Posted by on January 23, 2023 4:47 pm
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Who is Bob Bauer, the point man for Biden in the classified docs saga?

Who is Bob Bauer, the point man for Biden in the classified docs saga?

Jerry Dunleavy January 23, 04:01 PMJanuary 23, 04:01 PM Video Embed

President Joe Biden has called in a longtime Democratic political fixture, Obama White House adviser, and three-decade Perkins Coie law firm veteran Bob Bauer to run point on his response to his burgeoning classified documents saga.

Bauer, who is now working as a personal attorney for the president, was brought on to handle the fallout from classified documents being found in his office at the Penn Biden Center in early November. More classified documents were then found at Biden’s Wilmington home in December and again earlier in January, and finally by the Justice Department on Friday.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland selected former Trump appointee U.S. Attorney Robert Hur to serve as special counsel to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents.

Up until Friday, the searches for classified documents conducted by Biden’s team, led by Bauer, had been carried out by lawyers without the proper security clearances. The arrangement has been harshly criticized by Republicans in Congress.

“DOJ took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from the president’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as vice president,” Bauer admitted of the DOJ search of Biden’s home on Friday. “DOJ also took for further review personally handwritten notes from the vice presidential years.”

Earlier this month, Bauer defended the Biden team’s monthslong silence after discovering classified documents in early November, arguing that Biden’s attorneys “have attempted to balance the importance of public transparency where appropriate with the established norms and limitations necessary to protect the investigation’s integrity” and that “these considerations require avoiding the public release of detail relevant to the investigation” while it is ongoing.

“The felony mishandling of sensitive intelligence by a government official includes not only retaining it in an unauthorized place but also causing it to be exposed to unauthorized persons — i.e., those who do not have security clearances at a high enough level to see it, let alone those who lack security clearances all together,” Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and a contributing editor for National Review, told the Washington Examiner.

“That being the case, it would be baffling if Bauer were ‘defending’ Biden by suggesting that private lawyers with no security clearances conduct searches in which it was highly foreseeable that classified information would be found,” McCarthy said. “It is even more baffling that the Justice Department — reportedly — signed off on that arrangement and declined to have the FBI participate in these searches.”

Bauer is married to Anita Dunn, who has been in and out of the Biden White House, and who currently serves as senior adviser to Biden.

The New York Times reported that Bauer and Dunn, who previously served as acting White House communications director under Obama, were part of a very small Biden inner circle that discussed how to handle the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center. The outlet said Dunn “was adamant that the White House should keep the public information flow to a trickle” and “focus instead on how different” Biden’s case was from Trump’s.

When writing about the Justice Department’s Mar-a-Lago investigation into former President Donald Trump in August 2022, Bauer may have accidentally foreshadowed the current situation where the Justice Department would also be scrutinizing President Joe Biden.

“There is, however, a critical difference to be drawn between two very different contexts: the prosecution of a sitting president and its impact on the functioning of the executive branch of government, and the prosecution of a former president who may seek the office again, and its impact on political candidacies, political campaigns, and feared cycles of political retribution.”

Bauer helped Biden defeat Trump in 2020 and reportedly stood in for the role of Trump as Biden prepared for the late September 2020 debate against Trump. When Biden announced the creation of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States in April 2021, he named Bauer the co-chair.

Bauer had called for Congress to launch an impeachment inquiry into then-President Trump in January 2019. Also that month, he contended the Trump campaign “march[ed] with Russia arm-in-arm to victory in the general election” in 2016.

Bauer has also repeatedly attacked former Attorney General William Barr as an “angry political man.” The most recent example was criticizing Barr over his June 2022 comments about special counsel John Durham’s investigation into former Clinton lawyer and Perkins Coie co-worker Michael Sussmann, when Barr said that “far more important” than a conviction was “getting the real story out” about the Hillary Clinton campaign’s “dirty trick” in 2016, which Barr said included “fanning the flames” of the false “Russiagate collusion narrative.”

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Bauer worked at Perkins Coie from 1980 all the way through 2018, with the exceptions of his work as counsel to the Democratic Senate minority leader during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton in 1999 and his time as White House counsel to then-President Barack Obama in 2010 and 2011.

He also served as general counsel for Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 and 2012, and later went on to work as a law professor at New York University.

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