Jonathan Turley: Biden’s lawyers ‘likely witnesses in a criminal investigation’
FIRST ON FOX: George Washington University (GWU) law professor Jonathan Turley says that President Joe Biden’s lawyers are ‘likely witnesses in a criminal investigation’ as the probe into Biden’s handling of classified documents continues.
Two stashes of classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president were found in the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., as well as at the president’s Wilmington, Delaware, house in the garage by his Corvette, spiraling the White House into an ongoing scandal after five more classified documents were discovered at his Wilmington home over the weekend.
Turley told Fox News Digital that we ‘do not know what the evidence will show’ and that the ‘most serious discovery would be evidence that Biden worked off their documents or removed them from their classification folders.’
‘That would not only destroy the ‘inadvertence’ defense but make his public comments potentially deceitful of both the public and investigators,’ Turley said. ‘While gross mishandling does not require evil intent, unintentional violations are often addressed outside of the criminal justice system. The most serious violations have been prosecuted where material was intentionally removed.’
‘Intent can be established not only at the time of the removal but during the storage of the documents.’ he continued. ‘If these documents were used or knowingly possessed over the six years, it would qualify as an intentional act to unlawfully possess the material.’
Turley added that the ‘use of private counsel without clearances following the first discovery on Nov. 2 could itself be viewed as reckless and gross mishandling.’
‘Moreover, those lawyers are now likely witnesses in a criminal investigation,’ Turley said.
Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, told Fox News Digital that the ‘White House needs to cooperate fully with this investigation, which involves helping the special counsel find out how the documents got to the Penn Biden Center and to his home and who knew they were there (if anybody), as well as cooperating with a DOJ or intel assessment of who may have access to the documents.’
‘This is particularly a concern with respect to the Penn-Biden center where the Penn president raised tens of millions from the Chinese, and many people (including Penn donors) had access to the center and must have had a chance to look in Biden’s office and notice the locked closet, raising curiosity about what was inside and perhaps a desire to find out,’ Painter said.
Painter served as former President George W. Bush’s White House ethics chief before switching parties and mounting an unsuccessful bid for Senate as a Democrat in 2018.
Republicans on Capitol Hill demanded the visitor logs this weekend following revelations that Biden’s lawyers had discovered five more classified documents inside the home’s garage. While it is common practice to keep comprehensive visitor logs at the White House, Biden’s lawyers say no such records exist for his home in Wilmington.
‘Like every President in decades of modern history, his personal residence is personal,’ the White House Counsel’s Office told Fox News Digital in a statement on Monday. ‘But upon taking office, President Biden restored the norm and tradition of keeping White House visitors logs, including publishing them regularly, after the previous administration ended them.’
The Secret Service reported Sunday that while a detail is assigned to the home, they do not record visitors.
Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom and Peter Doocy contributed reporting.