USA.- FBI chides Trump and Biden for not being more ‘aware’ of laws on use of secret material

File – FBI Director Christopher Wray. – Lenin Nolly/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

The director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, has reprimanded Thursday those who have access to confidential material that they should be more «aware» of the rules, after, beyond Donald Trump, in recent weeks it has been revealed that the president of the United States, Joe Biden, and former Vice President Mike Pence had in their private residences this type of information.

«As is obvious, I can not talk about any specific investigation, but we have conducted, for quite a few years, a large number of investigations for this misuse,» Wray explained Thursday at a press conference, as reported by CNN.

«Unfortunately, it’s a frequent part of the work of our counterintelligence programs. People need to be aware of the rules about classified information and its proper use. Those rules are there for a reason,» the FBI director has said from the Justice Department headquarters.

For his part, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has preferred not to make any statements about the ongoing investigations following the discovery of such classified material in the private residences of President Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Garland has limited himself to pointing out that those in charge of the investigations are well acquainted with the Department of Justice and that he is «fully confident» that they will know how to resolve these matters following «the highest traditions of the department».

While Garland has appointed Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate Trump’s use of classified information and Robert Hur to do the same with the documents found on Biden, it is not known at this time whether he will appoint another person for the case of former Vice President Pence.

In the case of former President Trump, the tycoon had more than 300 classified documents in his luxurious Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida, while Biden had ten reports of this nature in his former private office in Washington, as well as another undetermined series in his residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

In the most recent case, Pence turned over to the FBI nearly a dozen confidential documents and another four boxes to the National Archives containing unclassified material after asking one of his lawyers to search his Indiana residence.

For its part, the National Archives has formally asked former presidents and vice presidents to review their personal records again for such sensitive information in the wake of these discoveries.

«The responsibility to comply with the Presidential Records Act (PRA) does not end with the end of the administration,» says the letter that the National Archives has sent to all former presidents and vice presidents, except Jimmy Carter since he is exempt because the rule did not go into effect until he left office in 1981.

«We request that you conduct an evaluation of any material outside the National Archives that relates to the administration for which you served (…) to determine whether the material assumed to be personal may inadvertently contain presidential or vice presidential records subject to the PRA, whether classified or unclassified,» the letter reads.