Biden or members of his entourage kept secret information for more than six years in an unsecured environment. Five other pages containing this kind of sensitive information have just been found at President Biden’s home in Delaware, bringing the total to six discoveries in the past week. The revelation comes as his attorneys provide new details of previous discoveries over the past two months at his home and in an office he used while vice president.
The White House has been criticized for not revealing the affair much sooner. A lawyer for Biden said the president tried to balance transparency with the need to protect the integrity of the investigation by avoiding the release of information that could harm the work of investigators.
A parallel between the two cases?
It is the first time in American history that a sitting president and his immediate predecessor have been the subject of simultaneous federal criminal investigations.
Much to the delight of Trump and Republicans, the discovery of classified documents in Biden’s possession leads the American public to view the two situations as similar. How can any criminal liability be appropriated for Trump in connection with secret documents found at Mar-a-Lago if nothing is done against Biden?
Okay, sure, Biden broke the law by being in possession of secret documents in unsecured environments. And his administration shot itself in the foot by delaying disclosure of the problem. The White House has created suspicions that will serve Trump and the Republicans politically.
Trump is being investigated for willfully withholding classified documents because he refused direct requests from National Archives officials. The FBI had to seize the documents with a search warrant after discovering that Trump’s lawyers had lied to them. In Biden’s case, his attorneys worked closely with the National Archives, promptly notifying them of their discovery and releasing the documents.
The only criminal offense that Biden could be charged with would be the “gross negligence” loss of national security information.
Bye, bye Trump et Biden
An independent special investigator has been appointed into the Biden case so the Justice Department doesn’t appear to be giving the president preferential treatment, given the ongoing investigations into Trump. A decision based as much on public perception as on the law. Appearances matter a lot in politics.
I don’t think that’s going to save Trump from being indicted for his theft of secret documents. But it will further damage Biden’s image and increase Democrats’ doubts about his candidacy in 2024.
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