- Anthony Churcher
- BBC North America Correspondent
The fact that Joe Biden’s aides discovered classified documents while removing boxes from the president’s private offices in Washington is already likely to be a political headache.
Now that a second volume has been found, in a garage at Biden’s home in Delaware, the confusion will deepen.
case maywill put At legal risk to the agentAlthough it is early to draw conclusions, little is known about what the documents are and why they are not safely stored in the US National Archives.
Biden’s detractors have been quick to draw comparisons between the revelations and the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified materials following his departure from the White House in January 2021.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy, Congress has asked for an inquiryPresidentHe accused them of hypocrisy and double standards.
Asked by reporters Thursday, Biden said he would talk about it “soon.” But he assured that the documents were not exposed “on the street” but were kept in a safe deposit box and were promptly handed over to the judiciary.
“People know that I take classified documents and classified material very seriously. (…) As part of that process, my lawyers reviewed other places where documents from my time as vice president were stored. [2009-2017]. They completed the review last night,” he said.
In addition, US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Thursday that he would appoint a special counsel to investigate Biden’s documents.
How do the two events compare?
The key is inside Number, type and location of files.
According to US press reports, Biden’s personal lawyers found out 10 classified documentsMarked as some “Top secret“ (Top secret), placed in a box with other items.
It was in the filing cabinet Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement From the University of Pennsylvania, the Democratic Party’s private consulting office.
That contrasts with the more than 325 classified files found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida mansion last year.
It is not yet known how many files were found in Biden’s second batch.
TheDifference Between Biden’s think tank office and Trump’s private residence The former president’s penchant for mixing business and personal affairs is perhaps not entirely surprising, but perhaps significant.
The documents were marked as found in Biden’s office “Classified Confidential Information” (SCI)According to CNN, the material may include intelligence gathering methods and sources.
According to press reports, they include Information on Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom.
Among the 300 Trump documents recovered at Mar-a-Lago, some were similarly marked SCI.
Origin of Inquiries
According to Biden’s special counsel, his personal legal advisers discovered the classified documents when they left the Biden Center offices in Washington on November 2.
next day He handed over the material to the National Archives.
There aren’t many details about how the second invention came about, but they were part of it A search of all offices held by BidenMotivated by the first discovery.
In the Trump case, National Archives officials contacted Trump’s office after determining that some key records from his presidency, such as correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, were missing.
The former president’s team raided his storage facility at Mar-a-Lago and turned over some items, including classified documents, to the government, but archivists don’t believe the president’s team fully cooperated.
That started An FBI investigation led to the raid In August, the Mar-a-Lago property and more than 100 additional documents were discovered.
The matter has now been turned over to Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, who could investigate whether Trump or his team violated federal law by obstructing the document collection process or destroying government materials.
This Thursday, the US Attorney General, Merrick Garland, was appointed Robert Hurr, A lawyer who has worked in terrorism and corporate fraud Biden is the chairman of the prosecution.
In the days after the Mar-a-Lago raid, Trump accused the FBI and Justice Department of conducting a politically motivated investigation in an attempt to prevent him from running for the White House again.
Biden, for his part, called Trump manipulation “Totally irresponsible”.
Now that the president himself has been accused of mishandling classified information, Trump has quickly launched an attack.
“When is the FBI going to raid Joe Biden’s multiple homes?Maybe even the White House?”, he questioned on his social media platform.
Biden has said he is “shocked” by the discovery of classified documents in his former office and is cooperating fully with the investigation.
As more details emerge about the second discovery, the president may have to provide a clearer explanation.
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