Democrats fight to defend Biden’s handling of classified materials and point fingers at Trump

Democrats wasted no time defending President Biden after classified documents dating to the Obama administration were found in his home garage and an office, pointing to “differences” with the former president’s handling of classified materials. Trump out of Washington.

Under immense scrutiny from Republicans, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special attorney Thursday to investigate the classified materials, which Biden said were “inadvertently misplaced.”

The Department of Justice elevated it to a special counsel investigation from a mere review after a second cache of classified documents it was found inside the garage of Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. The first documents were found inside the Washington offices of the Penn Biden Center think tank last year. Garland hired Robert Hur, a former federal prosecutor, to lead the investigation.

In a statement Thursday night shared for the first time with Fox News Digital, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., sought to highlight “stark differences” in Biden’s handling of classified documents and those found during a raid carried out by the FBI at Trump’s Mar-a- Casa Lago in Florida last summer.


Democrats are highlighting “differences” between the way President Biden and former President Trump handled classified materials outside of Washington.
(James Devaney/GC Images | Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“It is refreshing to see the Department of Justice restored from its politicization during the Trump years, and I applaud Attorney General Garland for moving quickly in appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the Biden document discoveries,” Johnson said. “Based on what we know, there is a big difference between the Trump and Biden document cases.

“At first, Trump lied about his very existence, while his lawyers claimed there were no other 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,” Johnson added. “Actually, classified documents were seized from Trump’s own desk. Furthermore, there is no documentation to support any claim that any of Trump’s documents have been declassified.”

Insisting that Trump’s handling of classified materials is an “open and shut case,” Johnson said it was “too early to jump to any conclusions” about Biden’s handling of classified documents.

“The case of the Trump document is an open and shut case and must proceed without delay towards a final and fair resolution,” he said. “There is much that we don’t know about the findings of the Biden document, and it is too early to draw conclusions. However, I am confident that the process has begun to ensure that we get to the truth and that justice is done. .”

Before his statement that it was too early to reach a conclusion about Biden’s handling of the documents, Johnson told Fox News’ Hillary Vaughn that he was “timingly suspicious” surrounding the disclosure of classified materials at the Biden’s residence and suggested they might have been “planted.”

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said Thursday that it is "too early to draw conclusions" about the way Biden handled classified documents.

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said Thursday that it’s “too early to jump to any conclusions” about Biden’s handling of the classified documents.
(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“I’m also aware of the fact that things can be planted in people…things can be planted in places and then conveniently discovered,” he said. “That may be what has happened here. I’m not ruling it out. But I’m open in terms that the investigation should be investigated.”

Despite Johnson speculating that the documents may have been planted, Biden admitted to Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy that he knew they were in his garage.

“So the documents were in a locked garage?” Doocy asked.

“Yeah, just like my Corvette,” Biden replied.


Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., also pointed to Trump when asked about Biden’s possession of classified documents at his Delaware home, telling Fox News there are “contrasting factors” in how he Biden and Trump handled the materials.

“As far as I can see, there are huge differences between the situation of President Biden and that of the former president,” he said. “Let’s not lose sight of the seriousness and contrasting factors that we see with the case of the former president.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told Fox News that there are "contrasting factors" with the way Biden and Trump handled classified materials.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told Fox News that there are “contrasting factors” in how Biden and Trump handled classified materials.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Concluding that Biden apparently committed no crime, Schiff said it “certainly appears” that Biden’s handling of the documents was “unintentional.”

“Was this unintentional? It certainly appears that it was. Was there any evidence of obstruction? There certainly appears to be no evidence of that. Was there any evidence of a document security breach? I haven’t seen evidence of that either,” said.

“I would just say that I think any time classified documents are in a place where they shouldn’t be, it’s a huge concern for those of us on the Intelligence Committee.” the california democrat aggregate.

Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, who also supports Garland’s decision to appoint special counsel, insisted that Biden’s handling of the materials compared to Trump’s is “dramatically different.”

“In this case, they’re dramatically different,” Clyburn said during an appearance on MSNBC. “The intention on the part of the president is not there, the cooperation on the part of the president is there. The exact opposite of what you had with the parallel of former President Trump.”

Regarding the appointment of a special counsel investigation, Clyburn said: “This is the kind of thing the public has to agree to, and I don’t think I can get the public to agree to anything unless there’s complete candor. “.

Comparing how Trump and Biden handled classified materials, Rep. Jim Clyburn, DS.C., said the two cases are "dramatically different."

Comparing how Trump and Biden handled the classified materials, Rep. Jim Clyburn, DSC, said the two cases are “dramatically different.”
(Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Other Democrats also support the appointment of special counsel, including Democratic Washington Reps. Adam Smith and Pramila Jayapal, who refrained from mentioning Trump.

“I support the decision to appoint special counsel,” Smith told Fox News. “Proper handling of classified information is crucial to national security. Any time classified material is found where it’s not supposed to be, the Department of Justice must conduct a thorough investigation.”

Similarly, Jayapal, who serves as chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said it is “irresponsible not to disclose when you have documents,” but concluded that the president is cooperating with the Justice Department.

“[Biden] it certainly has done that. And she’s been working cooperatively to make sure everything is revealed. That is what should happen,” she added. “Yes, we certainly need to start to understand why these documents are coming out of the White House.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said it is "irresponsible not to disclose when you have documents" but noted that Biden is cooperating with the Justice Department.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said it is “irresponsible not to disclose when you have documents,” but noted that Biden is cooperating with the Justice Department.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)


White House lawyers say they immediately contacted the Justice Department when they discovered the documents this week. There has been no indication of what the documents contain or whether Biden or anyone else read them after he stepped down as vice president.

“Among personal and political documents, attorneys discovered a small number of additional Obama-Biden administration records bearing classified marks. All but one of these documents were found in a storage space in the garage of the president’s residence in Wilmington,” White House lawyers wrote in a statement Thursday. “A document consisting of one page was discovered among materials stored in an adjacent room.”

The White House says no documents were found at Biden’s Rehoboth Beach residence. The Biden administration has also made arrangements to release the documents into the custody of the Department of Justice.

Anders Hagstrom and Greg Wehner of Fox News contributed to this article.

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