UNITED STATES: Republican Party leaders have accused US President Joe Biden of hypocrisy and questioned why the records were not made public sooner following the discovery of a few additional classified documents at his Delaware residence.
Don Bacon, a congressman from Nebraska, said to ABC’s This Week, “If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones.”
At least 20 classified documents related to Biden’s time as vice president have been discovered by his attorneys at his residence outside of Wilmington, Delaware, as well as at the office he used in Washington.
Although it’s unclear exactly what the records are, Biden’s attorneys claim they immediately turned over the records to the National Archives. However, according to reports, some of them were classified as “top secret,” the highest level possible.
Biden is now under scrutiny as a special counsel, Robert Hur, is appointed by the US Department of Justice to carry out an independent investigation into the president’s handling of the classified files.
For Biden, the documents are already a political headache. He criticised Donald Trump when the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago resort for classified materials. At that time, Biden said, “How could that possibly happen? How could anyone be that irresponsible?”
Recalling last year’s reaction of Biden to the raid on former US President Donald Trump’s resort, Bacon said, “It just reminds me of that old adage, ‘If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones.’ And I think President Biden was caught throwing stones.”
Meanwhile, the new chair of the House oversight committee, James Comer of Kentucky, said on CNN’s State of the Union, “While he was doing this [accusing Trump], he knew quite well that he himself had custody of secret documents, so the hypocrisy here is huge.”
Reports also indicate that Biden was totally unaware that he possessed those files, and his attorneys have asserted that the documents were “misplaced.”
Some Democrats have also expressed concern over the papers, with House Representative Adam Schiff saying in an interview with This Week that he is interested in knowing “whether there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be” to the country’s security as a result of the records being misplaced.
It is unknown what penalties Biden may receive, as prosecutors would need to prove that the president and his aides intentionally removed and held the materials.
However, Biden claimed that when he heard that those data had been discovered there, it came as a surprise to him. He declared that he “always takes [the handling of sensitive material] very seriously.”
Days before the midterm elections, on November 2, the first batch in his former office was discovered; however, this information was not made public until last week.
On Sunday, Marc Short, a former senior adviser to Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence, said that the information was purposefully suppressed to avoid the closing days of the election campaign.
Republicans have requested that visitor logs to Biden’s homes be made public in order to determine who may have had access to the document.