House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Jamie Raskin wrecked any attempt that Republicans might make at comparing Trump and Biden on the handling of classified docs.
What Did Rep. Raskin Say About Biden And Classified Documents?
Rep. Raskin (D-MD) said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
Today’s report shows that the White House, President Biden, and his former staff fully cooperated with the Special Counsel investigation. The White House decision not to exert privilege over any portion of the Special Counsel’s report reflects the President’s basic commitment to cooperation and transparency. After a thorough year-long investigation, the Special Counsel concluded that President Biden retained a small number of records, including personal notebooks, containing classified information. As the Special Counsel found, President Biden’s conduct, which bears striking resemblances to former Vice President Pence and former President Ronald Reagan’s handling of classified information following their terms of office, does not warrant criminal charges.
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To be clear, and as the Special Counsel’s report explicitly notes, there is plainly no comparison here to the conduct of former President Trump. Trump obstructed efforts by the National Archives and law enforcement to recover hundreds of government documents by deliberately hiding them, lying about their whereabouts, and enlisting others to destroy and conceal evidence. Trump willfully and unlawfully held onto hundreds of presidential and classified records, which he kept in a bathroom, ballroom, office, and other locations at Mar-A-Lago, and repeatedly showed them off to guests.
Oversight Democrats stand ready to work on a bipartisan basis to implement legislative reforms to strengthen the preservation of presidential records by putting in place greater safeguards to prevent the inadvertent retention of these records. We will also continue to explore ways to deal with the more difficult problem of officials who deliberately steal and conceal confidential and top-secret government documents.
Why Are The Biden And Trump Cases Different?
The difference between the Biden and Trump classified documents cases is willful intent.
Special Counsel Hur found that there was no willful intent by President Biden to withhold classified documents in violation of the law.
The entire timeline of Trump’s interactions with the federal government on his classified documents case shows that the former president willfully intended to violate the law and keep classified information that is the property of the United States government. Trump lied about having the documents. Trump refused to turn over classified information. Trump lied about the documents that he had. Trump claimed that the documents were his, and willfully misled the government while refusing to return government property.
Special Counsel Hur had so little evidence against Biden that he turned his report into a series of personal smears.
When it comes to how Trump and Biden handled classified documents, there is no comparison.
Joe Biden followed the law.
Donald Trump broke the law.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association