Merrick Garland Says Justice Department Hasn’t Treated Biden Any Better Than Trump Over Classified Documents

Attorney General Merrick Garland denied Monday that the Justice Department treated President Joe Biden more leniently than former President Donald Trump for mishandling classified documents.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion of his department’s Reproductive Task Force, Garland said the Justice Department treats subjects equally, based on a “set of rules and practices.”

“This means, among other things, that we don’t have different rules for Democrats or Republicans, different rules for the powerful and the weak, different rules for the rich or the poor,” Garland said. “We apply the facts and the law in each case in a neutral and nonpartisan manner. That’s what we always do, and that’s what we do on the issues you’re referring to.”

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Garland this month appointed Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate classified documents found in Biden’s former Washington office and his Delaware home.

On Friday, the FBI searched Biden’s Wilmington residence for 13 hours and found six additional classified documents dating to his time in the Senate and vice presidency. Agents also took Biden’s handwritten notes from when he was vice president.

A separate special prosecutor is investigating a trove of classified documents found at Trump’s Florida resort after he left the White House.

The two cases present significant differences. Biden has been cooperating with the Department of Justice and the National Archives, and voluntarily allowed the FBI into this house to conduct a thorough search. Trump resisted turning over the documents requested by the files, prompting a court-approved search warrant and an FBI search. The number of documents found in Trump’s possession was far greater than Biden’s.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and suggested that FBI agents planted documents at his club comparing the agents to Nazi Germany’s secret police.

Biden has said that the documents found in his possession were “filed in the wrong place” and “there is nothing there.”

Asked if he regrets how the department has handled the two cases, Garland responded that the Justice Department’s role is to stick to the facts and the law and make decisions “in an impartial and neutral manner without regard to who are the subjects. ”

“That is what we have done in each of these cases. And that is what we will continue to do,” she added.

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