That’s a gift for Donald Trump — he’s not alone in storing classified documents in unauthorized and insecure places.
In a political climate where “whatism” is often the talking point, former President Trump and Republicans are making the most of President Biden appears to be very careless with his own classified documents.
The current president certainly has a lot of questions to answer.
So what do we know? To what extent is the equivalence between Mr. Trump’s case and the classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate and those belonging to President Biden?
When was it discovered?
Crews are cleaning out an office the president once used, according to the president’s special counsel Richard Sauber biden at his think tank, the Pennsylvania Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. The files and offices date back to Biden’s time as President Obama’s vice president.
During the cleanup, boxes were found in a locked closet just before last November’s midterm elections.
Most of the boxes contained documents related to the Biden family — personal papers.
But there was an envelope marked “VP Personal” in it.
In total, about 10 documents were marked “confidential.” These include an intelligence memorandum and a national security memorandum related to Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom. Their contents have not been disclosed.
What did Trump and his allies say?
In a series of posts by Mr. Trump on his social media site Truth Social, the former president said: “When are the FBI going to raid many of Joe Biden’s homes, possibly even the White House?”
He went on to suggest, without offering evidence, that Chinese agents had seen the Biden files.
Trump made the China connection because the University of Pennsylvania (of which the Penn-Biden Center is affiliated) received a donation from China.
Trump’s allies in Congress, led by newly-elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have demanded answers, calling the revelations “very concerning.”
What are the main differences between the Trump document and the Biden document?
First, the quantity: Fewer than a dozen documents were found at the Penn-Biden Center. More than 160 were found at Mar-a-Lago. This excuse may not hold water. One file can be too much to fall into the wrong hands.
Second, location. A private office space is not the same as a private residence that doubles as a country club.
Third, intent. It is not uncommon to find classified documents mixed with private papers when someone at the highest levels of government leaves office.
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Biden’s team argues that they immediately reported the discovery and turned the documents over to the National Archives.
We’re told that Biden’s “personal attorneys have worked with the Archives and the Department of Justice to ensure that the Archives properly possess any records from the Obama-Biden administration.”
In Mr. Trump’s case, the FBI that raided his home said his team took them to Mar-a-Lago on its own initiative and blocked an attempt to return the documents to the National Archives — the case remains under investigation.
Questions without answers?
President Biden still has a lot to explain. Did Mr. Biden take the initiative to bring the documents to the Pennsylvania-Biden Center? If so, why? What role did he personally play in keeping them in the office closet? Who else can access them? How long have they been in the closet?
This is very embarrassing for President Biden. When President Trump has so many top-secret documents in his hands, Biden asked: “…how could this happen? Why could someone be so irresponsible? What data is there that could compromise the source and method? “
He must now ask himself the same question.