Biden Took Work Home From the Office
If you really want to see America’s national political divide, just check out the response to the story that President Biden took a number of top-secret documents home – and kept them for years. It is certainly ironic that Biden would be caught with purloined records in his files after responding so sanctimoniously to President Trump.
If you follow the right-leaning news, you will see equivalency between the Trump and Biden documents issues. If you follow the left-leaning news, the differences get all the gravitas. In fact, both sides are correct. It is the omission of balance – recognizing the validity of the opposing argument – that is the problem.
The Case Against Biden
Like Trump, Biden is guilty of possessing top-secret documents that he had no legal right to have in his possession. They were removed from the White House Illegally. The argument that those secret documents were no longer in secure places – as required by law – is valid in both cases
The fact that Trump had more documents in his possession is irrelevant. Bank robbery is not determined by the amount of cash the thieves got away with.
As in the Trump case, the question arises as to whether there are other purloined documents in any of many locations controlled by Biden – the archives at University of Pennsylvania and University of Delaware … his home … or even in the White House. Although, I would argue that if they were at the White House, the documents are still in the government possession.
There is still the question of why Biden had those documents. Based on media reports, there is another layer of suspicion. It seems the documents were related to intelligence about Ukraine. Maybe documents that would shed unfavorable light on Hunter Biden’s activities? Yes, that is pure speculation, but a question that needs answering.
The situation with Biden can arguably be mitigated by the fact that his lawyers discovered the documents and immediately returned them to the government. One can legitimately wonder why there was a three-month delay in public notification of Biden’s possession. Since the discovery was prior to the 2022 Midterm Election, the speculation that the withholding of the information from the public was politically motivated. More legitimate questions.
Ionically, one of the more damning observations regarding Biden came from Democrat strategist David Axelrod. Appearing on CNN, he underscored that EVERYONE in the White House was advised on the handling of government documents – especially top-secret information. Axelrod left no wiggle room for Biden to plead ignorance.
While Biden’s political friends say, “nothing to see here,” the fact remains that the situation is worthy of investigation. Attorney General Merrick Garland wasted no time in assigning the case to the Chicago federal prosecutor. It seems he wanted to avoid the appearance of political prejudice since he assigned the case to a Trump appointee.
I see this as the proverbial political sweater with a number of loose threads to be pulled to see what unravels. Biden’s claimed of cluelessness is not credible.
The Case Against Trump
The difference is not the nature of the “crime” – if that is what it is determined to be in either case. Trump and Biden both had documents allegedly illegally removed from federal government custody without permission.
The fact that Trump resisted the return of those documents is a significant difference. There are accusations that Trump was never forthcoming concerning an inventory of documents he possessed – and accusations that he was attempting to hide some in the face of government requests and orders to return them.
Those actions resulted in a raid on Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago – and the retrieval of hundreds of Documents. There is also the possibility – POSSIBILITY – of obstructions charges.
None of that, however, absolves Biden of illegal possession of those top-secret documents.
What we have are two distinct cases to be investigated. Drawing an equivalency is a political game – with no meaning legally. In that arena, the advantage goes to Trump. His primary political adversary now faces the same issue – and Biden has egg on his face for his harsh attacks on Trump on the very same issue.
If you accept the significant differences in Trump and Biden cases, you have to consider the General Petraeus case. That case is more like the Biden situation. If you recall, Petraeus took home some secret documents to aid in the preparation of his book. He wound up paying a $40,000 fine and served out a 2-year probationary sentence. It should be noted, however, that Petraeus was accused of lying to the FBI.
Trump may also gain an important second benefit from the Biden case. Even though Biden appears to be in less legal jeopardy, can the Justice Department simply walk away from the Biden case and take a hard line on Trump. That would “appear” to be politically motivated – and Garland does not like that sort of appearance. Since he is not likely to throw the book at Biden, Garland may decide to go easier on Trump.
More often than not, these document cases are handled as civil cases – or will simply end when documents are returned. No charges were ever filed against disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner or his wife, Huma Abedin, who had secret State Department documents on their personal home computer – obtained when Abedin was a top aide to Secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
Of course, Biden cannot be charged while President, but that may end on January 20, 2025. It would really be ironic if both Biden and Trump were running for President to avoid a criminal charge for the same offenses. But that is a long shot.
So, there ‘tis.
POSTSCRPT: The contents of the Biden government papers have just been revealed, and the Lincoln Library wants the documents back.