• Biden’s aides have discovered two batches of classified documents from when he was vice president.
  • While there are differences with the Mar-a-Lago raid, the cases are similar enough for Trump supporters to pounce.
  • It’s all providing fodder for Republicans, particularly the MAGA wing of the party.
  • For more stories, go to www.businessinsider.co.za,

The discovery that President Joe Biden held classified documents at his post-vice presidential office and home has opened up a fresh line of attack for defenders of former President Donald Trump. On Thursday, right-wing figures on social media circulated a video of Biden defending himself for holding classified materials for years in his garage next to his Corvette. Taylor Budowich, head of MAGA Inc., called the revelations a “national disgrace”. on Twitter,

The latest information marks a turnaround for Trump supporters and many rank and file Republicans from just a few months ago. Congressional Republicans were caught flat-footed over how to respond as details of the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago unfolded, making it clear Trump was holding top-secret documents.

Some downplayed the investigation while others accused Biden of weaponising the Justice Department and even rallied around the former president. Trump is facing a criminal investigation led by special counsel Jack Smith related to his hoarding of classified materials.

Now that Biden was also holding classified materials, however, Republicans can take a whole new approach in their attacks.

Lawyers for the president discovered 10 documents at one of Biden’s post-vice presidential office in the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, DC, just days before the 2022 midterm elections, but only made it public on monday.

Biden aides found a second batch in Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, garage on December 20. The president has said he doesn’t know what’s in the files.

“How did they get there? How did Biden ‘forget’ them? Is he just that careless? Was he hiding them? How were they there for so long? Who had access to these documents?” Tommy Pigott, the Republican National Committee’s rapid response director, said in an email to reporters.

Based on the limited information the White House has released so far, the investigations into Trump and Biden’s mishandling of documents have some differencesthough improperly handling such documents is considered a serious matter that’s potentially damaging to national security.

Trump resisted turning over hundreds of documents, according to court records, which led to a subpoena, and then to the FBI raiding Mar-a-Lago to recover them. In contrast, Biden’s team has said that aides immediately called the National Archives when they discovered the documents.

Still, the documents present a political embarrassment for Biden, who called Trump “irresponsible” on CBS “60 Minutesafter a staged photos from the Justice Department showed folders of the document the ex-president was holding at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump previously downplayed his keeping of documents, saying that other former presidents such as Barack Obama had done the same. The National Archives disputed Trump’s claims, countering that of Obama sent the documents to a federal government center, sorted through them, then sent some materials to Obama’s presidential library.

Now, Trump has a salient target in Biden. The ex-president seized on the similarities to cast federal officials as unfair. “When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House? These documents were definitely not declassified,” Trump wrote Monday on his social media platform, Truth Social,

US President Joe Biden. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Document findings fuel GOP investigations

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to review Biden’s case, but Republicans in Congress are making their own moves.

Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin sent a letter to Biden’s lawyer on Wednesday and made several requestsincluding that the White House disclose the level of classification of the records, and asking for the names and reasons for lawyers packing up the DC office documents.

Over in the US House Republicans have already launched an investigation, GOP Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, Sent a letter to security officials on Wednesday.

GOP Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, chair of the House Oversight Committee, sent letters to the National Archives and the White House demanding information about the documents and called the Biden documents’ discovery “ironic” after the administration criticized Trump.

Trump is the only person to have announced a 2024 campaign for the White House, but his campaign has been off to a slow start. John Thomas, a GOP strategist, pointed out that Trump is still facing numerous legal challenges.

“It’s almost on brand for Trump to be thrown a lifeline just as things are not looking good,” Thomas, who’s founder and president of Thomas Partners Strategies, told Insider. But the main lifeline, he said, was to Republicans in Congress who’ve been arguing that the federal government has been weaponised.

The latest news will “fuel investigations,” he said, and if Trump ends up being the 2024 GOP nominee then “this makes him a more viable nominee against Joe Biden.”

The discovery is also raising a new round of questions from Republican insiders when it comes to other investigations the GOP has underway. Alex Bruesewitz, a Trump supporter who is co-founder and CEO of the political consulting group X Strategies, asked whether Hunter Biden’s Chinese business partners had access to the documents and made renewed calls for Biden to release the visitor logs from his home.

“We deserve to know the truth,” he told Insider.

Some commentators even predicted that the perception of a double standard around the Biden documents investigation would derail a potential Trump,

“It’s done,” Megyn Kelly, host of the podcast “The Megyn Kelly Show” on Sirius XM and former attorney, wrote on Twitter, “No indictment for Trump. They can’t now.”

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