The classified documents bungle occurred before Biden’s widely anticipated re-election bid announcement, possibly in early February after the State of the Union address. Former President Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential race last year.
Axelrod in comments to Reuters said that the latest developments were an “embarrassment” because Biden criticized Trump after the FBI raided his predecessor’s Florida residence for classified government documents last August.
“How that could possibly happen. How one—anyone could be that irresponsible,” Biden said in a “60 Minutes” interview in September.
Two months later and a few days before the midterms, his aids discovered classified documents dating to Biden’s time as vice president in the Obama administration at a Washington think tank he was associated with. Then, in late December, classified materials from his vice presidency were also found at his Delaware residence.
On Jan. 12, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur, a former U.S. attorney, as special counsel to investigate Biden’s mishandling of classified documents after five additional pages were found in the garage of his Delaware residence.
On Saturday, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University and Fox News contributor, questioned the second discovery in a tweet: “The account shows that, over two months after the first discovery, the Biden team still did not complete a thorough search. It is chilling to think how the President would have proceeded if he didn’t ‘take classified documents seriously.’”
Reuters also reported that an unnamed Democratic communications adviser said the issue would pose questions about Biden’s competence for voters.
Biden’s mishandling of classified documents was not fundamentally different from Trump’s, Paul Kamenar, an attorney for the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), formerly told NTD News. “They both involve mishandling classified information. And sure, there are more documents at Mar-a-Lago. But that’s not a legal distinction,” he said.
He added that Trump had the authority to declassify documents, yet Biden didn’t have the same power as vice president. Hence, Biden couldn’t say that he had declassified those materials found at his home and the think tank, as Trump has.
Some of the government documents that Biden mishandled were classified as top secret or TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information), reported CBS.
By Terri Wu