Who Is Worse with Classified Documents – Donald Trump or Joe Biden?: If you are a Democrat or a Democrat-leaning Independent, you may believe that President Joe Biden’s classified document scandal is no big deal. The president cooperated with investigators and handed over the secret papers. He also allowed the FBI to search his beach house without a warrant.
If you are a Republican, you likely view the investigation into Trump for his own classified document affair with suspicion. The FBI came in like gangbusters in Trump’s residence in a clear case of overkill.
Which President Is in More Legal Trouble?
Now a political analyst from a British left-leaning media outlet is insinuating that Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents is worse than Biden’s own malfeasance with the secret papers. Hugo Lowell of The Guardian is often a guest host on MSNBC’s The ReidOut hyperbolic show, and he has made a name for himself criticizing Trump.
It Was Doanld Trump Who Obstructed Justice – a Political Analyst Wrote
Lowell believes that Trump engaged in obstruction of justice while Biden is innocent of such an accusation. Lowell wrote in an analysis on February 3 that “Legal experts believe the situation for the former US president is more perilous than others swept up in the scandal because of his reluctance to cooperate at key moments in the investigation and his unwillingness to proactively search his properties for marked documents after becoming aware that he possessed such papers.”
Trump Did Work with the National Archives
To be sure, Trump gave off the appearance to his critics that he did not cooperate with the National Archives when he was first notified that officials said they were missing. But he did give archive officials 15 boxes of material in January of 2022, and some classified documents were found in that batch. At that point, he should have made a search of his house for more secret papers.
Trump Complied with the Subpoena (At Least Partially)
Trump also had a grand jury request to see the material. Trump’s lawyer complied and gave the Department of Justice a folder full of classified documents. The attorney even showed investigators where they were stored. This action showed that Trump did not obstruct justice, according to his legal team.
Not Good Enough for the Guardian
Lowell, however, wrote that the “compliance was incomplete,” because the FBI found another 300 classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Lowell insinuated that Trump’s lawyers should have conducted an exhaustive search of the house to find the remaining documents and that the failure to do so showed that Donald Trump was not in full compliance with the subpoena.
They Are All Guilty
It’s true that Trump handled the case differently than Biden and Pence. But if you are a Trump supporter, its shows that Trump is being subjected to a two-tiered justice system – one for Biden and one for the former president. Both presidents (and one vice president) had secret papers in their possession, and all cooperated with the investigation somehow. So, what’s the difference?
Public Thinks Both Presidents Are Equally at Fault
An NBC News poll released on January 29 found that the same percentage of Americans surveyed viewed that both presidents are equally at fault for their actions regarding the classified material. As NBC described the conclusions of the poll, “Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they find the discovery of the Biden documents either very concerning or somewhat concerning while an identical 67 percent held the same views about the discovery of the Trump documents.”
So, a sample of the people said that despite perceived differences in the two cases, Americans believe that both presidents are identically responsible.
Lowell is trying to cast aspersions against Trump, that his case is an example of obstruction of justice when the people surveyed in one poll said they are both equally at fault. This will likely show Trump and his supporters that the former president is being unfairly targeted for something that Biden and Pence did too.
Trump gave up some of the documents when called upon, so it will be difficult for the investigators to make a case that Trump obstructed, even though he handled the situation differently than Biden and Pence. We know that Donald Trump will howl again about double standards and he may be right. His supporters will be sure to point out.
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.