Biden documents could help Trump ‘muddy the waters,’ Democrats lament

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Move over emails from Hillary Clinton; make room for Joe Biden’s documents.

Republicans have seized on news that classified documents were found in an office used by Biden after he left office as vice president, arguing that the revelation shows the FBI unfairly targeted former President Donald Trump when it raided his Mar-a-home. Lake to recover classifieds. documents.

The differences between the two cases are significant. But even Democrats acknowledge that the issue will give the new GOP-controlled House a new line of attack against the White House and may help Trump neutralize or counter one of the most potent charges against him.

Former Obama strategist David Axelrod tweeted a «get out of jail free» card from the board game Monopoly and wrote: «History is very different, but this is the image that flashed before Trump’s eyes when he [the Biden] The history of the documents broke.

Trump and his allies wasted no time crying hypocrisy over the Biden documents, with Fox News host Tucker Carlson saying Monday night that Biden did “the exact thing he accused Donald Trump of doing.” (Biden’s office returned the documents as soon as he became aware of them, while the process to retrieve the Trump document dragged on for months and required search warrants and subpoenas.)

The new chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said on Fox News that the story was further evidence of a «two-tiered justice system within the [Department of Justice] with the way they treat Republicans vs. Democrats.”

And Trump himself asked on his Truth Social platform: “When is the FBI going to raid Joe Biden’s many homes, maybe even the White House?” (The White House is a secure place, so classified documents are unlikely to run afoul of the law.)

President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House
Former President Donald Trump.Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

David Brock, a former right-wing journalist who changed his mind in the 1990s and went on to found several liberal super PACs, said: «If I were them [Republicans]would be doing exactly what they’re doing, which is muddying the waters.»

“In a way, it really fits the narrative that they want in the context of this new subcommittee on the militarization of government,” Brock added, referring to a new House investigative panel led by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Pr. Ohio, a staunch Trump ally. who now chairs the Judiciary Committee. “The goal here is to confuse the public and protect Trump. The new committee is basically an ongoing cover-up.»

Biden’s team said it immediately notified authorities and turned over fewer than a dozen classified-marked documents, apparently saved by mistake, after they were discovered while cleaning out an office Biden used after leaving the vice presidency. The government did not know the documents were missing until Biden’s lawyers notified them.

Trump’s team, meanwhile, He was allegedly uncommunicative about the documents in his possession and for months resisted handing them over, leading to the extraordinary FBI raid to recover them.

Brock, who founded the liberal watchdog group Media Matters and runs a new Biden advocacy group called Facts First, said the mainstream media is often tempted to create a «false equivalency in stories like this.»

Police stand outside the entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate
Police stand in front of the entrance to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2022, following an FBI raid. Wilfredo Lee/AP File

«The devil is in the details and the details show no equivalence: it’s night and day. The question is whether or not that materializes,» Brock added. «Most people read the headlines. So even if the press does its job, there is a danger that the public will be given a false impression that both sides did it. That is false, but there is a danger that settles».

Eric Schultz, a veteran of partisan oversight wars from his time in the Obama White House when he was the spokesman tasked with responding to Republican congressional investigations, agreed that «the right and some in the press will try to use this to muddy the waters.»

“It creates fodder that I wish didn’t exist otherwise, but the truth is that the other side fabricates false arguments all the time, whether there’s an ounce of truth to it or not. So it’s up to the journalists and the people who see this to be insightful,” he said.

Federal record-keeping rules have been a source of scandal long before the Mar-a-Lago raid.

Of «file door” from Bill Clinton’s presidency to strategist Karl Rove’s use of a non-governmental email account in George W. Bush’s White House, controversies ignite because they play on Americans’ deep-seated suspicions of secret agendas perceived and hidden actions of the powerful.

And, of course, the FBI’s investigation of classified documents on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server may have sunk her 2016 presidential campaign.

But Biden’s allies say he is better equipped to weather such controversy not just because the details of the case are more comprehensive, but because in a cynical political age, Biden can harness an unusual level of public trust and personal favoritism.

«I think people have a fundamental appreciation of Joe Biden and understand him and respect him … I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt,» Schultz said. «Very rarely, if someone did something really bad, I would notify the authorities.»

Recent polls show that most Americans have little interest in Congress investigating biden and it is more likely that trust him before trump or the new congress.

“I think the fake outrage is going to backfire,” said Zac Petkanas, a Democratic communications strategist who joined the Clinton campaign in part to handle questions about his emails.

“I think the House Republicans have already tied a knot,” Petkanas added, noting that Republican lawmakers have downplayed the Trump documents. “They were making jokes about Trump obstructing a federal investigation. James Comer said the Trump documents are not’ a priority.’ So how can you seriously say that Biden’s documents have legs but Trump’s do not?

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