There’s classified in every FPOTUS and FVPOTUS’s home
It’s common sense. NARA is a bad housekeeper.
Let’s admit it. Common sense demands that we consider the possibility that every former POTUS and VPOTUS has classified in their homes.
There’s classified at Mar-a-Lago; there’s classified at the Penn Biden Center; there’s classified at Biden’s beach house; and there’s probably classified at Mike Pence’s Indiana home.
The FBI is searching Pence’s home, the New York Times is reporting.
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I’d say it’s extremely likely there’s classified at Barack Obama’s D.C. joint, or one of his many other haunts. There’s probably classified in a closet at George W. Bush’s ranch in Midland, Texas. And don’t even look in Hillary and Bill’s bathrooms. There’s likely documents still technically classified floating around on loan from the Reagan library, or the Carter Center.
To be frank, I don’t think the National Archives is a very good custodian of classified documents. They are librarians. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure they try hard. But they took months and months to get Donald friggin’ Trump to even bother to respond and it took the FBI to get his attention.
Any serious examination or audit of former POTUS or VPOTUS homes, offices, or organizations, including ones run by NARA (the Archives official agency acronym) is going to find something. It’s not because (most of) these people don’t take classified seriously. It’s because the system of dealing with it is loose and broken.
Take NARA out of the classified documents business. Give it to the DOJ, or the CIA or even the military. And don’t say I didn’t tell you this earlier. It’s common sense.
Classification is more of a military matter than an archival matter. Congress should require each President to have a Top Secret Control Officer.