Joe Biden issued directives to the military and intelligence community on Friday, urging them to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of sensitive information following an incident of mishandling of classified material.
Sensitive materials were found on various social media platforms, including Twitter, 4Chan, and Telegram, in April. These materials were believed to have originated from the social media platform Discord. The leaked documents revealed information about the United States’ concern over the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, as well as intelligence that Washington had gathered by spying on Israel and South Korea.
The revelation of the sensitive information has caused embarrassment to the military and intelligence community, as it appears to contradict the information provided to the American public.
“I commend the rapid action taken by law enforcement to investigate and respond to the recent dissemination of classified U.S. government documents,” Biden stated.
“While we are still determining the validity of those documents, I have directed the military and intelligence community to take steps to further secure and limit distribution of sensitive information, and our national security team is closely coordinating with our partners and allies,” he added.
The person suspected of leaking the sensitive information has been charged with “unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material.”
On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized that the charges carry “very serious penalties.”
Biden’s order to initiate additional security measures comes after the United States has undergone a series of leaks in the past year. A Supreme Court draft decision reversing Roe v. Wade was leaked to the press and published. CNN reported only about 90 people would have had access to the document. The identity of the leaker remains unknown.
In January, news broke that Biden stole classified information from the Obama administration and stored the information at the Penn Biden Center and his home in Delaware.
At least $54 million was donated by Chinese Communist Party-linked individuals or entities to the Penn Biden Center between 2014 and 2019, raising concerns about who might have had access to the classified documents stored in an unlocked closet, according to Biden’s former assistant, Kathy Chung.
After the disclosure, Garland designated Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate the scandal.
The scandal involving classified documents found in Biden’s possession was initially discovered by his personal lawyers in November, but it was not made public until it was leaked to CBS News on January 9. Several media outlets have reported that Biden and the DOJ had agreed to keep the scandal hidden from the public, with no intention of disclosing it.