President Joe Biden recently participated in an interview as part of an independent investigation into his handling of classified documents.
The White House confirmed this late Monday, shedding light on an ongoing probe conducted by a special counsel.
Justice Department Policy Faces Constitutional Scrutiny
The investigation has sparked a broader discussion surrounding Justice Department policies regarding the indictment of sitting presidents. Critics argue that these policies lack a firm constitutional foundation. According to the existing Justice Department policy, indicting a sitting president is not recommended, emphasizing the preferred path of impeachment followed by legal action after a Senate conviction.
However, skeptics of this policy contend that it isn’t rooted in a clear constitutional mandate, citing a lack of supporting evidence in both the text and historical context of the Constitution. They believe that this policy is based more on considerations of constitutional structure rather than explicit constitutional guidance.
Questions Arise Regarding Document Handling
At the heart of this investigation lies scrutiny into President Biden’s handling of classified documents. Concerns have been raised regarding whether President Biden had prior knowledge of these documents. Some of the documents in question allegedly date back to Biden’s tenure as a senator, posing potential legal challenges.
Furthermore, investigators are looking into the possibility of fingerprints on the documents found in various locations linked to the President. Notably, certain classified materials were reportedly removed during Biden’s time as vice president in the Obama administration. These documents reportedly were subsequently divided and moved to different locations, prompting inquiries into the circumstances and intentions behind their distribution.
Joe Biden White House ‘Cooperating’
In a statement on Tuesday, the White House counsel’s office spokesman, Ian Sams, said that Biden had undergone a voluntary interview and that, “As we have said from the beginning, the President and the White House are cooperating with this investigation, and as it has been appropriate, we have provided relevant updates publicly, being as transparent as we can consistent with protecting and preserving the integrity of the investigation. We would refer other questions to the Justice Department at this time.”
Implications and Speculations on Potential Charges
In the event that the special counsel, Robert Hur, uncovers evidence contradicting President Joe Biden’s claims of no prior knowledge regarding these documents, a legal dilemma could arise. Potential charges might include not only those brought against former President Trump but also false statements or obstruction charges.
Some speculate that Hur might await the outcome of the 2024 election or a decision by Joe Biden not to run for re-election before taking further action. Alternatively, there could be a call to reconsider the Justice Department policy that discourages immediate indictment of a sitting president.
There are growing calls for transparency and clarity from Attorney General Merrick Garland. Critics argue that the role of the Attorney General should not be that of a passive spectator, but one actively involved in providing clarity regarding the investigative process.
The public eagerly awaits the outcome of this investigation and hopes for a just and transparent resolution, leaving no room for ambiguity in a matter of such importance and public interest.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.