Joe Biden Can’t Take the High Road on Documents Scandal: It’s a political headache for President Joe Biden in an administration that was supposed to be free from scandal and incompetence.
(Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel Here. 19FortyFive publishes original videos every day.)
Biden and company were reputed to be the “adults in the room.” So, when classified documents were found in an office at a Biden aligned think tank and in two areas of his Wilmington, Delaware home, Biden and company were brought down to earth, giving Donald Trump respite.
Trump was also caught with classified documents in his residence. Now he has fodder for an “I told you so” and “what about Biden” moment.
The GOP Has Something to Rejoice About
Republicans gave a collective whoop when they found out that Biden also pilfered classified materials at the end of his term as vice president.
Democrats: ‘But Trump Is Worse’
Meanwhile, the Democrats are trying to say that Trump’s alleged violation of the Presidential Records Act showed that the former president did not work with the federal government requests to retain documents.
Biden, the left maintains, has cooperated with the National Archives to immediately return the missing materials. They believe the two cases are apples and oranges, even though the Department of Justice has named a special counsel to investigate Biden’s trove of unclassified documents.
What Do Voters Think?
It will be interesting to see how the voters eventually perceive the transgressions by Biden.
The issue may become canceled out in the eyes of the public – that both presidents are guilty of the same thing.
It is certainly a black eye for Biden, who has previously called Trump’s actions with classified documents “irresponsible.”
Scandal Comes at a Time When Biden’s Approval Has Increased
Before the scandal, already called “garage-gate” by some, Biden was enjoying the highest approval ratings in many months.
A poll by The Economist and YouGov released on January 10 had Biden’s approval at 46 percent and disapproval at 45.
The president was finally above water in a survey, and the White House was riding high. While it is difficult to predict whether voters will hold him accountable or give him a pass, this classified document imbroglio is not producing good headlines for Joe Biden.
What Did They Know and When Did They Know It?
Republicans hope the documents continue to dominate political coverage of Biden as more continue to be found. GOP Members of the House of Representatives promise their own investigation and hearings.
The right wonders why the White House public disclosure about the documents did not come in November when they were first discovered, which has left some Republicans charging that there was a cover-up.
A White House spokeswoman has said the search was “complete” only to find out more documents were found in the Delaware residence.
Donald Trump Is Enjoying the Moment
Trump was quick to denounce Biden for his actions in an interview with conservative commentator Mark Levin. “When all of these documents started coming out and Biden had them, it really changed the complexion and the intensity that they were showing to me because, you know, what they did is – I don’t say far worse, I did nothing wrong – what they did is not good. What they did is bad.”
One thing the Biden administration needs is no more top-secret documents discovered, or it is going to be a death by a thousand cuts.
Presidents make mistakes, and they wish to turn the page as quickly as possible after a scandal.
Still, if this is the gift that keeps on giving to the Republicans, they will have plenty of political fodder for negative ads against Biden in the 2024 election. Trump will also be given a desperately needed political win.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.