“His lawyers couldn’t trust him”: Experts stunned at differences between Biden and Trump docs cases

President Joe Biden was interviewed over two days by special counsel Robert Hur, who is investigating how classified documents ended up at Biden’s home and office after his vice presidency, the White House said Monday.

Biden on Sunday and Monday sat for voluntary interviews with Hur, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in January, at the White House, according to a White House statement.

“As we have said from the beginning, the President and the White House are cooperating with this investigation,” said White House Counsel’s Office spokesman Ian Sams.

Biden sat for the interviews while repeatedly meeting with national security officials and speaking with foreign leaders about the developing situation in Israel and Gaza, according to The New York Times.

The interview raises the possibility that Hur is nearing the end of his probe into classified documents found at his Delaware home and his office at the Washington D.C. think tank, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that Biden’s case is even “worse” thank his but Biden’s representatives immediately turned over the documents that were found and cooperated with the investigation — a marked difference from Trump, who refused to turn over classified documents he took home to Mar-a-Lago despite a grand jury subpoena and allegedly sought to obstruct their retrieval. Trump was charged with retaining national security documents and obstruction. He pleaded not guilty.

Legal experts pointed to the stark difference between how the two men handled their cases.

“Biden, unlike Trump, who would only answer questions in writing (he claimed an in person interview was a perjury trap), agreed to voluntarily sit down and speak to investigators,” tweeted former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance.

MSNBC legal analyst Katie Phang called the interview “what people do when they’re not hiding anything.”

“I can’t describe how different this was handled by Biden compared to Trump,” agreed national security attorney Bradley Moss. “Trump never sat for an interview. His lawyers couldn’t trust him.”

“The Constitution held firm. The Government did not collapse. Riots did not break out. Almost like adults know how to handle investigations and overgrown adolescents throw tantrums and Twitter rants,” he added.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said that the interview suggests the “investigation is wrapping up and that Biden’s legal team is not concerned about any potential criminal charges.”

“Unlike Trump, Biden sat for a two-day interview.  He wouldn’t have done that if he had potential criminal exposure,” he wrote.

National security attorney Mark Zaid pointed out that Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence, who also returned classified documents after discovering them when he left office, avoided the same kind of legal trouble Trump now finds himself in.

“If Trump had timely reported possession of the documents to govt & simply returned them, just as Biden AND Pence did, he never would have been prosecuted,” he wrote. “He brought this mess upon himself.”

Read more

about the Trump docs case


Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar