Secret documents in the President’s house: “The Biden administration was not transparent”

Status: 01/16/2023 10:32 a.m

A special investigator has already been deployed, but other confidential documents were found in US President Biden’s private home. The Republicans are appalled and increase the pressure on the White House.

By Antje Passenheim, ARD Studio New York

The news creates momentum. While the Democrats try to downplay the further finds of classified documents from President Joe Biden’s private property, they are heating up the conservatives: In a letter to the White House chief of staff on Sunday, they asked for more information on the case, said the chairman of the House of Representatives oversight panel on government, James Comer.

Republicans: many open questions

There are many questions, said the Republican at CNN. “It worries me that even after the appointment of a special counsel, the president’s attorneys were allowed to continue searching for documents in the president’s mansion. It seems like a criminal act.”

On Saturday, Biden’s legal adviser said he found five pages of government documents in a room next to Biden’s garage. A first paper had previously been discovered there.

Lawyer Richard Sauber said he had the necessary security clearance to continue the search there – but Attorney General Merrick Garland had actually already appointed a special investigator. Clean’s approach is questionable, says Comer. “Whether they broke the law or not, the Biden administration has not been transparent.”

Parallel to finding documents at Trump

Regardless of the special counsel used, the Republicans want to investigate the finding of illegally stored secret documents in Congress. “There’s a lot of double standards. We’re very concerned about a lack of transparency and a judicial system that uses double standards. We just want equal treatment,” said Comer.

As it became known last week, a total of around 20 documents from the time he was vice president had turned up in Biden’s old office and private rooms. However, US law requires presidents and their proxies to turn over all emails, letters, and documents to the National Archives.

Although the cases are very different, conservatives are now drawing a parallel to the discovery of hundreds of government papers last year at ex-President Donald Trump’s Florida mansion. At that time, President Biden denounced irresponsibility. He has now revealed it himself. And already knew about it before the midterm elections last November.

“These cannot be compared”

But the Biden government behaved in an exemplary manner, emphasizes Democratic MP Dan Goldman on CBS: “President Biden and his team have contacted the National Archives and the Department of Justice on their own initiative. They have done everything to cooperate properly.”

New York Democrat Goldman was lead counsel for the prosecution in the first impeachment trial against then-President Trump. Who later refused to cooperate after he found around 300 government documents: “And who forced the judicial authorities to issue a search warrant in order to get to the secret documents. That simply cannot be compared.” Biden handed over all documents to the Justice Department “immediately and voluntarily”.

Sensitive information?

Republican MP Chris Stewart, a member of the Secret Service Committee, says nobody believes that he “unintentionally misplaced” them beforehand: “All of these documents have a red cover sheet that shows the level of secrecy. Each page has such a mark. You can’t sit at your desk and say, I forgot they were secret.”

However, it could become explosive for Biden if the documents also currently contain sensitive information. According to media reports, some of them refer to Ukraine and Iran.

New find of documents in Biden’s private home – President continues to come under pressure

Antje Passenheim, ARD New York, 16.1.2023 8:36 a.m

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