Former President Barack Obama has refused to commit to a search of his private homes and offices to confirm whether or not he is in possession of classified documents.
Calls have been emerging for searches of high-profile politicians, including Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton, as the growing classified material scandal continues to rock Washington D.C.
After President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida was raided last year, public figures from across the political spectrum decried his allegedly careless handling of sensitive government information.
Since then, however, some of Trump’s most prominent critics have since been caught up in similar controversies of their own.
An assortment of classified material has been found throughout Democrat President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware as well as his former office at a think tank in Washington, D.C.
The discovery has turned into a huge embarrassment for the Biden White House after the Democrat president publicly blasted Trump over his handling of classified material.
This week, reports surfaced that secret documents were also uncovered at the home of former Vice President Mike Pence.
Meanwhile, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who was booted from the House Intelligence Committee this week, has just been accused of leaking classified information.
The series of discoveries has raised new concerns about the possibility that additional high-ranking current or former officials have similarly mishandled classified documents.
The scandal has resulted in calls for searches at the homes and offices of former presidents and vice presidents, among others.
It's time for the FBI to search the Obama and Clinton homes for classified documents.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) January 24, 2023
However, Obama has responded to the calls by refusing to commit to a search.
Obama is not willing to publicly agree to a consensual search of his properties in D.C., Illinois, Massachusetts, or New York.
In a statement addressing the recent push to comb through his personal files, spokesperson Hannah Hankins only said: “We have nothing for you at this time.”
A number of elected officials and national security experts have reacted to the recent developments by criticizing the current approach to handling classified documents.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was candid in his assessment, asserting that he wants to know “what the hell is going on” within the executive branch.
“Talking about two successive administrations from two different parties with officials at the top level having in their possession documents in places where they don’t belong,” he said.
Rubio argues that the evidence points to a “systemic problem” that needs to be remedied.
Elizabeth Goitein of New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice opined that the crux of the problem appears to involve the period of transition between presidential administrations.
“I think the chain of custody becomes much more problematic in the context of a presidential transition,” she said.
“That may be part of what we’re seeing here, especially when those transitions are rushed.”
The fact that classified items have been found in the possession of Biden and Pence might be seen as vindication for Trump.
Trump has asserted that he used his authority as president to declassify the documents found at Mar-A-Lago last year.
However, the documents in Pence and Biden’s possession were from their terms as vice president, which didn’t award them with the same powers as President Trump.
In the wake of the Trump news, Pence unequivocally asserted that he “did not” bring any such documents with him.
He also later criticized Biden for his handling of classified material.
Trump spoke up in defense of his former vice president in a post on Truth Social.
“He never did anything knowingly dishonest in his life,” Trump said of Pence.
“Leave him alone!!!”
READ MORE: Tucker Carlson Drops the Hammer: Hunter Biden Used Classified Information to Profit in Ukraine