‘A Fairly Pricey Moving Crew’

President Joe Biden arrives at the White House on Monday.



Regardless of one’s position on how the government should respond to the mishandling of classified information, it’s hard not to be curious about the origin story of Washington’s latest documents scandal. We’re told that the trouble began last November when

Joe Biden’s

personal lawyers were clearing out his things from a private D.C. office at the Penn Biden think tank. Do most people dispatch lawyers to conduct office moves?

Jonathan Turley writes in the New York Post:

The initial use of lawyers is notable. While it seems a fairly pricey moving crew, Biden could argue a trove of documents might require a judgment on where they should be sent and whether they belong to Biden, the Penn Biden Center or the government.

But why was a legal team sent in six years after Biden took the documents on leaving as vice president? Were the lawyers specifically selected because they had clearances, an acknowledgment there might be classified material unlawfully housed in the office?

Well, if we take the President’s word as a Biden, he not only didn’t know that there were any classified documents there—he wasn’t aware that his former private office held any government documents at all.


News noted last week:

President Biden on Tuesday responded for the first time to CBS News’ reporting that documents marked classified were found at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C., saying he was “surprised” to learn there were any government documents at the office, which was opened after he served as vice president.

“People know I take classified documents, classified information seriously,” Mr. Biden said during a press conference at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City, Mexico. “When my lawyers were clearing out my office at the University of Pennsylvania, they set up an office for me — when I — the four years after being vice president, I was a professor at Penn. They found some documents in a box, in a locked cabinet, at least a closet. And as soon as they did, they realized there were several classified documents in that box.”

Perhaps it came as quite a shock to the attorneys who’d been hired for some reason to serve on the moving crew. In any case, according to the President the revelation did not jog some memory of materials that he had misplaced or mishandled. Mr. Biden maintains that this is all news to him. The CBS report continued:

“But I don’t know what’s in the documents, I’ve—my lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents they were. I’ve turned over the boxes, they’ve turned over the boxes to the Archives, and we’re cooperating fully, we’re cooperating fully with the review, which I hope will be finished soon. And there will be more detail at that time.”

Perhaps Mr. Biden is enjoying a presumption of ignorance. But what’s very hard to understand is how a man is not even aware that classified government documents were improperly stored in his office, his home and even his garage, but is simultaneously so careful in managing his affairs that he sends attorneys to move his things out of a private office he rarely used.

A CNN report describes the Penn Biden Center’s D.C. outpost:

It was an office fit for a former vice president working in Washington—dark hardwood floors, plush seating and a spacious desk set to a lofty backdrop of the Capitol building . . .

It wouldn’t be uncommon to be told during a visit that Biden himself didn’t spend much time there, a source familiar with the office and its layout told CNN.

Perhaps he could tell the common folk why he sent his lawyers there.


The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy
Jared Walczak

writes for the Tax Foundation:

Wealth taxes are back in a big way.

In a coordinated effort, lawmakers in seven states that collectively house about 60 percent of the nation’s wealth—California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Washington—are introducing wealth tax legislation on Thursday.

The campaign is part of a broader national focus on new taxes on investment, entrepreneurship, and wealth. For instance, a pending proposal in New York would yield a nearly 30 percent tax on wealthy New York City residents’ capital gains income, twice as high as the 20 percent federal tax on long-term capital gains. Elsewhere, lower estate tax thresholds would impose the tax on the upper middle class and not just the very wealthy—including the small businesses and farms policymakers have long worked to protect from estate taxes to avoid forcing them to break up to pay the tax. And the wealth taxes themselves would vary across the seven states, partly due to differing state constitutional constraints.

Not that constitutions will always stand in the way of legislative proposals. A wealth tax is transparently in conflict with Washington’s state constitution, but that has not stymied prior proposals and it isn’t standing in the way of a new effort to be unveiled on Thursday. California proposals have tended to include exit taxes—designed to continue to tax those who respond by leaving the state—that implicate a host of federal constitutional provisions, a reality that has provoked little consternation among supporters. And most prior proposals would tax worldwide net worth for state residents, with all the constitutional questions that raises.


California’s History of Climate Change
George Skelton writes in the Los Angeles Times:

When Leland Stanford became California’s governor in 1862, he needed a rowboat to carry him to the Capitol to be sworn in.

Sacramento’s streets were flooded. In fact, much of California was. A 300-mile-long lake was created in the Central Valley from near Bakersfield to Red Bluff. At least 4,000 people were killed…

The Great Flood of 1862 followed a 20-year drought . . . Cycles of drought and flooding have been the California way—nature’s way—for eons.


James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.”


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