Their crime is that they took documents home

January 14, 2023 - 22:44

TEHRAN- Classified and confidential information is very sensitive in any country. And any country that has an international position has a higher sensitivity of documents, and the smallest change in this regard can turn into a scandal first and then into a crisis if it continues.

The United States is the most powerful country in the world in terms of economy, military, and, of course, intelligence.

Based on this, American intelligence and security agencies monitor every matter related to the circulation of confidential information and documents, and the wrongdoer in any position should be held accountable.

In the past, we have seen many cases where US national security information has turned into a big challenge for individuals and officials who have been negligent in maintaining it.

If we pass over the case of Jonathan Pollard, whose case was related to the espionage of a member of the US Navy for Israel, Martin Indyk, one of the veteran American diplomats and the former ambassador of the country to Israel, was one of these people who, due to some negligence in preserving top secret information got into trouble and was kept a distance from the position it had in political circles in Washington.

On September 21, 2000, the Department of State suspended the security clearance of Martin Indyk, the United States Ambassador to Israel, pending the outcome of an investigation of suspected violations of Department of State security standards. Under the regulations, the Department of State was obligated to suspend Ambassador Indyk's security clearance.

Now, if we go through the Snowden case, we will come to another case where a senior American official has been accused of unauthorized access to classified information.

He was none other than former US President Donald Trump, who has been keeping classified documents about some countries in his personal residence in Florida.

In a report on August 10, 2022, the Guardian wrote: Federal investigators searched Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Monday bearing a warrant that broadly sought presidential and classified records that the Justice Department believed the former president unlawfully retained, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

“The criminal nature of the search warrant executed by FBI agents, as described by the sources, suggested the investigation surrounding Trump is firmly a criminal probe that comes with potentially far-reaching political and legal ramifications for the former president, the Guardian states. 

FBI raid of Trump's estate prompts Republican anger and 2024 speculation

At that time, it was the Democrats who beat the drum of Republicans and Trump's carelessness, but in the last few days, the page has completely turned.

Recently, it was revealed that two batches of classified documents were found near Biden's residence.

The first cache was found at a private office in Washington DC that Mr. Biden used after his vice presidency.

According to BBC, the matter is under review by the Department of Justice.

Former President Donald Trump is facing a criminal investigation for allegedly mishandling classified files.

It was not yet clear on Wednesday when or where the additional tranche of files was found by Biden aides.

The original batch of about 10 documents was discovered in November at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank near the White House, but only came to light this week.

Those papers reportedly include US intelligence memos and briefing materials related to Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom.

They relate to his time as vice president under President Barack Obama but it is unclear why they turned up in a private office he started using after that.

Access to classified documents is limited by law to people with special authorization and there are rules about how they are kept and stored.

All White House records, including classified ones, are required to be turned over to the US National Archives after an administration's time in office.

The White House has not yet commented on the newly discovered batch. However, the find has been confirmed by the BBC's US partner CBS and other US media.

During her daily press briefing on Wednesday, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to answer questions about the first cache of files.

"This is under review by the Department of Justice," she said. "I'm not going to go beyond what the president shared yesterday."

She was pressed on why it took two months for the news to be made public and refused to say when Mr. Biden had been briefed on it. The discovery happened just days before the midterm congressional elections.

Mr. Biden said on Tuesday he was "surprised" when he found out and he was "cooperating" with the Justice Department's review.

But the discovery of another batch of classified documents in a second location increases the possibility that this story is not one of isolated carelessness on the part of Joe Biden and his team, but rather something more systemic. It also increases the chances that this is not the last new revelation of document mishandling.

Discovery of the documents and political implications

The disclosure could intensify skepticism among Republicans and others who are already claiming that politics is the basis for the probes of the former president.

There are also possible ramifications in a new, GOP-controlled Congress where Republicans are promising to launch widespread investigations of Biden’s administration.

Of the latest news, new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, said, “I think Congress has to investigate this." Contradicting several fellow members of his party, he added, “We don't think there needs to be a special prosecutor.”

The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Ohio Rep. Mike Turner, has requested that intelligence agencies conduct a “damage assessment” of potentially classified documents.

In its immediate aftermath, Trump and his supporters seized on the Mar-a-Lago search as a partisan attack from Democrats who had long been desirous of removing him from office.

During his 2024 campaign launch in November, at the same club agents had searched months earlier, Trump referenced the probes against him, casting himself as “a victim” of wayward prosecutors and the “festering, rot and corruption of Washington.”

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