“How could that happen? How could anyone be that irresponsible?” So said President Joe Biden when responding to the news that former President Donald Trump had classified documents held at his Mar-a-Lago residence. The present commander-in-chief clearly forgot the first rule of politics: Before you lambaste your opponent, make sure you’re not going to get caught doing the same thing.
Yesterday, January 9, the Department of Justice revealed that it was looking into a trove of records that had been discovered in an office controlled by Biden during his years between the vice presidency and his White House bid in 2020. The documents were found at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, DC. Some of these files are reportedly marked with the highest level of classification.
Richard Sauber, a special counsel to Biden, released a statement saying, “The White House is cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records, including a small number of documents with classified markings.” Sources speaking to the media under anonymity suggest that ten documents with highly classified markings were found. But of course, as Democrats and Fourth Estate pundits were keen to inform the public when it was Trump in the crosshairs, it’s not the number of documents, but rather that there were any at all.
In an effort to paint distinct differences between the two presidents’ situations, Sauber noted that the files discovered in Biden’s former office:
“…were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the Archives… Since that discovery, the President’s personal attorneys have cooperated with the Archives and the Department of Justice in a process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives.”
Essentially, the archives didn’t know about them, so no big deal. Right?
News of the Mar-a-Lago documents dominated national headlines for weeks, much to the detriment of the former president. According to the anti-Trump and Never-Trump cognoscenti, this was the “crime” that was going to send the Donald to the big house – and not the one on Pennsylvania Avenue. Notably, the furor came to a boil just a couple of months before the midterm elections.
The Biden documents were discovered on November 2, less than one week before the public hit the polls. And perhaps unsurprisingly, not a mention was made until yesterday when the Department of Justice appointed US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch to oversee the reviewing of records.
A Walk Down Memory Hole Lane
Speaking on The View, Hilary Clinton – perhaps momentarily forgetting her own issues with classified documents – rallied the audience in condemnation of Donald Trump, saying, “No one is above the law… And the rule of law in a democracy has to be our standard.” A sentiment precisely echoed by former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who stridently argued that “No one is above the law… Not even the president of the United States.”
Trump – never one to shy from a little schadenfreude – responded to the news of Biden’s latest folly, writing:
“When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House? These documents were definitely not declassified.”
Representative Jim Comer (R-KY) was somewhat more subtle in reminding the public of the White House’s selective narrative, saying, “Under the Biden Administration, the Department of Justice and National Archives have made compliance with the Presidential Records Act a top priority… We expect the same treatment for President Biden, who has apparently inappropriately maintained classified documents in an insecure setting for several years.”
Perhaps Joe Biden and his cohorts would do well to remember the addendum to political rule number 1: Nobody likes a hypocrite.
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