John Kirby’s attempt to defend Biden over classified docs scandal inadvertently reveals glaring problem

John Kirby, a top Biden administration spokesman, tried on Wednesday to defend President Joe Biden over the classified documents scandal.

Instead, his answer revealed a glaring problem in the timeline.

What happened?

At the White House press briefing, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked Kirby how difficult it would be for someone to retain classified documents outside the proper secured setting.

“How hard is it to walk out of a SCIF with classified material?” he asked.

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A SCIF, or sensitive compartmented information facility, is a special area where high-level intelligence documents may be viewed by individuals with the proper security clearance. According to reports, some of the documents that were found in Biden’s private office on Nov. 2 were designated as “sensitive compartmented information,” which means they should only have been viewed in a SCIF.

Kirby explained the procedures for entering and exiting a SCIF are the same. No personal devices are permitted entry, and the removal of documents is closely guarded and they must be “appropriately secured.”

Doocy followed up asking about the procedure for if documents are improperly removed from a SCIF. Kirby explained the process, then used the moment to defend Biden.

“I think if you do it inadvertently or you do it and you realize, you know, you don’t have it secured in a locked bag, you know — you self-report, which is exactly what the president did: self-reported,” Kirby said.

01/25/23: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine

What is the problem?

While Biden’s attorneys indeed “self-reported” to the National Archives and Justice Department, it took at least six years for the discovery of the material and thus the disclosures.

Most of the classified documents improperly found in Biden’s possession date from his days as vice president. But an FBI search conducted last week resulted in finding some classified material from Biden’s days in the U.S. Senate, meaning the disclosure of improper retention was delayed by more than one decade. Biden left the Senate in January 2009.

The question thus remains: How could Biden possibly have retained classified documents for so long, some of which are reportedly highly classified and accessible only in a SCIF?

Indeed, it’s not “self-reporting” to have your lawyer accidentally find documents that had been retained for at least six years while you have classified documents in multiple places, including your private home and garage.

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