‘Completely Accidental’: CNN Reporter Claims Classified Documents Are Mishandled ‘Every Day’
Harold Hutchison on January 19, 2023
A CNN reporter claimed Thursday that government employees mishandle classified documents and materials “every day” and that many of the instances are “completely accidental” in the wake of the Biden administration’s classified documents debacle.
“This kind of classified spillage happens almost every day, and most of the time it’s completely accidental. An employee accidentally takes home a document in a briefcase,” reporter Katie Bo Lillis told “CNN This Morning” host Kaitlan Collins. “One example we were told, the employee found a classified document that had been accidentally attached to an unclassified travel itinerary. He slept with it under his pillow for a night, returned it the next day and that was that.”
“Most of these cases are dealt with administratively, internally, with a simple conversation with the security officer at the agency in question,” Lillis said. “Now, of course, in more severe cases there can be penalties such as losing your security clearance or even being fired.”
The White House announced that attorneys for President Joe Biden made multiple discoveries of classified documents at Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home and garage after others were found at an office in the Penn Biden Center. Attorney General Merrick Garland named Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate the matter.
“Part of the reason it’s so common is simply the law of large numbers,” Lillis said. “There’s over four million security clearance holders out there and some national security officials will also acknowledge that the U.S. Government has a big problem with over-classification. There are just millions and millions and millions of pieces of classified information, not all of which are exquisite.”
Lillis noted that there was “[n]o hard and fast rule” as to when a situation involving classified material is referred to the Department of Justice for potential investigation, and that the process was “more art than science.”
FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate owned by former President Donald Trump, Aug. 8, over allegations that classified materials were removed from the White House when Trump left office in January 2021. Trump claimed he declassified the materials.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact The Daily Caller News Foundation.