Republican Congressman Calls For Damage Assessment After Evaluating Classified Documents Stashed by Joe Biden

By: Julia Mehalko | Last updated: May 06, 2024

Republican Representative Mike Waltz of Florida has demanded a “damage assessment” after he was reportedly able to review the classified documents that President Joe Biden had stashed in his home and office.

Waltz’s demand comes after a special counsel previously decided to not press charges against the president for his storage of top-secret documents.

Biden Comes Under Fire as President

Since Biden became President of the US in 2021, he’s been involved in several scandals, some of which have led to criticism from opposing parties. 

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President Joe Biden stands at a lectern in the House chamber, delivering a speech to members of Congress, with a crowd and photographers in the foreground

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The President was even found guilty of a crime that typically warrants criminal charges, and it all relates back to classified documents that should have never been in his possession, 

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President Biden’s Stashed Documents

Previously, investigators found that President Biden had kept some classified documents from his time in office, both as a senator and as vice president. 

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President Joe Biden signing papers in the Oval Office.

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These documents were discovered in the basement of Biden’s home in Delaware. Some documents were also found at Biden’s office in the Penn Biden Center, located in Washington, D.C. 

Sensitive Documents

Once these documents were discovered in these various places, investigators claimed that some of these documents were highly classified.

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A close-up of many files, papers, and books.

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Reporting has since confirmed that some of these papers were considered “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information.” Many notebooks that contained Biden’s notes on various classified issues were also found.

Federal Agents Find Classified Material

According to AP News, Federal Agents discovered a classified Biden Memo on Afghanistan from his time as Vice president. 

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The discovery was made in his Delaware Garage, which led to an outcry from Republicans who argued he was completely incompetent and unfit to sit as US President. 

Careless Handling

Some critics of Biden have long claimed that Biden carelessly handled these top-secret documents while he was senator and vice president.

President Joe Biden speaking at the State of the Union address, with Vice President Kamala Harris and Rep. Mike Johnson behind him.

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This claim was further fueled when it was reported that these classified papers were found in unlocked cabinets and drawers in his home. 

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Waltz’s Demands

Now, Rep. Waltz is demanding that Biden be further looked into thanks to his handling of these classified documents. 

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Waltz was reportedly able to look at these documents as a result of information from the Intelligence Community. 

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Lawmakers Yet to See Documents

While Waltz was able to gain access to many of the classified documents discovered at Biden’s homes, others haven’t been so lucky. 

Lawyers Looking at Divorce Paper

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Many lawmakers still haven’t seen many of the documents and memos associated with this situation — though they continue to fight to gain access. 

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Waltz’s Claims

After looking at some of the documents that Biden had in his home and office, Waltz is claiming that Biden had highly classified information. 

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Biden’s keeping of this information could’ve resulted in national security risks if it had fallen into the wrong hands.

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Biden is a Threat to National Security Says Waltz

“I just reviewed a portion of Biden’s classified documents that were taken from his basement by Special Counsel Hur,” Waltz wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Pres. Joe Biden stands at a podium while wearing a blue suit jacket and a blue striped tie.

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“They were HIGHLY CLASSIFIED and relevant to current national security threats.”

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Immediate Damage Assessment

Waltz further called on authorities to analyze Biden’s actions, saying that the Intelligence Community needed to look at the situation.

The rotunda of the Capitol building seen in the daytime.

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He wrote, “We need an immediate damage assessment from the Intelligence Community.”

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No Criminal Charges Against Biden

Waltz called on authorities to assess Biden holding on to these classified documents. 

President Joe Biden standing in front of microphones.

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However,  a special counsel has already deemed that no criminal charges should be filed against the president.

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Robert Hur Investigates Biden

Back in March, Robert Hur revealed that he would not press charges against Biden. 

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According to Hur, he wouldn’t pursue charges because Biden would only appear to be an “elderly man with poor memory” while on trial. 

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Hur’s Findings

However, Hur’s investigation did find that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” while he was a private citizen.

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Hur’s investigation did find that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” while he was a private citizen.

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Republicans Upset With Hur's Decision

Even though Hur found this to be true, he still refused to press charges against the president. 

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This caused an uproar among many Republican lawmakers and media figures who wanted to see the president face charges for his handling of these top-secret papers. 

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Biden’s Interviews With Hur

Speaking of the interviews he conducted with Biden, Hur revealed that Biden struggled with his memory on several occasions. 

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He noted, “Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited” in interviews with the special counsel office.

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Biden's Failing Memory

The report released by the special counsel revealed that Biden struggled to remember several dates during the interview. 

President Joe Biden speaks on stage while his hands are in his pockets.

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“The report notes that Biden, who speaks frequently about his son Beau’s death, could not remember “even within several years” when he died.” wrote AP News. 

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US President Struggles During Interview

“And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him,” the report said. 

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“Among other things, he mistakenly said he ‘had a real difference’ of opinion with General Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.”

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Concerns About the Future

Several polls have revealed both Republicans and Democrats are worried about the ageing Biden. 

President Joe Biden looks down solemnly while speaking into a microphone at a podium, with an American flag and dark background behind him

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Should the current president win reelection this year, he would be 86 by the end of his second term.

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Trump and Classified Documents

The discovery of Biden’s classified papers came after former President Donald Trump was accused of taking and storing boxes of top secret papers from his time as president.

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office holding up a signed bill.

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Trump has since had criminal charges filed against him for keeping these documents. According to prosecutors, Trump took boxes of records when he left the White House and stored them at his home in Mar-a-Lago. 

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The Notebooks Are Mine, Says Biden

During his interviews with the special counsel, Biden claimed the notebooks confiscated from his home were “my property.” he continued, “Every president before me has done the exact same thing.”

President Joe Biden speaking at a podium with red flowers and a red backdrop behind him.

The White House/Wikimedia Commons

The statements were similar to those echoed by former US President Trump, who was charged with possession of classified documents. 

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Difference Between Trump and Biden

“Under the Presidential Records Act, which is civil, not criminal, I had every right to have these documents,” Trump said at the time. 

Split image with President Joe Biden on the left, smiling during a speech, and former President Donald Trump on the right, also smiling mid-speech.

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According to experts, the difference is that Trump claimed presidential records were his property. In contrast, Biden argued that personal writings from his time as a senator and vice-president were his, for which there is a legal precedent. 

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Other Discoveries of Classified Documents

Trump and Biden aren’t the only ones who allegedly kept classified documents in their homes. After Biden and Trump’s situations, Pence asked his lawyers to search his home “out of an abundance of caution.”

Donald Trump and Mike Pence in front of American flags.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Pence wanted to make sure that he didn’t have any top-secret papers lying around. His lawyers did discover about a dozen documents that had classified markings on them. 

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Pence and Top Secret Papers

However, Pence wasn’t aware that these papers were even in his home. It is assumed that the documents were accidentally transported to his home after his role as vice president came to an end.

Mike Pence speaking into microphones with an American flag behind him.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Because Pence didn’t take these documents on purpose, the Department of Justice refused to press criminal charges against the former vice president. According to the DOJ, an investigation into the matter resulted in their decision to refrain from filing charges. 

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