Donald Trump accuses the 'fake news media' of downplaying the Joe 'Bidden' documents story

Donald Trump accuses the 'fake news media' of downplaying the Joe 'Bidden' documents story
Image via screengrab.

Former President Donald Trump threw another tantrum about his mounting legal woes in a trio of posts on Sunday morning, misspelling President Joe Biden's name in a rant about how unfair it is that he is under criminal investigation for stashing hundreds of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate toward the end of his presidency.

8:29 a.m.:

Page 1: The new narrative from the Fake News Media, virtually the same people that pushed the BIG LIE of Russia, Russia, Russia, only to go down in flames, is the even more ridiculous story that 'what Bidden did isn’t as bad as what Trump did.' Number one, I did NOTHING wrong, have the right as President to 'declassify,' had documents in a secure place, put an extra lock on at Radical Left NARA’s request, and was dealing with NARA nicely, as per PRA & Socks, until the FBI broke into Mar-a-Lago..

Trump having "the right" to "declassify" top-secret materials "even just by thinking about it" does not mean that he actually exercised that privilege, which the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled in September.

READ MORE: Trump flips out on special counsel Jack Smith’s new expanding investigation into election tampering

“Plaintiff suggests that he may have declassified these documents when he was President. But the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified,” the three-judge panel wrote. “In any event, at least for these purposes, the declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal.”

Trump repeatedly failed to return all of the documents that the National Archives requested. Biden's team did so immediately upon their discovery, and without having to be asked. Still, the optics of these items turning up in Biden's house, along with the lack of disclosure to the public are not good, as The Daily Beast's Matt Lewis opined late Saturday night:

Politically, this is an incredibly damaging revelation. There are dramatic differences between Trump’s and Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, but the nuance will be lost on the public.

8:50 a.m.:

Page 2: Mar-a-Lago is a walled fortress, built with 'unlimited' money with the idea that it would one day be the Southern White House. I guess that turned out to be true! In addition to locks & a strong structural setting, I have security & Secret Service is there full time. Compare that to a flimsy garage, with NO SECURITY, & papers strewn all over the floor. Easy access for ANYONE! Also, he had them for 6 years in many different places. I ARRIVED to MAL with 'papers' AS PRESIDENT. Joe a VP…

Mar-a-Lago was built in the 1920s. Trump purchased the compound in 1985 and upgraded it in the early 1990s – so it is impossible that the original constructors intended for it to be a "Winter White House" nearly a century later. But more importantly, Trump's storage methods were reported as haphazard, regardless of what he claims about Mar-a-Lago's security features.

READ MORE: Biden, Trump, classified documents, and the pain of false equivalence

"With the exception of the Trump family suite, members and their guests have access to much of the 20-acre property. Since January, the federal government has retrieved three batches of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago. In a search in August, the F.B.I. seized the third batch — more than 13,000 items, including 103 classified documents — from a storage area and Mr. Trump’s office," The New York Times explained in December.

"Classified documents are supposed to be turned over to the National Archives at the end of a presidential term. But after the end of his term in 2021, Mr. Trump stored the materials at Mar-a-Lago," the outlet recalled. "A New York Times investigation reveals how easily accessible classified documents may have been to the thousands of guests who visited Mar-a-Lago in the months after Mr. Trump left office. The Times created a 3-D model of Mar-a-Lago and reviewed images from social media and other sources to show how people were, at times, within feet of the materials."

9:13 a.m.:

With all that has been stated on Pages 1 & 2 of Truth Social, and with all of the evidence leading to the fact that I DID NOTHING WRONG, AND JOE DID, our Nation has become an 'Investigation Nightmare,' despite the many other problems we have, which are many. It is NOW time for the USA to stop these RIDICULOUS INVESTIGATIONS, and that includes those D.C. inspired Local & State Which Hunts, and get back to the business of properly running our Country!

Finally, the Justice Department's appointments of special counsels for Trump and Biden do not speak to whether both scenarios are equivalent under the law.

Politico legal affairs correspondent Renaldo Mariotti believes that they are not.

"The appointment of special counsel Robert Hur on Thursday marks the first time a sitting president and his immediate predecessor faced simultaneous federal criminal investigations Yet those two cases bear, at most, a passing resemblance. There’s a much better analogy. And it’s one that holds both good and potentially worrisome news for President Joe Biden," Mariotti wrote on Saturday.

"While the Biden investigation is at an early stage, and there may be key facts that are not yet public, Biden’s actions appear to have been sloppy and inadvertent rather than willful and obstructive. Most of the statutes that Trump is under investigation for violating wouldn’t apply to Biden’s conduct. The only statute that Hur would likely investigate is 18 U.S.C. 793(f)(1), which punishes the loss or removal of national defense information resulting from 'gross negligence," he continued. "If that sounds familiar, that’s because it was the same statute that former FBI Director James Comey focused on during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Comey eventually studied prior cases and the DOJ’s prior interpretation of that statute, and concluded that it required negligence that was 'so gross as to almost suggest deliberate intention,' criminally reckless, or 'something that falls just short of being willful.'"

Mariotti further contemplated, "How, then, does this impact the work of Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump for — among other things — willfully retaining classified records at Mar-a-Lago? Not one bit. At least, it shouldn’t. There is no factual overlap between the two investigations. No witnesses or evidence in common. The two cases involve different federal statutes, given that Biden acted much differently than Trump. But does public perception that both men acted similarly mean that Trump is off the hook, as some legal analysts have speculated?"

Mariotti argued that while Smith's probe may prove more politically weighty than Hur's, Smith's "job is to follow the facts and bring charges if they’re warranted. Politicians may decline to move forward because of a media narrative, but that’s not how prosecutors are supposed to make decisions. If Smith takes into account what pundits might say, he’ll be making the same mistake Comey did. Prosecutors should make decisions based on the law and the facts, not on how they will play on cable TV."

READ MORE: Joe Biden's document discovery does not cancel out Donald Trump's troubles

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