Is Joe Biden’s Presidency Over? Is He Even In Trouble? Here Is Where the Classified Documents Drama Stands: Earlier this month, the story broke that documents with classified markings were found at multiple properties owned or rented by President Joe Biden, including his home in Delaware and an office he used in Washington before his campaign.
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This has led to the appointment of a special counsel by the Justice Department to go with the separate one looking into former President Donald Trump’s own documents case (in addition to his role in the January 6 attack.)
Joe Biden has vowed to cooperate with the investigation, while Senate Democrats say they support the full investigation of the matter.
How much trouble the president is in remains unclear; the investigation, by all indications, is at its beginning.
But in the meantime, a new poll from Quinnipiac University looks at the attitudes of most Americans towards the issue.
“In the wake of revelations that classified documents from President Biden’s time as vice president were found in his home and private office, prompting an investigation by a special counsel, Americans think 60 – 22 percent that Biden acted inappropriately in the way he handled those documents,” the poll said.
Perhaps predictably, there’s a partisan difference in the poll results.
“Republicans (84 – 5 percent) and independents (60 – 24 percent) think Biden handled the documents inappropriately, while Democrats are split with 41 percent saying they think Biden handled them appropriately and 38 percent saying they think he handled them inappropriately.”
In addition, per Quinnipiac, two-thirds of respondents say they’re following the news related to the documents either “very closely (31 percent) or somewhat closely (36 percent).”
In a New York Times op-ed published Friday with the headline “Oh Biden, What Have You Done?,” veteran journalist Jonathan Alter seemed to express disappointment in the president’s actions in regard to the documents.
In reference to some of the documents being kept in the same locked garage as Biden’s corvette, Alter stated that “if you went into a G.O.P. whataboutism lab and asked for a perfect gaffe, you’d come out with the president snapping last week to a Fox News reporter, ‘My Corvette is in a locked garage.’”
He noted, however, that there are numerous differences between the two probes in the last two presidents over their handling of documents.
“The optical equivalence between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden is phony, of course. Mr. Trump is a grifter who appears to have intentionally taken hundreds of classified documents, bragging that he kept the folders marked “classified” or “confidential” as “‘cool’ keepsakes.’ He said of his stash of classified documents, according to several advisers, “It’s not theirs; it’s mine,” and seemingly defied a subpoena to return the documents, thereby exposing him to possible prosecution for obstruction of justice,” Alter writes. “Mr. Biden, by contrast, was sloppy and slow to search for and disclose the existence of about 20 stray classified documents but is fully cooperating with authorities.”
Alter also noted that many voters aren’t likely to parse the differences between the two cases, especially if Trump ends up facing charges.
“This distinction cannot easily survive the miasma of congressional and special counsel subpoenas, relentless questions from reporters and fresh allegations of impropriety that signal the arrival of a new episodic political drama,” Alter wrote. “Many voters with better things to do with their time than parse the nuances of presidential record keeping may casually conclude that both men are careless, lying politicians.”
He added that every president since Watergate, with the exception of Barack Obama, has faced at least one investigation by a special counsel or independent counsel. That’s because he wrote, “the Obama-Biden administration set an exceptionally high ethical standard and usually met it” and that “all Obama-era ‘scandals’ collapsed under scrutiny or never touched his White House.”
But with Joe Biden likely to face heavy Congressional investigations in the coming months, Alter advised that he “up his political game.”
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.