “locked” and the docs weren’t “sitting out on the street,” but Hunter was also living in the house and driving the car at the time. Which ChiCom visitor got a peak?
It would also help to consider the cases of Trump and Clinton. Trump actively resisted attempts by the National Archives to retrieve the documents in question, while claiming publicly that presidents can declassify documents “by thinking about it.” Presidents can indeed declassify material, but it’s a bit more complicated than Trump acknowledged. Vice presidents do not have the same authority. Moreover, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home is protected by the Secret Service, though that didn’t stop the FBI from raiding it.
Trump’s case seems to be entirely about his typical bravado. Of course I did it, he openly admitted, because I had the authority as president. And no one was going to tell him otherwise.
As for Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state she deliberately set up an unsecured email server in her home specifically to avoid scrutiny of her own pay-to-play corruption scheme with the State Department and the Clinton Foundation. She emailed classified material from that server, which had been compromised by foreign intelligence hackers. That’s a whole different level than secured papers.
As Mark Alexander put it, “Let’s be clear: Maintaining hard copies of some documents in a secured area of a former president’s house, which is protected by the Secret Service among other law enforcement personnel, is a minuscule national security risk compared to unsecured transmitting and storing of highly classified information electronically.”
Clinton also methodically destroyed evidence to conceal her crimes. She smashed a Blackberry with a hammer, deleted tens of thousands of emails with high-tech software to ensure recovery was impossible, and wiped her servers — you know, “with a cloth or something.” She also lied her pantsuit off about it.
Pence has never been accused of profiting from his position as vice president, and the classified material he is guilty of having in his possession is highly unlikely to be compromising in any way. Trump has certainly been accused of all manner of nefarious schemes, though his deranged critics generally fall woefully short of even a shred of proof.
By contrast, Biden and Clinton both were running lucrative operations based on their names and positions high in the federal government. Clinton took extraordinary measures to cover that up. Biden merely delayed confession until after it would have mattered to his party’s election prospects, and he has worked overtime to dismiss the seriousness of the crime — largely because of the blatant hypocrisy of the way his Justice Department treated Trump.
Carelessness is inexcusable, as is belligerent defiance of the law. What’s worse, however, is double standards and outright criminal corruption.
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