It has happened again. Six more classified items have been uncovered in President Biden’s home. As the apparently pilfered material piles up, news has surfaced that the Biden White House and Department of Justice quietly worked together to handle the budding scandal. Americans deserve a full accounting of Mr. Biden’s fumbling of government secrets and his subordinates’ actions to muffle it.
With the president oddly spending a winter weekend at his summer home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, law enforcement officials on Friday dug through his house in Wilmington. Similarly, with several earlier searches, investigators found new classified documents — this time, half a dozen.
The items reportedly dated from both Mr. Biden’s service as a Democratic member of the Senate and as vice president during the Obama administration. Neither position entitled him to remove classified records from government possession, let alone store them for six years. Outside of Washington, unauthorized removal of property is commonly known as theft.
Some of the secret papers were found at Mr. Biden’s Washington think tank before the November elections. White House and Justice Department officials kept the scandal out of the news as more documents were uncovered at his Wilmington residence in December and January, The Washington Post has reported. It was more than two months after the initial discovery that the muted scandal exploded into public view.
Speaking to the press Thursday while inspecting storm damage in California, Mr. Biden said: “We’re fully cooperating, looking forward to getting this resolved quickly. I think you’re gonna find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets.” As a veteran of Washington political wars, he knows the unwritten rule of survival: “Never apologize.”
Giving a fig about glaring hypocrisy is another D.C. no-no. It explains how then-Vice President Biden skirted legal consequences when he forced Ukraine to fire a state prosecutor investigating alleged corruption in Burisma Holdings, an energy firm employing Hunter Biden. At the same time, former President Donald Trump was impeached simply for phoning Ukraine’s president to urge an investigation of the Bidens’ apparent graft.
Indulgence of double standards also explains why Mr. Trump’s legal tussle with government archivists over possession of classified material earned a SWAT team raid on his Florida home, while Mr. Biden’s collection of secret documents was retrieved by his own lawyers and, in the most recent episode, by FBI agents in a “planned, consensual search.”
As the document debacle unfolds, Fox News reminds us that in 1977, then-Sen. Biden helped to kill President Jimmy Carter’s nomination of Ted Sorensen as CIA director over his possession of classified documents while researching a biography of John F. Kennedy. During confirmation, the future president asked whether Sorensen “intentionally took advantage of ambiguities in the law or carelessly ignored the law.”
Americans question whether Mr. Biden has played equally fast and loose with the law. A new survey conducted by the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and Harris Insights & Analytics found that 91% of Republicans, 66% of Democrats and 80% of independents think the president was wrong to conceal the document debacle from midterm voters.
Indeed, a thorough investigation is in order — indifference is no substitute for integrity.