CNN Fears ‘Over-Criminalizing Mishandling’ Docs After Biden Caught

News & Politics

The liberal media’s double standard for presidents mishandling classified documents has apparently expanded from President Biden isn’t as bad as former President Trump and, therefore, we shouldn’t be over-criminalizing the mishandling of classified information. That was the message during Tuesday’s CNN Newsroom as anchor Victor Blackwell sought help from former members of the CIA and FBI to defuse the situation Biden has found himself in.

Blackwell kicked off the panel discussion by directing former FBI official Joshua Skule to directly confront Republican criticisms of the media’s blatant double standard. “We heard the majority leader saying, well, why isn’t the press asking the same questions of Biden and the administration as they did of the former President? Just contrast, start out how different these cases are as you see it,” he instructed.

Of course, the FBI guy thought Trump was the worst offender of the two:

Yes, Victor, I see them as different in the sense that we have the President’s team finding these documents and immediately revealing that they found these documents. Whereas, we had a failed subpoena response and a forced search warrant done in the sense of former President Trump.

“Where they’re similar is they’re both the cavalier attitude towards the handling of classified information,” he did admit.

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Blackwell would go on to talk with former CIA lawyer Brian Greer, who he noted “told our producers that there is a danger in over-criminalizing mishandling of classified information. Explain that.”

Just in time to swoop in and rescue Biden, Greer lamented how “the criminal statutes that are out there” are “old and quite vague.” He warned this meant “almost any mishandling case could potentially be shoehorned into a criminal investigation.” “I do worry about over-criminalizing it,” he added.

How convenient.

He argued that federal employees who mishandle classified information should be “disciplined or fired.” But when it came to people like the President, he feared investigations into the matter “become political footballs” and “disincentivize people from serving in the federal government.”

And again, according to the CIA guy: Biden is good and Trump is bad. “But we do want to incentivize them to do the right thing, which is, report it when it happens. And not do the wrong thing, which is to conceal and obstruct which is what Trump did,” he said.

As they were nearing the end of the segment, Blackwell wanted Greer to comment on how the Biden investigation could influence the Trump investigation, or vice a versa. “In reality, it shouldn’t but the practical reality is it will politically speaking because of the political sensitivities,” Greer bemoaned, calling them “very distinguishable cases.” He claimed, “the Biden case is not one that would normally rise to the level of even criminal investigation.”

Greer went on to speculate that the Biden investigation could force the Department of Justice to drop the “espionage” charges associated with actually being in possession of the documents, and “zeroes this on that obstruction charge.”

The double standard in holding people accountable for stolen classified information was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Tide and Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN Newsroom
January 10, 2023
3:06:20 p.m. Eastern

(…)

VICTOR BLACKWELL: I want to pick up, Josh, where Manu [Raju] left off. We heard the majority leader saying, well, why isn’t the press asking the same questions of Biden and the administration as they did of the former president? Just contrast, start out how different these cases are as you see it.

JOSHUA SKULE (Fmr. FBI executive asst. dir. for Intelligence): Yes, Victor, I see them as different in the sense that we have the President’s team finding these documents and immediately revealing that they found these documents. Whereas, we had a failed subpoena response and a forced search warrant done in the sense of former President Trump.

Where they’re similar is they’re both the cavalier attitude towards the handling of classified information.

(…)

3:08:29 p.m. Eastern

BLACKWELL: Brian you said – You told our producers that there is a danger in over-criminalizing mishandling of classified information. Explain that.

BRIAN GREER (fmr. CIA lawyer): Yeah, because of the criminal statutes that are out there that are old and quite vague, almost any mishandling case could potentially be shoehorned into a criminal investigation. But going back to my prior point, because of this mishandling happening all the time. And now it’s become such a political football with all three last presidential candidates being investigated – while we do need to take this all seriously and it needs to be investigated, I do worry about over-criminalizing it. Things that should ultimately be security violations sometimes.

Those should be handled typically by, if you’re a federal government employee, being disciplined or fired. But launching these full investigations that become political footballs is dangerous because it can disincentivize people from serving in the federal government. But we do want to incentivize them to do the right thing, which is report it when it happens. And not do the wrong thing, which is to conceal and obstruct which is what Trump did.

(…)

3:13:39 p.m. Eastern

BLACKWELL: Brian, for you, an element, an angle of that same question, does the existence of one investigation influence the treatment of the other?

GREER: I mean, in reality it shouldn’t but the practical reality is it will politically speaking because of the political sensitivities. But I do think from a criminal law perspective in terms of the Department of Justice’s precedence as well they are at least, based on what we know so far, very distinguishable cases; where the Biden case is not one that would normally rise to the level of even criminal investigation, where, but the Trump case as we’ve talked about there are all the aggravating factors.

Most notably is the obstruction element that make it different. And I think if one potential impact could be maybe the Justice Department zeros this on that obstruction charge and focuses on that and considers dropping charges under the espionage related to the documents themselves. But we’ll see.

(…)

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