Senator Durbin is half right, which is more than he usually is. He castigated Joe Biden over Documentgate, calling Biden’s actions “outrageous” and “unacceptable.”
But, his indignation lasted just a few minutes until he realized that he had not blasted President Trump yet and he made sure to make amends. He also tried defending Biden by saying that he cooperated with the federal authorities and Trump did not. He was blowing smoke. Trump was not given a chance to cooperate.
However, the first time they asked Trump and he cooperated. The FBI went through all of the documents and told Trump to lock the rest up in a room that was well guarded by surveillance tapes and the Secret Service.
Biden moved the documents he had around. He took the documents no later than January 19th, 2017, but the Penn Biden Center did not open until 2018. That means they were somewhere else for over a year.
After Biden “cooperated, the DOJ sent agents to Biden’s home where they found six more classified documents that he did not turn over and now the DOJ is considering making other searches for documents.
Trump was found to have ten documents with various classified markings, but they have already found over 20 that Biden had.
Another huge difference is that a president can declassify any document he chooses and the fact that all presidents take such documents with them. Biden, as vice president had no such right.
Durbin said it was “unacceptable”:
Well, I’m concerned. There’s a standard that we follow when it comes to members of Congress and classified information. The door to my office is closed. The person who presents the document to me takes it out of a locked briefcase, hands it to me and watches as I read it, when I finish reading it, and he takes it back and puts it in the briefcase and leaves the scene.
I mean, that’s how carefully we review these documents. To think that any of them ended up in boxes in storage one place or the other is just unacceptable.
“To think that any of them ended up in boxes and storage in one place or the other is just unacceptable.”
— CNN (@CNN) January 22, 2023
.@SenatorDurbin: “It is a literal outrage. […] For President [Trump] to take this important information down to his home in Florida and then store it in a closet, with a traffic of people back and forth at his resort and golf course, is an outrage.” https://t.co/iQ1WUdMbCl pic.twitter.com/k8T9SeyAhI
— The Hill (@thehill) September 7, 2022
Now the 78-yeard-old, five-term Senator admits that Biden’s actions were notably similar:
At its heart, the issue is the same. Those documents should not have been in the personal possession of either Joe Biden or Donald Trump…
It is outrageous that either occurred.
Being a Democrat, though, it wasn’t long before Durbin turned to one of their current favorite talking points: Trump’s response was somehow so much worse than Biden’s because Joe has been oh-so-cooperative and transparent:
But what happened and followed from it is significantly different. Donald Trump defied those who knew the documents were in place and ultimately led to, involuntarily, a court order and a search of his Mar-a-Lago hotel resort to find out how many documents were there.
Contrast that with Joe Biden. Embarrassed by the situation, as he should have been, he invited the government agencies in to carefully look through all the boxes he had accumulated. It’s a much different approach.
One other notable difference between the two cases is that China has bought and paid for by China and Trump is not.