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

Joe Biden's document discovery does not cancel out Donald Trump's troubles
Image via Creative Commons.

The discovery of additional government documents at President Joe Biden's home on Saturday, dating back to when he was vice president under President Barrack Obama, should not have any impact on special counsel Jack Smith's investigation into Donald Trump's hoarding documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

That's according to a former U.S. attorney who did admit it will be perceived as a "political" problem -- but that has nothing to do with following the letter of the law.

As the Guardian's David Smith wrote, the Biden document recovery is creating a firestorm that Trump and his allies are using to protest his own legal problems as the DOJ-appointed Smith investigates possible charges of government obstruction and violations of the Espionage Act.

"Despite superficial similarities, the two cases are like chalk and cheese. In January last year the National Archives retrieved 15 boxes of documents from Trump’s home, telling justice department officials they contained 'a lot' of classified material," Smith wrote before adding, "The Biden papers are far less voluminous. First it emerged that a 'small number' with classified markings had been found in November in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center think tank in Washington."

According to noted political scientist Larry Sabato, "This may be pure sloppiness on Biden’s part or the Biden team’s part but it doesn’t matter. In the public mind, now they will say, 'Well, a pox on both your houses. You’re both guilty. Shame on you both.’ It’s over.”

Be that as it may, Jay Town, who served as a U.S. attorney in the Trump administration, claimed Trump is still not off the hook.

“I don’t think that it impacts Trump’s legal calculus at all, but it certainly does impact the political narrative going forward. To the extent that the political narrative is a consideration, it does make it harder to bring charges against former President Trump as it relates to the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago," he explained in an interview.

On that note, Smith added, "Republicans are also well practiced in the political art of false equivalence and 'whataboutism'. During the 2016 presidential election campaign, allegations that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia were effectively neutralised by a controversy over rival Hillary Clinton’s private email server."

You can read more here.

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