February 4, 2023

Hypocrisy on both sides when it comes to classified documents


President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have mishandled classified documents and they and both Republicans and Democrats are hypocritical when it comes to this issue.

Last week, reports came out that classified documents were found just before the midterms in November at Biden’s nonprofit, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement of the University of Pennsylvania, and, the following month, at the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. These documents stemmed from Biden’s vice presidency. There are approximately 20 classified documents that have so far been discovered, according to CBS News.

The documents discovered on Nov. 4 were “US intelligence memos and briefing materials that covered topics including Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom,” according to CNN.

Team Biden has said that the National Archives was immediately contacted.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering healthcare costs, Tuesday, September 27, 2022, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Months before the documents at Biden’s nonprofit were found, FBI agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate due to the former president and his team allegedly refusing to hand over classified documents to the National Archives. Some of the documents allegedly contained nuclear secrets.

While Team Trump has not been forthright as Team Biden when it comes to classified documents, the hypocrisy on both sides must be noted.

Biden expressed surprise but not also outrage over classified documents tied to his time as vice president being discovered. When it came to Trump’s mishandling of classified material, Biden pounced and called his predecessor “irresponsible.”

“And I thought, what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods?” he added.

If only Biden asked the same question about the classified documents found at his nonprofit and Wilmington home.

Republicans and the Right freaked out and objected to Trump’s Florida estate being raided due to Trump’s resistance to cooperating with the National Archives.

“When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General [Merrick] Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar,” said now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

President Donald J. Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, Polish President Andrzej Duda, and his wife Mrs. Agata Kornhauser-Duda, delivers remarks at a Polish-American Reception Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
President Donald J. Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, Polish President Andrzej Duda, and his wife Mrs. Agata Kornhauser-Duda, delivers remarks at a Polish-American Reception Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Yet when it came to Biden mishandling classified material, McCarthy did not give the president a pass.

“I think if you call a lawyer to remove something for your office, he must have known ahead of time,” he said. “So, I think he has a lot of answers to the American public. The good thing about that is the American public has a Congress that can get the answers.”

Trump decried the raid as “not necessary or appropriate,” but when it came to Biden mishandling classified documents, he asked, “When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House?”

Democrats, meanwhile, have largely given Biden a pass over his mishandling of classified materials.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) baselessly suggested the classified documents found at Biden’s nonprofit and Wilmington home may have been “planted.” As it relates to the Trump documents, Johnson said they were anything but.

“At first, Trump lied about their very existence, while his lawyers asserted that there were no more documents. When Trump finally admitted that he knowingly took and possessed the classified documents, he refused numerous requests to return them. He even failed to comply with a subpoena,” he told Fox News Digital. “Classified documents were actually seized from Trump’s own desk. Moreover, there is no documentation supporting any claim that any of the Trump documents were declassified.”

The hypocrisy is not just about politics. It clouds the need for a discussion about what should be deemed classified and how such material is handled. Without that discourse, U.S. national security could be at risk. Both Trump and Biden should unequivocally be held accountable for their mishandling of classified documents.


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