Biden makes three false claims about his handling of classified information

president Joe Biden He held a press conference on Thursday night after the release of A a report From Special Counsel Robert Hoare, who announced that Biden will not face charges over his handling of classified information before his presidency.

Biden what? CombatStrongly rejecting Hoare’s claims that his memory is weak. But the president was also repeatedly inaccurate, making three claims that clearly contradicted the Hoare report.

Here’s the fact check.

Where secret materials were stored

Biden sought to contrast his handling of classified materials with his previous dealings President Donald Trumpwhich is facing Criminal charges for intentionally retaining confidential documents. (how It was agreed that there are major differences between the two cases.) But while Biden correctly suggested that the documents were in a private home very different from the Mar-a-Lago Social Club where Trump lives, Biden embellished his argument with a false claim.

“All the stuff that was in my house was in file cabinets that were either locked or lockable,” Biden said.

Facts first: Biden’s claim is incorrect. The special counsel’s report says that while some classified documents were found in the dresser drawers of Biden’s Delaware home, other classified documents, about Afghanistan, were found in an “unlocked” and “heavily damaged” box in his garage along with an assortment of… documents. Other items the Special Counsel described as “household waste.” The report includes a picture of the fund.

Hoare wrote that investigators looked into the possibility that Afghanistan-related documents in the box had previously been stored in a filing cabinet when Biden was living in a rented home in Virginia before he left in 2019. Hoare called that line of investigation “inconclusive.” Regardless, Biden’s claim on Thursday that “all” of the documents in his home were in locked or lockable file cabinets does not apply to his current home.

According to the private investigator, even confidential documents that Biden was storing elsewhere in his home were not secure enough. Investigators found Biden’s notebooks containing classified information from his vice president in “unlocked drawers in the office and in the basement” of the home, Hur wrote. Biden “should have known” that as a private citizen as of 2017, he “was not allowed to keep handwritten notes about the President’s Daily Brief and other classified information in open drawers in his home,” Hur wrote.

The level of classification of documents in Biden’s possession

“None of them were top secret,” Biden claimed of the documents in his possession. It didn’t have any of that red stuff, you know what I mean, at the corners? “None of that.”

Facts first: Biden’s claim that none of the classified material found in his possession was top secret is false, according to details provided by the special counsel. Hoare reported the discovery of documents in Biden’s possession bearing identifying marks “Secret/Highly Sensitive Divided Information,” a very high level of classification – Plus Handwritten notebooks from Biden’s time as vice president that aren’t classified as classified but are “Contains information that remains classified up to the classified/highly sensitive divided information level.”

It is not clear whether any of the classified documents found in Biden’s possession bore the colored borders It was seen in some secret documents found in Trump’s possessionWhich is what Biden seemed to be referring to when he talked about “those red things… around the corners.” Regardless, Hoare explained at length that some of the documents were designated top secret, and some with other markings designating them as top secret.

For example, Hoare wrote that an open box in Biden’s garage contained an Afghanistan-related memo from National Security Adviser to… President Barack Obama In 2009 it was marked “TOP SECRET/SCI” (Sensitive Compartmented Information). Experts in the intelligence community said the document contained “highly sensitive information about the military programs of the United States and a foreign government,” Hoare wrote. The unauthorized disclosure of this information, whether today or in 2017 when Mr. Biden is no longer Vice President, would reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally serious national security harm.

The box in the garage contained another 2009 memo from Obama’s national security adviser marked “TOP SECRET with TOP SECRET/NOFORN/CODEWORD ATTACHMENTS” and attachments, one of which was marked “TOP SECRET//HUMINT/COMINT/,” Hoare wrote. /”. ORCON/NOFORN//FISA. The experts said that “parts of this document contain national defense information about sensitive intelligence sources and methods,” Hoare wrote.

Additionally, Hoare wrote that notebooks containing handwritten notes taken by Biden during his term as vice president contained information about “US intelligence sources, methods, and capabilities,” “US intelligence activities,” and “activities of foreign intelligence services,” among other things. . When investigators looked at a sample of 37 excerpts of Biden’s handwritten materials that appeared to be classified, they found that “eight of them are highly classified and contain sensitive compartmentalized information, seven of which include information related to human intelligence sources,” while six of them are… Strictly confidential information. One secret, 21 secrets and two secrets.

“Mr. Biden wrote up sensitive information that was discussed during intelligence briefings with then-President Obama and meetings in the White House Situation Room on national security, military and foreign policy matters.

What Hoare said Biden told his ghostwriter

Hoare said in the report that Biden revealed confidential material from his notebooks to ghostwriter Mark Zunitzer, who worked with him on a 2017 memoir titled “Promise Me, Daddy.” But Biden flatly denied that he shared confidential information with the ghost writer, saying he could “guarantee” he did not.

When a reporter responded that the special counsel said that, Biden replied: “No, they didn’t say that. He didn’t say that.”

Facts firstBiden’s claim is false. Hoare said so, explicitly writing that “Mr. Biden shared information, including some confidential information, from those notebooks with his ghostwriter. He explained that Biden shared classified information with his ghostwriter by reading “almost verbatim” from his notebooks “on at least three occasions,” including his “notes from meetings in the operating room.”

However, Hoare found that Biden “at times” tried to avoid sharing classified information, by stopping at or skipping certain material from the notebooks. “The evidence does not show that when Mr. Biden shared the specific passages with his ghostwriter, Mr. Biden knew the passages were confidential and intended to share classified information,” he wrote.

Hoare wrote that in one recorded conversation with the ghostwriter in 2017, at the Virginia home where Biden was then living, Biden read from his notebook about a National Security Council meeting about Iraq in 2015, and then told the ghostwriter about a 2009 memo he wrote to and… Obama argues against deploying more troops to Afghanistan, then says: ‘I just found all the secret stuff in the basement.’ Hoare noted that more than five years later, investigators found secret documents about the troop surge in Afghanistan in Biden’s garage in Delaware.

Hoare wrote that he had not heard of any allegations that classified material actually appeared in Biden’s 2017 memoir.

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(tags for translation)Joe Biden

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