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Updated February 13th, 2024 at 09:41 IST

Biden Establishes Task Force to Address Classified Document Mishandling

The move follows a special counsel report examining Biden's handling of such documents, which highlighted "serious risks to national security".

Biden New Hampshire ballot primary
US President Joe Biden. | Image:AP
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President Biden has taken action to address what he termed as a "longstanding problem" of mishandling classified documents during presidential transitions by launching a new task force.

The move follows a special counsel report examining Biden's handling of such documents, which concluded without charges but highlighted "serious risks to national security."

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What is the task force's goal?

The newly formed Presidential Records Transition Task Force aims to evaluate existing procedures and study past presidential transitions, with a focus on identifying measures to ensure the preservation of sensitive presidential records.

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According to White House spokesperson Ian Sams, Biden is committed to addressing the issue and strengthening future transitions to prevent accidental removal of classified documents, a problem observed across administrations for decades.

What did the special counsel's report conclude?

Special counsel Robert Hur's report found that Biden had "willfully retained and disclosed classified materials" after his vice presidency, though it noted limitations in his memory and suggested his cooperation with the investigation could indicate an innocent mistake.

Biden, taking responsibility for oversight lapses, maintained that his memory was intact but acknowledged not closely monitoring his staff's handling of classified documents.

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Meanwhile, the contrast with former President Trump's situation is stark, as he faces a 37-count federal indictment stemming from the discovery of hundreds of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

As Biden's task force gears up to tackle the issue of classified document management, the focus remains on bolstering safeguards to protect national security interests during presidential transitions.

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Published February 13th, 2024 at 09:41 IST

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