It looks like the FBI has gone back to the Hillary Clinton playbook in dealing with Joe Biden’s classified documents scandal.
You may recall the slapstick, unprofessional way in which the investigation of Clinton’s own illegal possession of classified information was conducted. Immunity deals were handed out like candy, leaving no one to be held accountable in the end, while basic due diligence wasn’t followed. When Clinton finally sat for an interview with the FBI, she dictated the terms and was allowed to dominate the narrative.
The handling of the Clinton case was clearly meant to provide an out for the FBI, and even then, James Comey was forced to write “gross negligence” out of the statute to get the former Secretary of State off the hook.
Is that happening again in regard to Biden? It sure seems like it, if this latest news is any indication. According to CNN, no 302 form exists to memorialize the interview with Patrick Moore, the Biden lawyer who “found” the first trove of documents at the Penn Biden Center.
US Attorney John Lausch’s office handled the initial review, and the Biden documents investigation is now in the hands of Robert Hur, who was appointed special counsel last week. Hur, who is still assembling his team, will build off of Lausch’s work and may re-interview some witnesses in what is now a criminal investigation.
The interview with Moore by Lausch’s office wasn’t memorialized in a “302” – the form that the government uses to summarize formal interviews – reflecting the more informal nature of the initial review.
Well, isn’t that convenient? The FBI, I’m sure by pure happenstance, chose to not follow normal procedure after interviewing the one guy who could possibly answer key questions about how this entire saga began. Why was Biden cleaning out his office at the Penn Biden Center? Where were the documents found, specifically? If they were stored in a box as alleged, why was this lawyer looking through the box?
I guess we’ll never know, though, because of the “informal nature of the initial review.” Of course, an astute observer might ask why it was “informal.” Given all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Donald Trump’s alleged possession of classified documents (he claims to have declassified them as president), you’d think the FBI would understand the importance of doing things by the book regarding Joe Biden to avoid any appearance of favoritism.
But nope, the FBI went right back to treating Democrat politicians as friends instead of subjects for investigation. Moore was quickly interviewed and the agents involved didn’t even bother with a 302. What a coincidence that they chose to handle things that way, right?
“Oh, but Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel,” the FBI’s defenders will insist. Yet, that only happened after the third discovery of documents, and the scope is so limited that the end result will be to take Biden’s word for everything. If only the president were a Republican, then maybe this situation would have been handled with some sense of urgency and seriousness.