WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior Democrats are frustrated by the steady stream of alarming disclosuresCriticism of President Joe Biden’s handling of classified material Sunday l Disappointed that the White House has not been more candid with the public after stepping down as vice president.
Lawmakers may have expected questions to focus on the debt ceiling or Ukraine aid when they were scheduled to appear on Sunday news shows last week, but they found themselves asked over the weekend about the latest developments in the doc drama about a Biden presidency on the defensiveWASHINGTON: During a Friday search of Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home, the FBI found more classified-marked documents and obtained some of his handwritten notes, the president’s lawyer said Saturday.
Biden should be “embarrassed by the situation,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, adding that the president was already in a position that has pestered former President Donald Trump. give up the moral high ground on unclear issues. Special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland are investigating both cases.
“Well, of course. Let’s be honest. When information is discovered, it degrades the status of anyone who has it, because that’s not supposed to happen. …Elected officials bear ultimate responsibility,” Durbin said .
Senator Joe Manchin of Virginia said Biden “should have a lot of regrets. … You might as well say, ‘Listen, this is irresponsible.'” How and when the public learned about the documents “has no regrets” and “there isn’t one out there.”
Despite the criticism, Biden’s fellow Democrats have defended what they say is his cooperation with the Justice Department as they seek out more classified material. They contrasted it with Trump’s refusal to restore hundreds of documents after leaving office.
“Both of those things happened, it’s outrageous,” Durbin said. “But the previous president and the current president responded very differently.”
Biden voluntarily allowed the FBI into his home on Friday, but the absence of a warrant did not obscure the exceptional nature of the search. Biden’s embarrassment, which began in early January, intensified when the president’s attorneys discovered a “small amount” of classified records at the former offices of the Biden Center in Washington, Pennsylvania, shortly before the Nov. 8 election.
The White House revealed that Biden’s team has uncovered classified documents and official records four times in recent months — at the offices of the Biden Center in Washington, DC on Nov. 2 and then in the garage of the Biden Center in Pennsylvania on Dec. 20 follow-up search. At his home in Wilmington, and at his library on Jan. 11 and 12.
The findings have become a political liability as Biden prepares to begin his 2024 re-election campaign, and they undercut his efforts to project a decent image for the American public following the tumultuous presidency of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Manchin reprimanded the pair for handling sensitive security documents. “It’s hard to believe that in the United States of America, we have a past president and a current president who are basically in the same situation,” he said. “How did this happen?”
Meanwhile, Democrats worry that Biden’s labor pains are opening up opportunities for newly empowered House Republicans.
“We have to worry about what’s going to happen now that this new group that controls the House promises endless investigations, confrontation, impeachment and chaos,” Durbin said.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, said he believed Biden “had the final say when the first documents were discovered.” …but now this has gone from simply irresponsible to downright horrible. “
The Justice Department said Trump took hundreds of records marked classified when he left the White House in early 2021 and has resisted months of requests to return them to the government. Once the documents were found, Biden willingly handed them over. But the issue has irritated Biden and his aides, who say they acted quickly and appropriately when the documents were discovered and are trying to be as transparent as possible.
Durbin appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Manchin appeared on CNN and NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and Comer was interviewed on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Seung Min Kim reported from Rehoboth, Delaware.