Federal investigators uncovered more classiﬁ ed documents at President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, residence on Jan. 20 in a search that lasted nearly 13 hours. These documents date back to Biden’s term as a senator, as well as his time as vice president under former President Barack Obama, according to the FBI.
Details about the content of the documents have not yet been revealed. While on a two-day summit in Mexico City, reporters shouted questions during various public meetings for details on this investigation, which Biden refused to disclose.
The media has begun to grow frustrated with the lack of transparency that the Biden administration is demonstrating on this issue. In a recent press conference recorded by The Guardian, upon being confronted to report details about the ongoing investigation, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre avoided the questions she was being asked by repeatedly stating that Biden “takes these documents very seriously.”
“The immediate impulse may be to question either the integrity of our leaders or at the very least, to wonder about if they are appropriately cautious with government materials,” said Dr. Chase Porter, professor of political science. “This impulse will certainly be the gut reaction of partisans, and there may be some merit to it. Alternatively, there is an argument that the classiﬁcation process is broken, in that too many documents are classiﬁed. If this argument is true, then this incident may reveal more about our processes than our leaders.”
Porter continued, emphasizing that morality among politicians is key to efficient policies.
“I would argue that increased transparency and integrity from all our politicians would improve governance,” Porter said. “Our politicians should have the integrity to know when transparency is called for and act accordingly.”
However, some believe that expecting politicians to demonstrate integrity is a lost cause, and instead place their faith in the government structure itself to keep public servants accountable.
“I personally feel like all politicians are corrupt and this does not surprise me at all as our previous president also committed similar acts,” said Sarah Christenson, junior English major. “I think our government is built to withstand issues such as this. For our future presidential candidates, I hope to see someone who truly cares about bettering our country, the safety and betterment of all American citizens and the economy.”
The current circumstances have been compared with a similar seizure of classiﬁ ed documents in 2022. Classiﬁed documents were discovered by FBI agents at the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump and more were also uncovered at the Indiana residence of former Vice President Mike Pence. The discovery of these documents leaves the American people skeptical about the politicians holding current and past office positions.
“I have almost no trust in our government because of stuff like this and in recent years, I have learned how untrustworthy most government officials have become,” said Lanaye Gabourel, senior healthcare administration major. “I think we need a lot of change in various aspects of our government, so in the future, I hope to see new, fresh, moral candidates who can fulﬁll their promises.
“I hope they are surrounded by people who want to see growth and change within our country. I would love to see the whole government reconstructed.”
Due to the improper possession of classiﬁed documents, federal prosecutors have yet to decide if these current and former elected leaders will be facing criminal charges.