‘Even I handled classified documents better’ – Snowden on Biden scandal
After a second batch of classified documents linked to US President Joe Biden was discovered – this time in his Delaware garage – NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden weighed in on the controversy again, noting that he used to handle such materials more securely.
“Wow, even I handled classified documents more securely. At least I kept them encrypted!” Snowden tweeted on Thursday, referencing a New York Times article about the new Biden revelations.
The former CIA and National Security Agency contractor was referring to his 2013 decision to blow the whistle on the NSA’s warrantless surveillance of Americans. The US government responded by charging him with theft of government property and giving classified information to unauthorized persons, among other things. Washington also revoked Snowden’s passport, stranding him in Russia, where he eventually received political asylum.
“Man, I should have thought of that one,” Snowden quipped later on Thursday, commenting on the statement by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that the Biden documents had been “inadvertently misplaced.”
The documents date back to Biden’s term as Barack Obama’s vice president. The first batch was found at the University of Pennsylvania on November 2, but that information was not disclosed publicly until this week.
Snowden’s first reaction was to point to the delay, calling it the real scandal, because the US Department of Justice “found out about it a week prior to the midterm elections and chose to suppress the story, conferring a partisan advantage.”
He has also retweeted a follower who argued that no US politician really cares about classified documents, and that “the faux outrage over it is only used to punish political enemies.”
Back in August, Biden and the Democrats expressed outrage that former President Donald Trump had allegedly kept some classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, after FBI agents were sent to raid the resort.
Unlike Biden, as president Trump had the authority to declassify documents. The DOJ has now appointed a special counsel to handle the investigation into Biden’s handling of the classified papers. Some Republicans have expressed suspicion that the move is intended to obstruct their investigation of the Biden White House, however.