Donald Trump and the Grotesque Hypocrisy of the Classified Documents Scandal
“The road to power is paved with hypocrisy, and casualties.” Those are the immortal words of Frank Underwood in the critically acclaimed 2014 Netflix series, House of Cards.
No truer words have been spoken about modern American politics.
While it might seem useless to point out the naked hypocrisy of the Democratic Party (or the Republicans, for that matter), there are times when it is healthy and necessary for one to do so.
After all, an embrace of wanton hypocrisy can lead to double-standards and a total lack of fairness in American politics which, at the end of the day, is detrimental to the well-being of the republic (such as it is).
Donald Trump and the Docs
Former President Donald J. Trump stands accused of mishandling classified documents. A grand jury in Washington, D.C., has been convened at the behest of the special counsel who has been appointed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Jack Smith, to investigate the matter.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) alleges that, as the forty-fifth president was leaving office at the end of 2020, he absconded with boxes of classified material he was not authorized to take from the White House.
The former president argues that, as the Commander-in-Chief, he had broad authority to declassify any document he saw fit. In fact, Trump insists that he had issued a standing order to declassify all documents that came across his desk in the waning months of his controversial administration.
This all sounds feasible.
What’s more, many Americans buy the notion that the Democrats and Trump’s other “Deep State” enemies are lying about what Donald Trump did as president with the documents—and exaggerating the violation the forty-fifth president is accused of—in order to score cheap political points as Trump runs for reelection.
Sadly for Trump, there is now documentary evidence being presented by the National Archives team which supposedly proves that the president and his top advisers knew the proper protocols for declassifying documents they intended to take with them as they left the White House.
According to the National Archives, the president violated all those standards wantonly and knowingly. The email chain presented by the National Archives team to Special Counsel Jack Smith is likely going to be the basis of a pending indictment that Smith’s team is readying to hand down to Donald Trump.
But what about the illegal handling of classified documents by President Joe Biden?
What About “Whataboutism”?
Yes, yes, the skeptical reader will roll their eyes and shout, “whataboutism” at me. Certainly, this is a case of “whataboutism”. Although, the reason that “whataboutism” is repeatedly used is because it is an effective tool for highlighting actual hypocrisy.
And what I want to do here is less sticking it in the ideological eye of Biden and the Democrats and more restoring some semblance of reciprocity—fairness—in a woefully out-of-whack American political system.
After all, the Biden classified documents scandal is far worse than the Donald Trump scandal. Whereas there were about one-hundred classified documents of varying degrees of import stored in boxes in a sealed closet at the former president’s primary residence in Mar-a-Lago—surrounded by Secret Service agents—the Biden documents go back decades.
Some of the documents date back to when Joe Biden was a United States Senator. These ill-gotten classified documents were spread out at various locations affiliated with the Biden Family.
What’s more, those documents involved in the Biden scandal were unsecured and were not guarded by the Secret Service (or any other security group or system).
In fact, many of the documents in question were improperly stored at the Biden’s residence in Rehoboth Beach, Del. This was the home in which Hunter Biden had lived for some time and where it is believed that Hunter conducted some of his illegal influence-peddling schemes. This home was where some Chinese nationals visited with Hunter and stayed there.
Beyond that, given Hunter’s proclivities, it is likely that unvetted call girls and/or drug dealers were also around classified documents stored in the garage of the home.
Plus, several illegally obtained classified documents from Joe Biden’s decades in government were improperly stored at the Biden Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
This think tank, founded in wake of Biden’s departure from government at the end of the Obama Administration, was largely funded by Chinese interests which had ties to Hunter Biden’s illicit influence-peddling business.
In essence, China had full access to this institute that housed many volumes of classified documents that had not been properly removed—or securely stored—by Joe Biden from the US government.
Where’s the DOJ on this matter?
Did You Know Biden is Also Being Investigated by a Special Counsel?
In January, when news broke that Biden was in even greater violation of what are supposed to be sacrosanct National Archives rules governing the dissemination of classified information, the breathless talking points attacking Trump for his mishandling of the classified documents being bandied about by the Biden Administration and the Democratic Party disappeared.
Biden Administration Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur, a Trump-era federal prosecutor for Maryland who had since moved into private practice, as the special counsel investigating the Biden classified documents scandal.
Hur previously worked for Trump Administration Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein was a controversial figure himself, as was the one who had presided over the shambolic Robert Mueller special counsel investigation into claims that Trump colluded with Russian intelligence to steal the 2016 Presidential Election from Hillary Clinton.
Ultimately, that investigation tore the country apart for more than two years, cast unnecessary doubt on the duly elected forty-fifth president, and ended with the conclusion by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that there was no collusion between Trump and Russian intelligence.
A follow-on investigation by Trump-appointed DOJ attorney John Durham recently concluded that the FBI had no business opening any investigation into the Trump-Russia collusion claims because the evidence provided was so weak.
Has any major media outlet reported any of this?
Few have. And of the few that have, such as MSNBC, they have described the exoneration of Trump on Russia collusion charges as a “rabbit hole conspiracy theory.”
Similarly, we all know about the claims that Trump mishandled classified documents. It seems that he is about to be indicted based on these charges. If that is the case, it will be his second indictment this year (the first being over allegations that he paid hush-money to the pornographic actress Stormy Daniels to cover up an affair as Trump was running for president in 2016).
But little has been said about the ongoing, much larger investigation into Biden and his mishandling of classified documents.
Americans Want Both Donald Trump and Biden Investigated Fairly—Or Not at All
A poll conducted shortly after news of the Biden classified document scandal made the news had a whopping 60 percent of independent voters—the key voting bloc that will likely determine who wins the 2024 Presidential Election in which both Biden and Donald Trump are running—saying they believed Biden mishandled classified documents.
So, what’s going on with the Robert Hur investigation?
There is a media blackout on the ongoing Biden classified documents investigation that Special Counsel Hur is overseeing. Good luck finding any information. Meanwhile, the whole world somehow has information about Trump’s ongoing classified documents case, even though that grand jury investigation is also supposed to be kept under wraps.
This gets us back to pointing out hypocrisy. Both scandals are totally unacceptable. The way that our elected leaders behave as though they are above the law makes one’s stomach churn (at least it does mine).
I’ve no doubt that Trump was cavalier in his handling of these documents. Clearly Biden was—and for far longer—as well. Sure, there’s a special counsel investigation into Biden as much as there is into Trump. Yet, Trump’s is getting more traction and I’m willing to bet that Biden’s scandal gets swept under the rug.
Double-Standards and Hypocrisy are Bad for Democracy
Forget about the horrors of hypocrisy for a moment. Most Americans believe in fairness. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. That’s why most Americans polled have a fairly even negative view of the two scandals and believe that both should be thoroughly investigated.
But that’s not what’s happening.
The media is covering for Biden and piling on Trump. The DOJ is clearly putting greater resources into the Donald Trump classified documents scandal than they are into Biden’s far more egregious one.
The Trump case is clearly designed to degrade his chances at reelection.
Thus, again, the DOJ has been politicized and weaponized by vicious partisans in the Democratic Party while the Republicans keep operating as though it is engaged in a fair debate with the Democrats governed by the Marquess of Queensbury’s rules.
It is not.
The Democrats are out for blood and they’re playing for keeps. This sort of unfair behavior generates the kind of cynicism and extremism in the electorate (notably among Republicans) that the Democrats claim to abhor.
A better pathway forward would be if both the investigations into Donald Trump and Biden were tabled until after the 2024 Election results are in. Alas, that is not going to happen because the investigations are meant for political theater.
The republic cannot survive much more of these antics. It will lead to something far darker and less democratic in the near-future.
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A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.