r/politics 9d ago

Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama say they have no classified documents

https://www.businessinsider.com/clinton-bush-obama-say-they-have-no-classified-documents-carter-2023-1
40.0k Upvotes

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699

u/HellaTroi California 9d ago

Anybody ask Dick Cheney?

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u/speakermic 9d ago

Back in 2007:

Vice President Cheney's office has refused to comply with an executive order governing the handling of classified information for the past four years and recently tried to abolish the office that sought to enforce those rules, according to documents released by a congressional committee yesterday.

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u/HellaTroi California 9d ago

Wow! How'd I miss that story?

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u/PeptoBismark 9d ago

Lost in the shuffle with Cheney's man-sized safe and his own personal "treat as classified" stamp.

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u/Sprocketvgc Arizona 9d ago

Wait, Cheney refused a direct executive order from Dubya? How the hell did that not make headlines at the time?

Now I need to do some digging.

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u/Section19Article11 9d ago

and risk getting shot in the face? no thanks

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u/rva_monsta 9d ago Gold Wholesome Seal of Approval

Reverse National Treasure plot: they all have docs and have to team up to get them back to the Archives.

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u/McFluff22 9d ago Wholesome Seal of Approval

And Nicholas Cage is in charge of making sure no one breaks into the archives.

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u/petedakilla 9d ago edited 9d ago

Then Nicholas Cage finally ends up narrating a Scorsese film about the events that led up to his life as an FBI informant who rats on other treasure hunters.

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u/JerkIzAllPro 9d ago

That movies name: Goncharev

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u/Diet_Fanta 9d ago

Goncharov*

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u/mershed_perderders Texas 9d ago Gold

Goncharov in sixty seconds

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u/BigChung0924 9d ago

as far back as i can remember, i always wanted to be a treasure hunter

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u/Niven42 9d ago

He's still pretty upset about the comic books.

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u/HauntedCemetery Minnesota 9d ago

Spoiler he got it back eventually

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u/Antelope010 9d ago

I always thought it would be hilarious to put a bunch of former presidents in a anti-buddy-cop movie where they all hate each other but have to team up to save/do something and become best friends along the way.

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u/ExistingGoldfish Maryland 9d ago

There is one! My Fellow Americans (1996).

“Ex-presidents Kramer (Jack Lemmon) and Douglas (James Garner) have hated each other for years. But when the current administration of President Haney (Dan Aykroyd) -- Kramer's former vice president -- tries blaming a string of kickbacks from a defense contractor on the two former presidents, they band together. With Haney's goons trying to kill them, they set out across the country to try and clear their reputations. In the process, they see a side of America they never knew before.”

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u/Persianator 9d ago

I love this movie. It was one of those movies your family owns on vhs as a kid and you watched dozens of times. When you try to talk to other people about it they look at you like youre from mars.

Anyways great film, 8 year old persianator loved it, and I still do.

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u/MovingInStereoscope 9d ago

Well it's a good thing we aren't Gerald Ford or we'd be in a heap at the bottom of these stairs.

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u/PeptoBismark 9d ago

I loved the bit where they shared their own personal lyrics for "Hail to the Chief".

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u/taleofawhale 9d ago

Part 2: Hail to the Chief

https://youtu.be/rIJoJMA6UAk

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u/Active-Ad3977 9d ago

I love that part, I think of it whenever I hear that song

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u/thatirishguy0 Florida 9d ago

Same. Growing up, we had this on VHS. Grandfather loved those guys.

No one else I've asked irl knows abiut this movie.

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u/worntreads 9d ago

Don't you know it was all a fakade?!

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u/leshake 9d ago

I've seen it as an adult. The acting and writing is fantastic.

I was Time's man of the year.

Hitler was man of the year.

But not twice

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u/Iced_Coffee_IV 9d ago

🎶Hail to the chief, he's the chief and he needs hailing🎶

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u/squeamy 9d ago

He is the chief so you all had better hail like crazy!

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u/Canmanrofls 9d ago

Isn't this essentially "my fellow Americans"?

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u/Antelope010 9d ago

Well yes, but with George Bush, Barak Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter playing themselves!

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u/CompassionateCedar 9d ago

Imagine Jimmy carter finding classified documents. By now the classification probably expired

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u/ProgressivePessimist 9d ago

I was just thinking the other day how this would be a good SNL skit.

Castmember tells Nic Cage type character how they need to retrieve some documents. Nic Cage goes into long speech about symbolism, mystery, intrigue, etc. He fantasizes about past events and gears up for another global adventure.

Cut to them tediously going through boxes and desk drawers in a plain suburban home.

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u/M_Mich 9d ago

second set, a you-store-it

third set, a shed at the ex-wife’s house

they finally find the documents in a prior years tax filing w their 1099, w2, and some napkins

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u/osizz 9d ago

Time to get Andy Samberg to host again.

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u/Dokkan86 America 9d ago

I would watch this movie.

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u/ThyShirtIsBlue California 9d ago

All 3 in a race to kidnap Nicholas Cage.

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u/insultant_ 9d ago

If I was a Hollywood producer, I’d offer you $50m to make this movie.

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u/coalcoalcoal I voted 9d ago

Not enough. First one's budget was $100m and second was $130m. In 2004 and 2007 respectively!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Treasure_(franchise)

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u/T_that_is_all Ohio 9d ago

$140-185 mil adjusted for 2023 dollars, and barely over half of Waterworld's budget, when adjusted. The $50 mil won't work, but a similar budget to the originals would still make a decent action flick nowadays. At those prices, still a hefty amount tho.

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u/KingMwanga 9d ago

Nah Michelle was like we ain’t taking no work home the fuck

Hilary scanned them to her desktop then deleted them

George Bush probably doesn’t know how to work a computer so he’s clear

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u/TheGary2000 9d ago

"One of the things I've used on the google is to pull up maps." - George W. Bush.

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u/M_Mich 9d ago

“they’ve given him a speak and spell he calls Siri. “. j/k

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u/freehatt2018 New Mexico 9d ago

Coloring books are not classified. I wonder what Cheney has in his closet.

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u/RamenJunkie Illinois 9d ago

Hunting accident victims?

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u/BelphegorPrime 9d ago

Should probably check Cheney's attic though.

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u/purephase 9d ago edited 9d ago

The Carter comments are funny, since he predates the presidential records act, and it's likely that any documents he might have would be automatically declassified by this point anyway.

I feel like they included him just to be nice.

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u/P_Grammicus 9d ago

Jimmy Carter has classified documents in his heart.

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u/Nick_from_Yuma Nebraska 9d ago

Uses the docs to insulate the Habitat for Humanity homes he helps build

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u/ageofadzz Pennsylvania 9d ago

Jimmy Carter is a classified document.

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u/monkeychasedweasel 9d ago

He used them as fireplace fuel so he didn't have to turn his thermostat above 68 degrees.

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u/Redqueenhypo 9d ago

He turned them into organic compost for his peanut farm

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u/lavahot 9d ago

He hides them in the walls of the houses he builds.

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u/CWinter85 9d ago

Carter just posts a picture of himself in front of cases of classified documents with sunglasses throwing gang signs with the caption "can't touch this"

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u/RubberDuckyUthe1 9d ago edited 9d ago

Carter was smart and hide his documents in walls as insulation in homes he built with Habitat for Humanity

Edit: I’m glad so many watch late night television and you feel the need to let me know that you do so. However, I do not. If it bothers you to see similar jokes being made about the same current events, feel free to give him credit. I don’t need you too tell me you watch Colbert.

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u/Ilovekbbq 9d ago

This actually made me laugh. I know his presidency is often looked at negatively general public. But man he really was the kind of person that you wanted to have as your president. His integrity, character and good-nature was what you loved about the typical IDEA of an effective, capable leader. Ironically, was probably his kindness genuine care about his country and citizens that resulted in decisions made judged pretty harshly by people today.

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u/Naterian 9d ago

I totally agree. He was also the only president who was genuinely horrified by some of the unscrupulous things the CIA did and worked to curtail it. They hated him for it.

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u/WorldRenownedRacist 9d ago

I totally agree. He was also the only president who was genuinely horrified by some of the unscrupulous things the CIA did and worked to curtail it. They hated him for it.

Might explain why the hostages in Iran were never freed during his term. Also, fuck Regan

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u/LeroyCadillac 9d ago

This is the real reason. Republicans cut a deal with our enemy who was holding our citizens hostage in order to win an election. They haven't given a shit about America since Nixon; each of their Presidential nominees worse and more incompetent than the last.

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u/thechilipepper0 9d ago

Fox News was literally created to ensure a Nixon-like downfall could never happen again. And it worked!

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u/blue2002222 9d ago

i think kennedy was also horrified and tried his best to curb its power

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u/Agitated_Pickle_518 9d ago

No. If anything, the lesson of his presidency is that a decent person needs to also push back on the bullshit that awful people are doing to break them.

A second Carter term could have meant significant growth for consumer protections, the EPA, and more.

Other forces needed him out so they could put Ronald "sell the soul of the country for a nickel" Reagan in control.

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u/Unadvantaged 9d ago

But Reagan was just so “aw-shucks” charming. What could go wrong?

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u/geologean 9d ago

I honestly do not understand how so many fell for his entire act. He's not even a good actor. He was a C-list actor, known best for acting opposite and adult Shirley-Temple in a movie that flopped because America didn't want to see their child sweetheart as a grown woman.

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u/smb275 9d ago

This is the same voting public that then went on to elect a failed reality TV personality that half of NYC could have told you was human dogshit. But haha "you're fired" haha was too appealing, somehow.

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u/moonbears9988 9d ago

I wish I could upvote this 100 times… he is so underrated. Not to mention the decision to take on Paul volker to kill inflation at the time.

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u/snack-dad 9d ago

He is the Mr. Rogers of Presidents.

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u/vmqbnmgjha 9d ago

I'm a hardcore atheist and I love Jimmy.

A truly great human being.

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u/SomethingIWontRegret 9d ago

I think most atheists don't have a problem with Sermon on the Mount christians.

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u/_-__-__-__-__-_-_-__ 9d ago

I'm an atheist and I don't have a problem with Jesus the man. It's the supernatural claims made by people who never met him years after he died that I have a problem with.

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u/Ccomfo1028 9d ago

I think that he is proof that it is very difficult to be a decent human and lead a country. Some of the decisions you have to make can ever be made by someone with a caring heart. Absolute power corrupts absolutely but also to be a good leader you are going to have to make terrible decisions sometimes.

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u/Organic-Salad-1108 9d ago

Dude read his auto biography, he points out exactly what went wrong in his presidency. From lobbyists, to Iran, to the Panama canal crisis, OPEC... Dude could not catch a break.

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u/aiiye Washington 9d ago

Did my undergrad thesis on a topic under his presidency.

He got hosed, and its damn unfortunate. Still, a remarkably decent man and we'd be in a better place if more of our elected leaders were like him.

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u/JohnOliverismysexgod 9d ago

He could run again....

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u/singuslarity 9d ago

It didn't help that Ted Kennedy tried to primary him.

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u/Unadvantaged 9d ago

Seems pretty opportunistic in retrospect. “He looks bad on the economy, now’s my chance.”

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u/capron 9d ago

This was a HUGE hit to his electability. If even his own party members aren't backing him, why should regular joe voters? Kennedy was a little fucker.

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u/Thirteenpointeight 9d ago

That's true, but imo the greater political challenge is how difficult it is to get decent humans elected to the highest offices. Those seeking power are often those least suited to wield it kind of thing.

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u/yak-broker Washington 9d ago

There's always classified documents in the banana stand

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u/GuyPronouncedGee 9d ago

It's one classified document, Mr. President. What could it cost, $10?

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u/RubberDuckyUthe1 9d ago

That never made sense to me. If it’s an annual Christmas tradition by Newport Beach youths to destroy the banana stand by throwing it into the ocean, wouldn’t someone have found the money?

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u/meezy-yall 9d ago

There’s always money in the Pacific Ocean .

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u/DetBabyLegs 9d ago

From about the dawn of currency onward… this is probably true

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u/lofixlover 9d ago

or mulched the paper into questionable peanut-fertilizer

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u/meezy-yall 9d ago

To be fair , the R value of classified documents is far better than fiberglass insulation, it was just smart

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u/Thosepassionfruits 9d ago

I know this is a joke, but I get the feeling that it's going to evolve into a dumbass conspiracy theory in a couple of years.

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u/Sprocketvgc Arizona 9d ago

Declassification only matters from a national security point of view. Willfully possessing government property (aka government documents, classified or not) and not returning said property is a crime unto itself.

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u/SuperGameTheory 9d ago

"Willfully possessing" key words here

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u/ScarsUnseen 9d ago

Carter sold his peanuts for his country; Trump sold his country for peanuts.

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u/dan1son 9d ago

Carter was included because he's not dead. Which in past presidents terms, is not a bad reason.

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u/Manisil 9d ago

Jimmy Carter truly was the Rock and Roll President

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u/surfingNerd 9d ago

What about Cheney?

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u/AnotherQuietHobbit 9d ago

there can't be anything left at his place anymore. I'm sure any documents in his possession have long since been turned over to the good people at Halliburton.

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u/RuairiSpain 9d ago

Some retired officials still get read into top secret briefings. I think it's a courtesy for ex Presidents, but considering Chaney was running the show and Bush Jr was a figurehead, I won't be surprised is some right leaning DoD generals keep him looped in with official sign off.

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u/LaunchTransient Europe 9d ago

Some retired officials still get read into top secret briefings.

This is a necessary thing, tbh, because if someone has experience with, say, the political intrigue in Islamabad or knowledge of how another government operates, that's not always something passed on in paperwork. Sometimes it's just better ringing up the old guard to get their take on things.

IIRC, Kennedy phoned Eisenhower to consult him on how to handle the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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u/thedirtyharryg 9d ago

Sometimes certain former Presidents will have better personal relations with other world leaders (especially the life-long ones) as well.

Make for good back channels.

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u/Low-Director9969 9d ago

It's better than just being given a letter, and a pistol by your predecessor.

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u/genowars 9d ago

That's very true. Not only the old guard, you could also get basketball player to smoothen talks with dictators like Kim Jong Un.

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u/Low-Director9969 9d ago

An aid leans in to whisper in the sitting President's ear, "To be honest sir. They started this mess. It might not hurt to consult them on the issue.

Worst case scenario they'll tell us how they would've made it worse. Then we can avoid doing that."

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u/givemewhiskeypls 9d ago

Careful, that’s how you get shot in the face with birdshot

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u/tralltonetroll Foreign 9d ago

And you will have to apologize afterwards.

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u/Foxhound199 9d ago

Last guy who asked got mistaken for a bird.

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u/CodenameVillain Texas 9d ago

racks shotgun with malicious intent

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u/tenehemia Oregon 9d ago

Is the Necronomicon classified?

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u/PmMeYourNiceBehind 9d ago

Yeah do we really think Dubya brought any homework home? That was Cheneys job

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u/cranktheguy Texas 9d ago

The man has no heartbeat.

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u/Cultist_Deprogrammer 9d ago

He's got no classified documents, just this briefcase full of cash.

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u/greenroom628 California 9d ago

briefcase? that cheap? i'd think he had a bunker full of cash as well as "spare heart volunteers".

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u/tcmart14 9d ago

He took his friend quail hunting and looked what happened to him. You really wanna be the one to go ask Cheney?

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u/drdactyl 9d ago Table Slap

Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and 330 million other Americans were marked safe from possession of classified documents.

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u/BigDaddy1054 9d ago

Idk man, when was your last audit?

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u/organasm 9d ago

Shit, I just reached for my favorite waifu manga and ... it was classified dox. 😫

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u/frissonFry 9d ago Take My Energy

I picked up a Gamecube from a garage sale for $10 and I kept finding classified documents in all the compartments. I was really hoping to find cash, some beer, and an N64 inside it. I guess we can't all be so lucky.

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u/well-lighted 9d ago

This is a truly vintage reference and I’m here for it

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u/Minttt Canada 9d ago

Don't worry, I hear all it takes is a Truth Social message to Trump, and he will declassify your dox with his mind.

People are saying this tactic is 100% legally sound.

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u/JesusForTheWin 9d ago

Don't you hate it when that happens!?

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u/el-art-seam 9d ago

You know what’s more annoying? When you run out of toilet paper, have to quickly grab some from under the sink, and instead grab a roll of classified documents.

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u/RTrover 9d ago

The old shit ticket swapped with Classified documents joke… In the military we call this “freaky Fridays”….everyone has to stay late to find the rest of the classified documents. good time good times.

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u/Nagger_Luvver 9d ago

How many pages did you get in before you realized?

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u/forceblast 9d ago All-Seeing Upvote Bravo! Bravo Grande!

I just did a check of my house and found my newspaper had an entire classified section. How screwed am I?

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u/veerKg_CSS_Geologist 9d ago

Have you tried unclassifying them with your mind?

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u/motleysalty 9d ago

A sharpie should do the trick.

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u/whatistheformat Missouri 9d ago

classified UN-classified!!

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u/Raggedy-Man 9d ago

Oh no! Now they are United Nations Classified!

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u/hurler_jones Louisiana 9d ago All-Seeing Upvote

The DoJ hates this one trick that can keep you out of jail.

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u/prospectre California 9d ago

No, that's for hurricanes.

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u/jspook 9d ago

I think you can just declare it

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u/czar_the_bizarre 9d ago

Hey. I just wanted you to know that you can't just say the word "declassified" and expect anything to happen.

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u/veerKg_CSS_Geologist 9d ago

That's right. You have to say it 3 times and do a little twirl.

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u/thuktun California 9d ago

You have to DECLARE it.

As in "I DECLARE THAT ______!"

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u/Kgaset Massachusetts 9d ago

FBI is already on its way.

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u/orrocos 9d ago

You’re pretty screwed. But also, could you check to see if anyone has an inexpensive, gently used desk listed? I could pick it up after 4:30 today. Thanks.

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u/legalizemonapizza 9d ago

fr if you're in Texas let's talk, I got a used desk I'm about to throw out. I'd rather give it away than junk it

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u/BananaSlander 9d ago

Can you deliver it 3 hours away and also pay me a disposal fee? It's for a church, honey

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u/itchy_dog_chin 9d ago

All I see is this “Resolute Desk” thing, apparently it recently got a Diet Coke button installed?

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u/JustWastingTimeAgain Washington 9d ago

my newspaper

What is this exotic technology you speak of?

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u/Jeramus 9d ago

Lots of people have secret clearance so I am sure some of them are in possession of classified documents any given point. The problem is the documents not being stored in the correct way.

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u/Jacksonrr31 9d ago

The problem is lying to the FBI about them

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u/timoumd 9d ago

Eh you shouldnt have them at home unless youve got a GSA approved security container. I wouldnt be shocked if some folks packed up some papers or notes improperly

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u/verrius 9d ago

Politicians are literally generating them though. Government worker B sending a note to a spouse that says "Going to be home for dinner at 7", its is a normal thing; if the Secretary of State does it, suddenly its a security issue because someone who intercepts that note would know where the Secretary is at a specific time so boom classified.

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u/fallingbehind Washington 9d ago

I just tore apart my house. No classified documents. I found some disturbing shit about my wife though, and I’m currently burning all her belongings in my backyard.

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u/PilcrowTime 9d ago

I did the same at my house and found equally disturbing material regarding your wife.

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u/FundleBundle29 9d ago

I notice Jimmy Carter isn’t a part of this… has someone checked Jimmy’s house?

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u/Professional_360 9d ago

Now ask Cheney!!

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u/TintedApostle 9d ago

Cheney deleted 2 million email messages. I suspect he has docs.

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u/Professional_360 9d ago

Oh fuck yeah! And they're in boxes next to his collection of hunting rifles. He's daring someone to come get them!

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u/tcmart14 9d ago

“Mr. Cheney we are coming by to see if you happen to be in possession of any classi-“

A day or two later you wake up in the hospital with Dick Cheney with some flowers in your room.

“Sorry about that, I thought I saw a quail on your face. Now what is it you wanted to ask me?”

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u/Bleedmaster California 9d ago

Cheney wouldn't apologize. He'd make the victim apologize. I mean, that's what he did.

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u/Tree_Droppings 9d ago

Tbh, people who have been elected to positions with top security clearance possessing top secret documents/data is not as disturbing to me as just how lax the White House/federal government is with our top secret documents/data. How many top secret documents/data are in the possession of unfriendly hands?

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u/AlludedNuance 9d ago

The fact Jared Kuschner had access to classified materials is a far more significant national security worry, imo.

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u/Independent_Plate_73 9d ago edited 9d ago

Thank you. Yahoos like him and gambling degenerate John McEntee bypassing clearance protocols under Trump is not spoken of nearly enough.

As Jared Kushner’s father-in-law, Donald J. Trump, was running for President, the Kushners were pitching Qatari investors to help bail out the building. And just weeks after his father Charles reportedly failed to reach a deal with Qatar’s minister of finance, Jared Kushner, in his capacity as a senior adviser to President Trump, reportedly played a central role in supporting a blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Kushner never disclosed his meeting with Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the blockade to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the time. Later, a financial company tied to Qatar brokered an especially valuable deal to rescue the Kushner Companies’ property at 666 Fifth Avenue.

https://www.justsecurity.org/69094/timeline-on-jared-kushner-qatar-666-fifth-avenue-and-white-house-policy/

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/21/jared-kushner-saudi-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman/

“If the reason this administration put U.S. troops at risk in Qatar was to protect the Kushners’ financial interests, then that’s all the evidence you need to make some big changes in the White House,” Murphy said.

MBS is in Washington this week. On Tuesday, he was warmly received by Trump, who told reporters that the U.S.-Saudi relationship is “probably the strongest it’s ever been.”

Yet Pompeo has the audacity to defend Prince BoneSaw because “our troops”. Where’s mary louise kelly to put him in his place again?

ETA: as an aside, recently arrested former FBI special agent in charge of russian counterintelligence McGonigal was working for the company that happened to serendipitously bail out 666 from kushner.

https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/03/news/companies/kushner-666-fifth-avenue-brookfield/index.html

Brookfield Properties announced Friday afternoon that it has acquired a 100% leasehold interest in the building, a 1.5 million square foot property at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, for 99 years through one of its funds. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/01/23/former-fbi-agent-charles-mcgonigal-arrested-for-russia-sanctions-violations.html

McGonigal’s LinkedIn profile says he most recently worked as a senior vice president at commercial real estate giant Brookfield Properties. A company spokesman previously said he left Brookfield in January 2022.

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u/TheAngriestChair 9d ago

Because he shouldn't have but daddy in law forced them to give him clearance. That should not be acceptable for anyone. If you can't get clearance, then yiu shouldn't get the documents. Brief them if they are elected (no way on he'll trump could get a clearance of he hadn't been elected) and make sure they get no documents. Let them sit there with a divider between them and the documents if needed.

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u/austinmiles 9d ago edited 9d ago

Let's not forget that China hacked the Office of Personnel Management and acquired files of everyone who has gotten a security clearance which covers millions of people and their backgrounds and close relations, financial situation, history of where they lived, close friends, etc.

Security is an illusion especially in our government.

Note: Previously said they hacked the NSA, but it was just a hack that had highly sensitive NSA personnel data

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u/xuteloops 9d ago

OPM not the NSA. OPM is who handles clearance investigations and such.

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u/-The-Baba-Jaga- Texas 9d ago

I feel like they're asking to get searched.

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u/Michael_In_Cascadia 9d ago

They're confident that establishing their presidential libraries had already inventoried their stored records as thoroughly as can reasonably be expected.

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u/oldcretan 9d ago

They probably returned all classified documents in that search when discovery and return of such documents was not newsworthy.

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u/BostonUniStudent 9d ago edited 9d ago Silver Take My Energy Eureka!

The reason it's become an issue now is because, customarily, National Archives only needs to inform the party that they possessed classified documents. And they would be promptly returned. As was the case with these three presidents.

The NA followed that procedure with Donald Trump. The problem is that he hid some documents, refused to return the ones identified, improperly held them... And it's currently being investigated whether he released them to potentially adversarial parties.

There's a separate conversation about whether we "over-classify" documents. A lot of Biden's classified documents were just old Day Planner calendars. Technically classified, but I wonder how much national security is jeopardized if they are declassified. Same with the stuff Pence had apparently. From what I've seen of the Donald Trump collection, there are some very sensitive nuclear secrets, the names and locations of various intelligence agents, dirt on foreign leaders.... Some stuff that really makes you wonder why he wanted to keep it. He's literally going to court to try to withhold returning it.

These are not all the same scandal.

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u/RollyPollyGiraffe I voted 9d ago

It suggests that maybe one of the things coming out of this is a policy for non-security risk files to be automatically lose classified status at the end of term.

No one should be having a scandal whipped up over calendars, for example.

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u/Nokomis34 9d ago

This is what people can't seem to understand, especially now that they get to "both sides" it. If Trump had returned all documents when asked, it would have been a nothingburger. Having the documents wasn't the big deal (Let's just not think about what he was doing with them right now). It's that he tried to keep them and also lied about having returned them.

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u/ropdkufjdk 9d ago

If Trump had returned all documents when asked, it would have been a nothingburger.

Which thanks to Mike Pence is now able to be conclusively demonstrated.

It's not that Trump had documents that is the problem, it is his refusal to surrender them or cooperate.

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u/wayoverpaid Illinois 9d ago

That just shows you that Mike Pence is a darling of the deep state /s

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u/SquidmanMal Pennsylvania 9d ago

You /s, but from bits and pieces I saw from subreddits, they're actually calling 'deep state' and 'false flag' and all that shit.

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u/pimpletwist 9d ago

They could understand it if they wanted to. This is a typical case of deliberately misunderstanding the details so they can pretend they’re equivalent circumstances. It’s what right wingers do now. And you know that they knowingly do it, because they have no trouble with understanding minute details if it can support their narrative

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u/Cultural_Ad_1693 9d ago

Seriously, will pull up the smallest most obscure detail to support their narrative but won't give a 2nd glance at this.

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u/wayoverpaid Illinois 9d ago

They could understand it if they wanted to.

That's the part that's so damn frustrating. It's not splitting hairs to differentiate between voluntary cooperation and intentional obstruction.

If you prosecute voluntary cooperation, you will create a culture where people will not cooperate. Better to shred that document you found and pretend your never saw it than notify the authorities "We found some docs please come get them" meaning the lapse that let that document go missing can never be addressed.

If you don't prosecute intentional obstruction, you'll get more of it.

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u/mrpickles 9d ago edited 9d ago

Yeah, the nature of the classified material matters.

If Biden kept a copy of his doctor's exam, so what? I get why that might be classified, but its also not essential to national security.

If Trump kept nuclear secrets, that's a whole other ball game. I mean first of all, WTF were they doing at his house? Second, why did he not return them? And yes third, there is at least some reason to be concerned he shared them with foreign adversaries.

We need a lot more details (many of which are likely classified) but its shaping up to be a case of Apples and Oranges.

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u/Parking_Onion_3846 9d ago

At least with what we know publicly, in Trump's case the obstruction is the more immediate issue. It's unlikely that we'll ever know exactly what any of them actually had, but we do know their responses to the attempt by the appropriate authorities trying to find out.

Pence and Biden's cases are stupid, but unlikely to be anything they'd be prosecuted for; Trump's is obviously criminal because of his attempts to obstruct the return of the documents, even if it turned out that there wasn't anything more important in them than there was in Biden's or Pence's.

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u/FlutterKree Washington 9d ago

I mean first of all, WTF were they doing at his house?

Club*, that can have literally anyone visit it who pays enough.

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u/jalepinocheezit 9d ago

Excuse me, I suppose you haven't heard a little argument that goes to the tune of BOTH SIDES THOUGH

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u/jjameson2000 Michigan 9d ago

This is most likely the case. I’d be more surprised to find that a politician actually packed up their own boxes than I would that they carelessly took classified documents with them on their way out.

We should probably look more rigorously at documents leaving when politicians leave office, but Trump should be in trouble for the way he brazenly told the justice department to fuck off while not securing the classified documents he then knew he must have had.

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u/Swesteel 9d ago

They’ve already checked, both Biden and Pence had their own people look for and return their documents, better believe a lot of other people have done the same.

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u/your_mind_aches 9d ago

It seems like they all got some kind of notice or legal advice to make sure and check.

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u/writingt 9d ago

Hilarious photo right under the headline

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u/bryson430 9d ago

I know, that picture is absolutely perfect.

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u/MPLooza 9d ago

Scrolled too far to find this comment. Those smiles all become giant shit-eating grins in context, Obama is even waving goodbye to the bullshit with his cool guy shades on. Priceless

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u/TheZardoz 9d ago

It’s like a promo poster for a sitcom.

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u/wpmason 9d ago

Can we do Mitch next?

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u/ihateredditredesign2 9d ago Wholesome Take My Energy

I used to have classified documents. I still do, but I used to, too.

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u/gustopherus Virginia 9d ago

The best Mitch

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u/mbod 9d ago

Classified documents is great, it you're hungry for knowledge and you want 2000 of secrets

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u/BobTheViking2018 9d ago

Is that your final answer?

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

I bet they do say that. So did Pence.

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u/SuperGenius98K 9d ago

Check Jarod Kushner's house. He got $2 billion.

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u/Searchlights New Hampshire 9d ago

The real question is how many do the Saudis have

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u/BaggerX 9d ago

I mean, that's probably because he doesn't have the classfied info that he had anymore.

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u/TheAbcedarian 9d ago

Yeah but they actually don’t have any, ANYMORE…

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u/do_add_unicorn 9d ago

I guess their toilets don't clog.

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u/CodeMonkeyPhoto 9d ago

Yeap and still the false equivalence being made. The difference is Trump denied having them, when he did. He moved them a couple of times. It’s known that foreign entities may have had access to these documents, and some disappeared. Then the raid happened, Trump claims it’s planted. Then ask for them back. Also obstruction at every step. Also these docs that Trump had contained some of the highest intelligence levels of information, not someone’s daily schedule that got marked confidential.

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u/OnlyLemonSoap 9d ago

Still surprised, that Trump took work home.

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u/magheet Colorado 9d ago

At this point I might need to check my own house.

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u/Hiranonymous 9d ago

Me too, but, to be on the safe side, I'm just going to send all my documents to the National Archives and let them figure it out.

Apparently, NA employees are experts at filing documents, and I hate filing. If they can handle this for me, I'm all for it.

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u/ExaltedRuction 9d ago

Dick Cheney when asked cocked his shotgun

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u/StinkyElevator 9d ago

Meanwhile Carter is sitting on those Area 51 docs.

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u/gearstars 9d ago

next week's article:

Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama say they have no classified documents

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u/Falco98 9d ago

Frankly I could barely care less if they have a few accidentally still on file or something. The delineation point started out as, and still is, who knowingly packed up crates full while still in power, absconded with them to their private insecure residence, denied/lied/gaslight/fought for months to not return anything / not get searched, until they had no choice (and even then still denied/gaslit like crazy).

So far, the above describes one and only person that I know of. And if it ends up describing anyone else in addition, then let them be investigated as well.

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u/TintedApostle 9d ago

My take with Obama is he has none at all. He has been subject to scrutiny since before he was even elected. He knows that one slip up and the right wing would go after him. I suspect he made sure everything was clean for himself before he left office.

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u/prof_the_doom I voted 9d ago

He also tended to use a lot less physical copies of documents than anyone else did, if I recall correctly.

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u/skulloctopus2023 9d ago

Check them anyway. Just by seeing that Trump, Pence, and Biden all had classified documents in their homes and offices outside of SCIF's, means that every cabinet member of every former president needs to have their homes, offices, etc all searched for classified documents. Carter too!

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u/Hyperion1144 9d ago

What does Carter say???

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u/Tiggeribby Kansas 9d ago

He was President before the law governing classified documents was passed.

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