(The Center Square) — President Joe Biden has come under heavy fire after news reports indicated that classified documents from his time as vice president were found at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has handed the case over to a U.S. attorney in Chicago to investigate, according to CBS News.
Republicans were quick to launch accusations of hypocrisy, pointing out federal law enforcement raided former President Donald Trump’s residence for classified documents.
“Why hasn’t the FBI raided Joe Biden’s home?” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.
Biden’s defenders, though, argue that Trump was given warning from the National Archives and Records Administration before a referral was given to federal law enforcement.
“The difference is that Biden’s lawyers cooperated [and] reached out to the National Archives upon discovering the classified documents, unlike Trump [and] his circle obstructing the investigation into the classified docs at Mar-A-Lago,” said Olivia Troye, a national security expert who worked for former Vice President Mike Pence in the White House. “Regardless, the right will distort this [and] use it.”
Critics have shot back, saying there is more to the story, also raising questions about the think tank where they were stored.
“Biden stole classified documents and stored them at his think tank while he was VP,” said Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Texas. “The VP does not have any authority to declassify classified documents. And this ‘think tank’ received $54 million in funding from the CCP.”
It’s unclear to what degree Biden was personally involved in handling and storing the documents, but some Republicans blasted him, saying he knowingly broke the law. When Trump came under fire for similar allegations last year, the media and other officials speculated that he could end up behind bars.
“Biden knew for years that he’s been storing highly classified documents in his personal office,” said Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas. “He knew it when FBI agents were raiding Mar-a-Lago, and he knew it when he appointed a partisan special counsel. He knew the whole time but still had his DOJ goons persecute Trump.”
Some have yet to weigh in, but overall Republicans Tuesday echoed the call for accountability.
“Joe Biden took classified documents from the White House when he was Vice President,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia “The VP does not have the power to declassify, only POTUS. Joe Biden stole classified documents. This is a very serious crime. DOJ [and] NARA can’t sweep this under the rug and persecute Trump.”