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seawulf575's avatar

Does Biden get a pass on his Classified Documents because he's a Democrat?

Asked by seawulf575 (14948points) 2 weeks ago

I’m not asking about getting a pass from the media or the DoJ, I’m asking about from jellies. Back in August there were quite a few questions about the classified materials seized at Mar-a-Lago. Now we have a situation where Biden has classified materials he wasn’t supposed to have and this is the first question about it. This case may be worse because because now it is coming out that Hunter Biden used this address following his divorce in 2017. He had access to the classified materials. So why is there silence about this when questions in August were asking if Trump would beat an espionage charge?

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48 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

It’s called a “halo effect”. Where one group let’s slide their sides mistakes. It happens. It is a part of the human condition.

Pandora's avatar

They were way less than the documents Trump fought not to return and kept saying he unclassified them and they belonged to him. The point is the national archive wasn’t asking for them and was constantly being fed lies. As soon as they were discovered they were told about it and returned.

If anything Trump had so many missing that it was obvious to the archive that many were missing. And let’s not forget that Trump has also documents in his Mar O largo where there are many people from other countries coming and going.

Bidens were in an office that he wasn’t using. Some others just got packed away and apparently were locked away with his vehicle. But it wasn’t in the Hundreds and they released info on what the documents were. Not trying to hide it. As for hunter. It doesn’t mean anything if he used and address. My son uses my address for things that can’t be shipped to him overseas so I can ship it to his military address because not every business will ship to a PO box.. My point is if you are going to connect the dots and say Hunter must had access then you must assume that Trump rich people with connections or the Saudi’s or even Russians or Chinese have had access to the Hundreds of Documents as well.

gorillapaws's avatar

As @Pandora correctly points out, this isn’t a perfectly analogous situation. That said, I think both should be held accountable to the fullest extent (and Clinton too for her breach).

SQUEEKY2's avatar

The only thing different is Biden didn’t lie about the documents and returned them when asked,Trump would have been given a pass as well if he had simply returned the documents when he was asked instead of lying about for a year forcing the government to act to get them back.

LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t understand all the fuss. Biden is not required to return any documents until after his presidency.

janbb's avatar

Not a pass on the documents. I’m really pissed off at his stupidity. I thought of raising a question here but I’m enjoying the lack of political sturm und drang here at the moment.

LuckyGuy's avatar

He’s in office. He can just declassify them with his mind.
Are Republicans outraged about this because he is a Democrat?

LadyMarissa's avatar

You really do like mixing apples & oranges in order to get a glass of orange juice don’t you??? Since it is a big deal to you, WHAT took you so long to ask the question??? IF Biden was getting a pass, the press would have NEVER known what had occurred!!! The documents were discovered where they weren’t supposed to be, the appropriate people were contacted, & in less than 24 hours, the documents were where they belonged. There were 10, maybe 15…NOT hundreds. Has the FPOTUS returned that docs that he took yet???

I didn’t care that the FPOS took the docs with him; however, I did care that he REFUSED to return them when explained the situation. He had a year of NARA asking for the docs…he REFUSED to comply!!! He was told that the FBI would be coming to retrieve them IF he didn’t willingly turn them over. He laughed & said my minions will be outraged with the spin that I can put on this & he REFUSED to willingly return them, daring the FBI to breach the property. It is NOT even HIS property & it is NOT his home. The docs were kept in a pool storage area, buried with his EX-wife in NJ, a storage facility that he claims he didn’t know existed. Had Biden HIDDEN his & refused to return them…even going to court to get the right to say they are his, I would be just as outraged, but that is NOT what is happening!!! Biden IS cooperating & returning the docs so WHY would I waste my time being outraged??? My question to you is WHY are you not outraged that your beloved leader has had his docs for 2 years & still won’t allow you to know what he has…ONLY that they are HIS???

jca2's avatar

Biden’s team returned them and owned up to it. Trump denied they were classified and acted like a pouty baby.

Other than that, there is an investigation and Biden will have to deal with the consequences.

Personally, I am thinking maybe it will have such a fallout that the Democratic party will use it to convince Biden not to run again (meanwhile, there are actually other, better reasons like he’s just too old and can’t string a sentence together).

The sad thing is that Biden handed the Republicans a reason to use their “whataboutery” technique.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 I agree with your analysis.

chyna's avatar

Yes, because Democrats are the Chosen.
Or actually what @jca2 said.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Trump is still “stonewalling” NARA, claiming Mar-a-Lago is like a “armed fort” . . . .

I think he has more classified documents and is rationalizing why he should ignore the law and keep the documents.

kritiper's avatar

No. The difference between what Trump is doing and what has happened to Biden is that Trump is trying to stall investigators whereas Biden is not, Trump is trying to keep some documents whereas Biden is not.
Being either Democrat or Republican doesn’t give anyone a free ticket.

seawulf575's avatar

Interesting comments. My take on it is fairly simple: Any violation of classified materials is spelled out in the law, complete with punishments. That being said there are a few differences between the Trump incident and the Biden one (or Hillary for that matter). The first and biggest is that Trump was POTUS when he took the records. As POTUS he can declassify them regardless of what anyone else thinks. Biden (or Hillary) were not POTUS. They did not have the ability to declassify materials. Secondly Biden was leaving office and should not have had them at all. As “former” VP, he was not entitled to keep classified materials. Storing them in a closet or his garage or wherever would have no bearing on anything. He should never have had them. Thirdly is that the response from NARA. They saw Trump’s team taking boxes and decided to try making a big deal of it. Trump did not respond well, but NARA was all over him. They had no idea that Biden (or Hillary) had improperly handled classified materials because they didn’t want to look. According to what happened with Trump, they have a record of all classified materials and should have been looking to ensure they were all turned in.

But the answers here range from Biden didn’t really do anything wrong to it should be investigated to he can just declassify them. Unfortunately that last would be abuse of power. He did a crime and to try changing the facts now wouldn’t help. He had 6 years to return materials he was never supposed to have.

But there are a few answers that show why there have been no questions about this before when there were numerous questions that came up immediately when Trump did it. I think @RedDeerGuy nailed it best.

Smashley's avatar

Honestly, just from a reading of responses, the real difference here is that Democrats want Biden to be investigated and held accountable, and Republicans have been screaming their lungs out for half a year trying to protect their former (POS) President from accountability or transparency of any kind. Some people are focused on pointing out the irony, but everyone basically believes that if Biden violated the law there should be accountability. Do you really think Democrats as a whole are so internally inconsistent as to openly advocate against transparency and accountability after the shit we’ve all been through?

mazingerz88's avatar

Too simple. He gets a pass because Biden is not a douchebag like trump. Exactly the very same too simple reason as to why trump and his loser minions lost the election.

Entropy's avatar

Hillary did.

I actually think that of the three of them (Hillary, Trump, Biden), Biden is the only one of them that should not serve jailtime over their handling of classified info, and that’s mainly because when Biden and his team discovered the documents they declared them and turned them over immediately.

Hillary was beligerant and refused to stop being reckless with classified info on her server even after multiple requests from the State Dept. Trump refused to turn over classified docs even when asked.

Mind you, contrary to Comey’s blatant lie during the 2016 campaign, the government generally DOES prosecute even when someone breaks classification by mistake and cooperates like Biden is doing. People serve jail time for less. But Biden is sitting president so given his cooperation, I’d give him a pass. Hillary and Trump should have gone to Federal-pound-me-in-the-ass-prison as they said in OfficeSpace. Because that’s where other people went for similar and even lesser crimes.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

What I find interesting is during the four year of the Trump administration several Republicans were found using a public server for government emails and nothing was said ,they lost their freaking minds over Hilary doing it, but when their own do it no big deal.

NoMore's avatar

Not if he is truly guilty. But I don’t look on my President as God incarnate. Unlike a certain party I’ll leave unnamed.

Jaxk's avatar

It’s pretty obvious that the mishandling of Classified Documents has become common place in both Republican and Democratic administrations. Sandy Berger, Hilary Clinton, Trump, Biden, just to name a few. It seems like the best solution would be to fix the system so that it stops rather than single out who we want to put in jail. Everyone is making excuses based on political preferences, He’s cooperating so it’s not a problem or He has a right to those documents or maybe it’s OK because they were locked up. Hell, the truth is it was simply common practice.

“Fix the problem not the blame” and let’s start healing the country. Nobody benefits by putting the president in jail, either current or past.

Zaku's avatar

@Jaxk The rules should be appropriate, but in the case of Trump, I’d say that does mean it looks very much like he was selling Top Secret information very relevant to national security, or at the very least, “unintentionally” making it available to be stolen. And he certainly resisted their return, and told preposterous lies about them over and over as they were collected.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

These docs are reported to date back to his vice presidency and were sitting unguarded in his garage. The Trump docs were guarded by extension of the location they were in. All that said, this situation is essentially the same and we don’t know the nature of the documents or what risk to national security they posed. Does not matter if he “forgot” or if he knowingly intended to keep them. Those who blew up the Trump doc scandal should not try to downplay this one. IMO both cases are worthy of investigation and should come with consequences. I want nothing more than both of these scandals to invalidate future presidential runs of both of these people. Throw in the Hillary email server scandal too.

Zaku's avatar

It’s really not “essentially the same”, though.

Jaxk's avatar

The truth is that Democrats don’t really want Biden to run in 2024 and Republicans don’t really want Trump to run. But they hate Biden or Trump more than they want what is best for the country. So they will do or say anything to keep the other guy from running. It’s OK because they cooperated, it’s OK because they had the power to declassify, It’s OK because there weren’t that many docs, or it’s OK because the moon was full. Of course there were differences but it was mishandling of Classified Documents in both cases. Putting either on or both in jail does nothing to solve the problem, it only makes them more careful about it in the future. At some point we have to get past this and try electing someone that will do the job instead of voting against who we hate. We’ll never get there if we continue this ridiculous battle. Neither Trump nor Biden should be on the ballot for 2024 but we will assure that happens by keeping them front and center for the next few years. If you hate this country, this is the best way to destroy it.

seawulf575's avatar

@Jaxk The idea of fixing the problem and move on is a wonderful one. Unfortunately, as this question points out, when there is a (D) after a name, people don’t see a problem. It’s not worth talking about. So if you can’t admit there is a problem, how do you fix it?

jca2's avatar

I see a bunch of people on this post saying that Biden should and will have to deal with the consequences of his actions.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 I see just as many making excuses

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575 They need to be beaten with a wet noodle.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575 I see just as many Republicans everywhere saying Trump should get a pass for his unclassified documents, he unclassified them, he did nothing wrong, he’s a saint, etc., including here on Fluther. I hear the same excuses from Trump’s mouth.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Good grief @seawulf575 Doesn’t matter who you are and what political flag you fly,
NO ONE is above the law and if a law was indeed broken then there should be repercussions ,and consequences.
And Wolfie no one has made more excuses for the Don Father than yourself.
Our answers never seem to satisfy you, what do you want we are not going to switch sides if that is what you are after.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 The only pass I have given to anyone on classified documents is to Trump and that isn’t because he is my hero or anything like that. It is because his case is far more muddled than Biden or Hillary. Because as POTUS he has the power to declassify materials (any materials) his case will push the boundaries for that. There is no process, no decision point, no group consensus….nothing. So proving he lost control of classified materials becomes infinitely harder to do. You have to prove he had classified materials AND that he didn’t declassify them. If he declassified them, then there is no crime. He is guilty only of not following NARA policies. Certainly not a high crime or misdemeanor. In the case of Biden (or Hillary), they lost control of classified materials they shouldn’t have had or shouldn’t have had where they had them.

But part of the point of this question is that by this time in the Trump issue, there were numerous questions about Trump including assuming he was being charged with espionage. Yet to date, this is the very first question about Biden.

chyna's avatar

trump had hundreds of documents and refused to turn them over to officials. Republicans aren’t interested in reviewing those documents. Only in reviewing Bidens 10 or so documents.
How you can claim that trump had not lost control of the documents makes me laugh. They were scattered all over his office, some were in his basement.
But really, I’m not going to argue with you. You won’t change your mind and I will never change my mind about trump.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Trump continues to “stonewall” NARA ‘cause he likes having a signed documents from Kim Jong-un and his hero Putin !

KNOWITALL's avatar

I see Biden and Trump both as idiots, rules are rules. From what I’ve seen Biden knew pre-election and that’s my problem with a ‘transparent’ President.

@SQUEEKY2 The law changed, remember.

seawulf575's avatar

@chyna The issue with classified materials is NOT whether you willingly turn them over when you are found with them. It’s that you have them at all. That they are not controlled properly. Biden should never have had the classified documents he did….period. Whether he turns them over willingly 6 years later is meaningless. NARA has a set of rules for controlling classified materials. Biden most definitely defied those rules. But violating NARA rules is not the issue. There are federal laws concerning the proper control of classified materials. Those are the issue. Trump is arguing with NARA concerning what he has on a number of fronts. His biggest argument is that they aren’t classified anymore.

As for Trump having them spread all over, I suspect that was a staged picture. Here’s a thought to consider. No pictures were taken of the classified materials Biden had. We don’t know what condition they were in. They were kept in a closet and in his garage and in another room of his house. It is quite possible there are even more we don’t know about. There could be some that were already taken by unauthorized people. But in Trump’s case, it was a media frenzy with pictures being taken and “leaked” to the press. Another example of how Biden is given a pass. Why weren’t pictures taken and leaked for Biden?

jca2's avatar

Republicans are saying Biden did a bad thing.

Democrats are saying Trump did a bad thing.

My grandmother would have said “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

jca2's avatar

⅔ of Americans think Biden should be investigated. ⅔ of Americans are saying Biden shouldn’t get a pass. This includes people from both parties.

Zaku's avatar

@jca2 So investigate away.

If Biden did something bad, no one’s suggesting nothing be done.

There’s no question that Trump did so many atrocious things, that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all.

That there’s any significant number of people that will argue in defense of Trump, MTG, Mitch McConnell, etc etc, makes US politics a complete flaming garbage fire, though.

jca2's avatar

@Zaku I didn’t pos that in defense of Trump. I am definitely not defending Trump.

I posted it for the OP who is asking if Biden gets a pass from Democrats and I was showing the OP that Biden is not getting a pass from the Democrats or anybody. I thought it was clear when I posted it, what my intentions were.

chyna's avatar

Now there were documents found at former VP Pence’s home. I think everyone has taken documents home.
I’m going to check my house whe I get home. ~

jca2's avatar

@chyna I wrote on one of the previous threads about this topic that I was watching a Dave Chapelle comedy special (stand up) and he said that in the past, he has gotten in trouble for taking things from his jobs, like staplers, and things like that. He said “One thing I never stole from work: Work!” hahaha

SQUEEKY2's avatar

No of course not, but does Pence get a pass on his because he is a republican?

NoMore's avatar

I have a hunch that all of this intended as a distraction from Rumps (numerous) pickadillos. A not unusual Republican ploy.

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 He shouldn’t. But here’s the part that is the kicker in all of this: the FBI set the precedence when they let Hillary off with the bogus “intent” clause that doesn’t exist. They basically told every politician that when it comes to classified materials, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you claim you didn’t mean to.

gorillapaws's avatar

And not to be too conspiratorial, but I have heard the theory that this happened to Biden because insiders wanted to prevent him from running for a second term.

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