Biden criticized mishandling of classified documents to oust a CIA leadership candidate in the 1970s

Then-Senator Biden made accusations of mishandling classified material which resulted in the resignation of Ted Sorensen, a candidate backed by President Carter.

In recent days, Joe Biden has been in the spotlight after classified documents from his time as vice president were found in one of his private offices as well as his Delaware residence. The findings will sooner or later lead to an investigation in the House of Representatives, as promised by the Republican Party. This is rather ironic, given the president's past of using the discovery of confidential material against his political opponents. The Intercept recalled the case of Ted Sorensen, who was the nominee to head the CIA in the 1970s who eventually resigned due to accusations of concealing documents, and none other than Joe Biden was involved.

Sorensen had the backing of President Jimmy Carter. At the time, Biden was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and initially appeared to endorse Sorensen. In fact, he claimed him to be "the best appointment Carter has made." But, for no known reason, Biden changed his mind and took part in the downfall of Sorensen's candidacy.

Mishandling of classified documents

The current president obstructed Sorensen's appointment, accusing the candidate of mishandling classified documents. Allegedly, the official used this classified material to write a biography of John F. Kennedy.

It was then that Biden aligned himself with the Republican Party, uncovering a Sorensen affidavit in an effort to unseat him and deal a major blow to the Carter administration and his own party. In that statement, the candidate to head the CIA confessed to using the classified documents for Kennedy's biography.

"Prize for political hypocrisy"

Sorensen ended up admitting that he took classified documents home to review and said:

It was like being blindsided by a truck. Many little dirty streams flowed together to make one large one.

During the hearing at which Sorensen's tenure as head of the CIA would be confirmed, Biden went so far as to question "whether Mr. Sorensen intentionally took advantage of the ambiguities in the law or carelessly ignored the law." He eventually agreed to withdraw his nomination and said Biden deserved "the prize for political hypocrisy."