The battle over who is more in bad faith continues to rage in Washington. This time around possibly secret documents, the gravity of which we never knew with Trump and which is no clearer with Biden. But no forgiveness: that’s what voters apparently want.
Sometimes it’s not always easy to distinguish between mystery and evidence. In this case, nothing to worry about. Let’s start with Biden: his aides found government documents he shouldn’t have had at home; they immediately handed them over to the National Archives, which has the mandate to manage all that.
Trump and his entourage resisted for months turning over such documents as the National Archives requested; it took the intervention of the Justice Department and then the FBI for them to finally be recovered.
A FEW SHEETS VS SEVERAL BOXES
In Biden’s case, ten classified documents were found in a Washington office he had occupied after leaving the vice presidency in early 2017. Then, upon further searches, a “small number” appeared in a garage and adjoining room of his Delaware residence.
From Trump, the National Archives ended up receiving 15 boxes of material he had brought with him when he left the White House. Finding that important files were missing, the archivists referred the case to the Department of Justice which, after dispatching investigators, was able to recover other documents, more than a hundred identified as secret or top secret.
Despite claims by Trump’s lawyers that he had nothing left in his possession, a subsequent FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, the ex-president’s Florida residence, in August 2022 revealed , to collect 13,000 additional documents, including a hundred marked “classified”.
THE POWER OF THE MIND
Let’s sum up: collaboration on the one hand, at first sight; strong resistance from the other. A dozen documents and a few more, on one side; 15 boxes and 13,000 more documents, on the other.
As for the justifications, Joe Biden, questioned at the summit of North American leaders in Mexico, admitted to being surprised to know that these documents were there.
Donald Trump, questioned on Fox News last September, said that he had – without anyone knowing – declassified everything when he was still in the White House: “There is no process. When you are president, you can declassify just by thinking about it. »
Merrick Garland, the Minister of Justice, decided to give in total impartiality. As with Trump, he has appointed a special prosecutor who will oversee the documents discovered at Biden.
Meanwhile, Republicans, often elected in districts where Joe Biden remains wildly unpopular, have promised full investigations into “all wrongdoing” by the president. To hell with common sense!
TRUMP AND BIDEN DOCUMENTS: THE DIFFERENCES
■ More than 300 documents, marked classified, secret and top secret, seized from his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
■ Some documents have been described as “very sensitive”, implicating espionage operations in Iran and China.
■ Despite repeated requests from the National Archives, Trump has doggedly resisted the return of the records, including ordering that some boxes be moved and hidden from government inspectors.
■ Investigators have concluded that it was for his ego and his desire to keep them as “souvenirs and trophies” that Trump brought these secret documents with him.
■ Ten documents, marked “classified”, found in an old study at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a “small number” in his private library at his residence in Wilmington, Delaware.
■ The documents related to intelligence briefings on countries such as Iran, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
■ As soon as they were discovered, the documents were voluntarily handed over to the National Archives, which had not previously requested them.
■ The White House says these documents were withheld through inadvertence and negligence.
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