Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden committed a violation by taking classified documents to their personal residences and although the case seems to be the same, it is not so, so everyone would be judged differentlydespite the fact that the Republicans have called for the full weight of the law to fall on the president.
In accordance with government regulations, access to classified documents are limited to people who are currently authorized to see them and materials must be stored in specially secured containers to limit the risk of exposing confidential information; once the authorized person ends his mandate.
The Presidential Records Act is very clear that official White House documents, whether classified or not, must be turned over to the National Archives.
When Trump left office as president of the United States deliberately removed dozens of highly classified documents and led them to his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida. The officials identified the missing files and requested their return, however, the magnate also ignored the requests.
After a hard battle, the case was referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and through the FBI carried out a raid on the mansion of the former president where more than 300 classified documents were foundincluding some that were marked top secret.
The ex-president called the FBI raid a “witch hunt” and even accused the Biden administration of being behind the search of his “beautiful house.”
Contrary to Trump’s action, the first batch of documents, consisting of 10 classified files, which were found by legal representatives while they were closing down a Washington, DC-based office in the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagementwhich the president used as part of his relationship with the University of Pennsylvania where he served as an honorary member and professor from 2017 to 2019 were reported.
Biden’s lawyers voluntarily returned the files last November and avoided reporting the documents as “lost”. Four days later, the White House confirmed that a second batch of classified documents turned up in the garage of Biden’s Delaware home.
According to court documents, the highly classified documents Trump had in his possession were in different parts of his Mar-a-Lago mansion.
Some were in boxes in a locked storage cabinet.Others were found by the FBI in his private office and even on his desk.
Through a statement, Biden’s lawyers indicated that on November 2 found a “small number of classified documents” in a locked cabinet in an office that was used recurrently by the president after leaving office in 2017, as well as before he began his presidential campaign. The other documents were found in a storage space in his garage.
According to the DOJ, Trump had in his possession more than 300 classified documents, including the letters that were sent with Kim Jong Un, as well as dozens of photographs. Leaving a total of 15 boxes full of documents.
The former president “washed his hands” assuring that before leaving the White House, he declassified the documentsbut so far there is no clear evidence in this regard.
Biden for his part only has a small number of classified documents. The first batch is 10 files. It is still unknown how many more were found in the second batch.
Until now the documents are known to include personal documents of the Biden familylike the letters of condolences that they gave him after the death of his son, as well as a couple more about American politics.
As soon as it became known that Biden also had classified documents, the Republicans demanded through social networks Attorney General Merrick Garland for a “special teacher” to investigate the case, just as he did at the time with Donald Trump.
Garland didn’t immediately mention what the plan was, but expected a reaction that didn’t put him on the ropes. Within hours of the second discovery, The Attorney General announced through a press conference the Justice Department’s commitment to society.
“This appointment underlines for public opinion the commitment of the department, both with independence and with the accountability in particularly sensitive mattersas well as making decisions that are indisputably guided solely by the facts and the law,” he said.
The Department of Justice is examining both situations. In Trump’s case, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel, Jack Smith, to oversee the investigation, while Biden was assigned a former Trump-appointed federal prosecutor, Robert Hur.
Source: La Opinion