Recent revelations that President Joe Biden kept classified government documents at his two namesake think tanks, his Delaware home and even his garage have largely been treated with a yawn by big media. But average Americans are paying attention and worry that Biden’s careless stewardship of classified documents endangers U.S. national security, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.
In our national online I&I/TIPP Poll of 1,358 adults, taken from Feb. 1-3, we asked Americans two questions, the first being: “How closely are you following the story about classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as Vice President found at his former office and home?”
As it turns out, Americans are paying pretty close attention to the story. Among those responding to the I&I/TIPP Poll, which has a margin of error of +/-2.8 percentage points, 60% said they were “closely” following the developments.
Among those following closely, 26% said they were following “very closely,” versus 34% who said “somewhat closely.”
Meanwhile, just 36% of Americans said they were not following the news closely, with 22% saying they were following it “not very closely” and only 13% saying “not at all closely.”
So it’s definitely a topic in the public eye.
The poll followed up with a second question: “How concerned are you that classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as Vice President found at his former office and home may have jeopardized national security?”
The response was even stronger than for the first question. Some 69%, or just over two-thirds of all those following the story, said they were either “very concerned” (40%) or “somewhat concerned” (29%) about the apparent breach of classified document secrecy.
And the concern was tri-partisan, with Democrats (61%), Republicans (89%), and independents (60%) all 60% or more.
Indeed, among all of the various groups tracked by the I&I/TIPP Poll, a majority in only one group said it was not concerned about the potential damage from the irresponsible handling of classified secrets: those who self-described as “liberal.”
Among the liberals, 51% said they weren’t concerned, compared to 48% who said they were. Still close, and almost within the margin of error. For self-described “conservatives” the comparable numbers were 90% and 9%, while for “moderates” it was 61% and 37%, about in the middle of the conservatives and liberals.
Nor were there big differences by race. For white Americans, it was 67% “concerned” versus 32% “not concerned,” while blacks and Hispanics lined up 72% and 26%.
The point is, Americans seem to be taking the classified documents scandal seriously.
The scandal has grown in recent weeks, after it was first announced on Jan. 9 that confidential documents were found by Biden’s attorneys on Nov. 2 at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, nearly a week before the midterm elections. Yet it took until January to reveal it.
Further classified documents were discovered by Biden’s own lawyers in the unsecured garage of his Wilmington, Delaware, home on Dec. 20. That was followed by a wider search of Biden’s Delaware home a full month later, on Jan. 20, when even more classified documents were found.
Between those two events, on Jan. 12, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel, former federal prosecutor Robert Hur, to head the investigation into the documents.
These issues are coming to a boil, as revelations tumble out over Biden’s outside family business affairs while vice president up to the present day.
One example: Biden’s namesake think tank, the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, has been deluged with millions of dollars of donations from foreign nations, including China:
“Since the Biden Institute was established in 2017, the University of Delaware has received $6,704,250 in funding from China, $23,610,996 from Saudi Arabia, $2,513,646 from Oman and $1,673,847 from Turkey, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education,” wrote the Washington Free Beacon.
The question arises: Did Biden use troves of classified material to encourage such giving? Did he use it as leverage for family business interests overseas, to the detriment of our national security?
Biden and his White House spokespeople have repeatedly said the president has nothing to do with the business dealings of his son Hunter and his brother James.
Yet, in an appearance before the House’s new Select Subcommittee on Political Weaponization, long-time Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley noted that information from federal whistleblowers “make clear the FBI has within its possession very significant, impactful, and voluminous evidence with respect to potential criminal conduct by Hunter and James Biden.”
Grassley added: “These disclosures also allege that Joe Biden was aware of Hunter Biden’s business arrangements and may have been involved in some of them.”
This was confirmed three years ago by Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski.
One clear example: Son Hunter served on the board of directors of Ukraine-based energy company Burisma from 2014 to 2019, overlapping with father Joe’s time as vice president. With no previous experience in the energy industry, Hunter pulled down an estimated $50,000 a month from the giant gas company.
At the time Hunter joined the board, Burisma’s founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, was the focus of an investigation by Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general Viktor Shokin.
“The U.S. threatened to withhold roughly $1 billion in loan guarantees if Shokin was not replaced as prosecutor general, a message Joe Biden delivered to officials in Kyiv while serving as vice president and recounted during a 2018 Council on Foreign Relations conference,” The Hill wrote in 2021.
“Their (Biden and others’) support allowed Burisma to create the perception that it was backed by powerful Americans at a time when Ukraine was especially dependent on aid and strategic backing from the United States and its allies, according to people who worked in Ukraine at the time,” the New York Times reported.
There are numerous other examples of Biden family members raking in millions from Chinese, Russian and Saudi Arabian “business” and government sources.
Just last week, for instance, the British Daily Mail reported that “Affidavits claim Joe’s younger brother Jim was at the center of a $140 million settlement between a U.S. construction company and Saudi Arabia in 2012” and that “Biden was selected because Saudi Arabia ‘would not dare stiff the brother of the Vice-President who would be instrumental to the deal.”
Was it all made possible, or at least facilitated, by the classified document trove Biden controlled? What purpose did the classified material serve? Americans seem vitally interested, as our poll shows, especially in the danger that the unprotected classified documents pose to American security.
I&I/TIPP publishes timely, unique and informative data each month on topics of public interest. TIPP’s reputation for polling excellence comes from being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.
Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor, and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.