Democrats are playing defense for Joe Biden as he faces his own classified documents case, with several lawmakers acknowledging that the president made a mistake, but arguing he’s acting very differently from Donald Trump.
Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan threaded that needle in an appearance on NBC News over the weekend. “It’s certainly embarrassing,” she said of documents dating to Biden’s time as vice-president that were found at his Delaware residence and a former office in Washington DC.
But she likened his case and Trump’s to two car accidents, one that was a mistake, the other intentional. “This is very much about how it’s being handled,” she said, arguing the Biden has been transparent and forthright with federal authorities ever since his aides first found the material. “It’s totally different right now, both serious in terms of having classified documents, but the president is doing the right thing.”
Here’s the full interview:
The discovery of classified documents in Joe Biden’s possession is a boon not only for House Republicans, but also for Donald Trump, who is being investigated by the justice department over the government secrets found at Mar-a-Lago. Even though there are substantial differences in the two cases, the Guardian’s David Smith reports that might not matter to the American public:
The discovery of government secrets at two locations associated with Joe Biden appears to have produced one big political winner: Donald Trump.
The White House was in rare crisis mode last week as it emerged that lawyers for Biden had found classified material at his thinktank in Washington DC and home in Delaware. At an unusually contentious press briefing, one TV correspondent dubbed the affair “garage-gate”.
The justice department appointed a special counsel to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents from his time as vice-president. It was a rare setback for an administration that promised to be transparent and scandal-free. It also complicated an investigation into Trump over an ostensibly similar matter.
Good morning, US politics blog readers. Republicans were always going to use their majority in the House of Representatives to put the White House on the spot, but last week’s news that classified documents were found in Joe Biden’s possession has given them even more investigative fodder than they expected. Over the weekend, the Biden administration for the first time hit back at House Republicans’ demands regarding the material, saying they have “no credibility” and are “politicizing this issue”. The GOP’s goal is ultimately to embarrass Biden, but the president also faces a legal threat in the form of special counsel Robert Hur, who was appointed by the attorney general to handle the legal investigation into the classified materials. Hur will no doubt do his work quietly, but the Republicans will not. Expect to hear more about this issue from them today.
Here’s what else can expect:
Biden is welcoming guests to the White House, including Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte at 11:15 am eastern time, and NBA champions the Golden State Warriors at 2:45 pm.
Bernie Sanders will deliver a speech on the state of the American working class at 7 pm. The progressive mainstay is also the chair of the Senate committee on health, education and labor.
British foreign secretary James Cleverly is visiting Washington. He’ll speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies at 9:15 am, then hold a press conference with US secretary of state Antony Blinken at 3:30 pm, where Ukraine and Iran will likely be on the agenda.