Home » Biden’s Hopes Killed as Classified Docs Scandal Gets More Complicated

Biden’s Hopes Killed as Classified Docs Scandal Gets More Complicated

by Richard A Reagan

The public scandal that has erupted over Democrat President Joe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified US government documents won’t go away anytime soon as it is getting more tangled, according to a Bloomberg report.

The report points out that Biden may have been hoping that an investigation of the case would lead to a “quick resolution” of the issue.

Yet, several new developments connected with the scandalous revelations have made it more complicated to resolve.

More than two dozen classified documents of the US government have been discovered in properties owned or used by Joe Biden. The papers reportedly date to his time as Barack Obama’s vice president (2009-2017).

The first stash of about ten classified records was found in the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC, an office the Democrat used after his second vice-presidential term ended.

Biden aides made the discovery on November 2, several days before the 2022 midterms. Still, it was not made public until mid-January, causing Republican critics to declare that the scandalous finding was covered up so as not to hurt the Democrats’ election performance.  

In January, another dozen classified papers were discovered in Biden’s family home in Wilmington, Delaware, both in the garage – next to his Corvette, as Biden himself has put it, and in his home office.

A second search of the office sanctioned by the Department of Justice and the FBI found six more classified papers.

The scandalous revelations that Biden may have mishandled classified documents come against the backdrop of an investigation on the same issue into former President Donald Trump. On August 8, 2022, FBI agents raided the latter’s Florida home and allegedly found about 100 classified documents.

However, Conservative pundits have pointed out that the cases are notably different since, as president, Trump had the power to declassify documents. In contrast, Biden’s vice-presidential job conveyed no such powers – even as PolitiFact has claimed that Obama had given his veep the authority to declassify papers.

The Bloomberg report emphasizes that Biden’s classified documents cases have been complicated not only because of comparisons with the Trump investigation but also because such materials have also been discovered in possession of former Republican US Vice President Mike Pence.

Kel McClanahan, who heads National Security Counselors, a nonprofit law firm, is quoted as saying that “legally entangled” and “politically entangled” notions are two different things, and the Biden and Trump cases would be “completely separate” if there were no politics involved. 

The report also cites unnamed current and former US government officials who say the developments have inspired ideas that Attorney General Merrick Garland should consider “coordinating” the Biden and Trump investigations. 

Such a step would reassure the public there would be no bias and political favoritism. 

At the same time, the Justice Department doesn’t seem to be discussing such an option, and coordinating the two probes may interfere with the work of the two different special counsels handling them. 

The report notes Trump’s legal team has been “antagonistic” towards the probe, causing its delay for months now, while Biden’s team has been trying to “speed things up.” 

Yet, Bloomberg writes that if the American public gets the impression Biden and Trump aren’t “treated equally,” both classified document probes may suffer. 

That is especially the case because of the political background in which Trump has already announced his 2024 White House candidacy, and Biden is expected to do so soon. 

A former DOJ national security division chief, Mary McCord, says she doesn’t expect Garland’s department to coordinate the timing of the two probe’s conclusions. 

Paradoxically, more classified documents were found in Biden’s possession after he had said he expected the investigation to be completed “soon.” 

To top it all off, the latest stash of documents found in Biden’s home shows some records from the time when he was still a US Senator from Delaware before 2009. 

Bloomberg stresses, though, that the DOJ typically wouldn’t charge a sitting president, and prosecutors would have to prove that a former official “intentionally kept the materials.” 

Even as GOP figures have claimed that Trump’s case has been “politically motivated,” the finding of some classified records as Mike Pence’s home has “muddied” the entire Biden scandal. 

According to Democrat strategist Carly Cooperman, voters view the Trump and Biden cases practically the same. 

A survey by pro-left pollsters Ipsos and ABC News found 77% of Americans thought Trump mishandled classified documents, while 64% thought Biden did. The poll was conducted before the last Biden stash was found. 

The report predicts the special counsels in both cases won’t complete them “quickly.” The Trump counsel Jack Smith has also been in charge of a probe into the former president’s alleged “efforts to overturn” the 2020 election. 

At the same time, Robert Hur, the special counsel in the Biden scandals, hasn’t even formally started his work yet. 

Bradley Moss, a national security lawyer with experience in classified document lawsuits, is quoted as saying the investigators would take their time and thread very carefully as the cases involved very high-profile individuals. 

He noted the legal analysis might be relatively straightforward, but the prosecutors would also have to consider “additional variables” and “triple-check their” own work.

Biden’s AG Merrick Garland has not said if he intends to appoint a special counsel on the classified papers found in Mike Pence’s home. 

At the same time, he expressed confidence in the “experienced prosecutors” he had chosen as counsels in the cases of Trump and Biden. Moreover, Garland claimed the probes would resolve the cases in the DOJ’s “highest traditions.” 

A former US attorney for New York’s Southern District, David Kelley, said the prosecutors would resolve the cases based on evidence regardless of whether “public figures” were involved. 

Yet, he also noted that prosecutors would consider “the public interest,” a notion that could be interpreted in a very broad sense. 

The report also quoted Christopher Wray, the FBI Director, with general comments about how there were rules “for a reason” on how classified documents had to be handled. 

As the report compares to two cases, it fails to dispel well-founded Republican concerns that Donald Trump and Joe Biden won’t be treated equally by the Biden administration’s DOJ in roughly identical investigations. 

Not to mention that Trump may be in a better position as he actually held a job with clear-cut powers to declassify information. 

Even so, the scandal with Classified Docs Joe has changed the situation radically in recent weeks. The seemingly high interest of the American public may be the best guarantee Biden’s own Justice Department will show restraint even as it may be eager to treat Trump and its boss differently.

It’s too early to say whether Biden would stick by his cheeky declaration he had “no regrets” for how he handled the papers. 

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