By Philip Wegmann
Real Clear Wire

https://www.realclearwire.com/

He loves talking about what is in his garage, specifically the stock 1967 Corvette with the mighty 327-V8 that churns out 350 horsepower at the wheel and flies from 0-60mph in a respectable 5.9 seconds. Even now, after more than a half-century, the Stingray remains mint. Its paint, pristine.

The color from the manufacturer, President Biden makes a point of noting in interviews, is “Goodwood Green,” and it still looks just like the day it rolled off the assembly line because the motorhead obsesses over every inch of the car, a wedding present from his father. Joe Biden loves that car so much that he overshares, making his people cringe. As vice president, he once admitted to Car and Driver Magazine that he still strips down to “my bathing suit in my driveway” to wash and wax it. He was 69 years old at the time.

Other things on the floor of his garage, like documents marked “classified,” the president and his aides would rather not discuss in detail.

Eight different times this week, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters she just was “not going to get into specifics” about how or why or exactly when sensitive intelligence documents made their way into the Biden family home in Wilmington, Del.

“It’s not like they’re sitting out in the street,” Biden protested when asked about the documents that only individuals with security clearances are supposed to view. The intelligence and the classic car, he confirmed, were behind closed doors. His garage, it has a lock.

That answer won’t satisfy Republicans still smarting about the FBI’s Aug. 8 raid of Mar-a-Lago in search of classified presidential papers. House Republicans eager to exercise their new oversight authority are already signaling their intentions. Rep. Mark Green, the new chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, told RealClearPolitics that Congress would demand “a forensic analysis on everybody” who could have accessed the classified Biden material.

“I think we should be worried until we actually know what’s in the documents,” Green continued, noting that he hadn’t seen the material in question yet and adding that “hopefully, our intel guys can get a look at those and let us know just the harm that's been potentially caused to the country.”

Only the Department of Justice, the National Archives, and the president’s legal team have reviewed the documents thus far. It was apparently Biden’s personal lawyers who first found the three batches of papers marked “top secret” where they were not supposed to be.

On November 2, six days before the midterm elections, CBS News first reported, the attorneys discovered “a small number” of documents while moving out of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, just blocks from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. On Dec. 20, according to the Department of Justice, his legal team searched and located documents in his garage. On Jan. 12, per White House, one more document was found in an “adjacent room.”

Each time, according to the White House, the lawyers reached out “immediately” to the National Archives. The Department of Justice was also contacted, though Jean-Pierre did not clarify when pressed whether DOJ was also notified at once. Each time, Biden also says that he was “surprised.”

But when the president first took a question Tuesday about the initial set of classified documents, the ones discovered in his office at the Penn Biden Center, he never mentioned the others that had been discovered in his Delaware home.

That day, while in Mexico City, Biden said his lawyers made the first discovery while “clearing out my office at the University of Pennsylvania.” He was briefed shortly afterwards, adding that he was “surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office.” On the advice of counsel, the president said he did not inquire about what was found.

He knew others had been discovered in his home. Why wasn’t he completely transparent at the time? Jean-Pierre told reporters it was “because there was a process happening that was currently ongoing.”

The White House press secretary did not answer RCP questions about whether they knew if the documents had been stored in a third location, if the administration had an idea of how many individuals other than the president may have accessed the material, or why Biden’s lawyers counseled him not to inquire about the content.

Instead, when pressed, the president’s spokeswoman leaned repeatedly on the fact that an investigation was ongoing. Hours earlier, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that he had appointed a special counsel to oversee the investigation of documents with classified markings. And just like that, Joe Biden now has something else in common with Donald Trump.

Garland appointed a separate special counsel to investigate former Trump's handling of sensitive White House records found in Mar-a-Lago after his exit from the White House. Authorities justified the unprecedented FBI raid on grounds that Trump had refused for months to turn them over to appropriate authorities.

Republicans who condemned that search of Mar-a-Lago as an abuse of power are all too happy to condemn the White House for not being more forthright about the documents.

“I think if you call a lawyer to remove something from your office, he must have known ahead of time,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Thursday. “So, I think he has a lot of answers to the American public. The good thing about that is the American public has a Congress that can get the answers.”

Republicans were already gearing up for an oversight blitz of the administration, and the revelation of improperly stored documents only whets their appetite. According to Green, the chair of the Homeland Security Committee, they will demand “a forensic analysis” of anyone who may have wrongfully accessed the classified information.

That list could include the president’s son, Hunter Biden, whom the GOP already promised to subpoena over his overseas business dealings. As RCP was first to note, over the years Hunter had access to the garage where the second batch of classified documents was found.

“My two sons, Beau, who passed away, and my son Hunter decided as a Christmas gift to have the engine rebuilt for me,” the president told CNBC’s Jay Leno in 2016.

Some of the documents in the garage next to the Corvette, according to CNN, included classified intelligence about Ukraine.