The recent discovery of classified documents in offices used by Joe Biden at a Chinese-sponsored think-tank in Washington D.C and in a garage near where he keeps his Corvette has raised many eyebrows in Capital Hill. Months after Biden called Donald Trump’s mishandling of classified documents ‘irresponsible,’ he is now fully in the barrel: “Doesn’t the law apply equally to all?”
By Arthur Blok
It is embarrassment after embarrassment with Joe Biden in the White House. A long list of corruption scandals involving his son Hunter - documented on his so-called laptop from Hell - including lucrative business dealings when Biden was still the vice president and massive inflation. Complete mishandling of the migrant crisis at the US-Mexican border and inaccurate accusations against his predecessor for dealing with Russia.
The list goes on and on.
The rift between Democrats and Republicans climaxed on August 8, when 30 federal agents executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida home of Trump. An unprecedented action with a disproportional use of force. The sudden raid was linked to an investigation into Trump’s handling of classified and sensitive material.
It was the first time a former US president's home had ever been searched by law enforcement.
That changed when Democrats took over Washington in 2020 and further politicised the Department of Justice and the FBI. Democrats did everything in their power to attack the former president.
The false accusations he was dealing with Russia (which turned out to be set up by the campaign team of Hillary Clinton), the Capital Hill riots, and all efforts to prevent him from ever running again to no avail.
To influence public opinion, Biden did not miss an occasion to lecture the US public on what a crook Trump was because he possessed classified documents that could endanger the USA. Ironically, Biden was blaming Trump for his sins.
Now the tables are turned, and that same public is assured by (American) mainstream media outlets that there is nothing to worry about. It is not a big deal when Joe Biden or anyone else does it unless it is Trump.
Is that not the overall message?
In Joe, we trust. It is precise that bind hate and anger that Democrats have towards the former president that is now blowing up in their face.
Trump’s estate in Mar-a-Lago
Mar-a-Lago (“Sea to Lake” in Spanish.), in Palm Beach County, is of the many residences of Trump. It was built as a ‘Winter White House’ in the 1920s by Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post Cereals business.
Back then, Palm Beach was already a hub for America’s wealthiest, who were building their mansions rather than staying in luxury hotels. Construction began in 1923 and kept some 600 workers busy for years.
Even by Palm Beach standards, Mar-a-Lago was grandiose: 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms with gold-plated fixtures (easier to clean, Post believed), an almost 550--square-meter living room with 13-meter high ceilings.
The 126-room, 5,810 square-meter mansion with gold leaf, Spanish tiles, Italian marble and Venetian silks cost nearly $7 million - somewhere north of $100 million today.
It was finished in 1927, and due to some smart tricks, Trump acquired the estate in 1985 for less than half of the market value at that time (around $ 10 million). After purchasing the estate, Trump did extensive renovations. Initially, used as a luxurious members-only beach club. Since 2019, he has designated Mar-a-Lago as his primary residence.
It was a jaw-dropping moment for many Americans when the FBI brutally raided the property last year in August. The timing of the raid was delicate. Weeks before the midterm election in which, Democrats lagged in almost every poll.
Initial reports suggested that he removed classified records from the White House and took them to Mar-a-Lago. Something familiar for a former president to do, just like having boxes of old (classified) documents in your private residences. As long as certain conditions of the so-called Presidential Records Act (PRA) of 1978 are met.
In the case of Trump, ironically, The National Archives was fully aware that classified documents were present at Mar-a-Lago. It was declared months earlier. After a request from that same national institute, new locks were installed, and the secret service protected the estate.
All measures to ensure the documents were secured, nothing to worry about.
Former presidents can obtain classified material from their administration, and, as a matter of practice, only a request to the archivist of the United States is required. The new administration has no formal role in the case, nor is there any prescribed process by which the intelligence community is consulted and allowed to raise concerns.
In addition, the PRA provides a president with the right to declassify any documents he wants. It is all up to him. A vice president, however, does not have that right.
That is what makes the events of the past weeks so delicate and attractive,
Let us compare it bluntly.
In the case of Trump, the classified documents were locked away in his private office with the acknowledgement of the National Archives, versus classified documents found in his garage next to his classic Corvette and the closet of an office used by Biden at the ‘Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement’.
Salient detail, the think tank a stone-throw away from Capitol Hill, is sponsored by tens of millions of dollars by the Chinese government. Biden used the office as part of his relationship with the University of Pennsylvania, where he was an honorary professor from 2017 to 2019.
Very interesting indeed. After his double tenure as vice president, Biden was paid over a million dollars annually by the think tank.
No conspiracy; it is all on their website.
There is more. In the case of Trump, rather embarrassing pictures were sent to the media showing the inside of Trump’s private office with classified docs scattered on the ground. For weeks the press spoke about nothing else.
Democratic anti-Trump America did everything it could to blow it out of proportion.
In addition, the classified documents found at Biden's office and in his garage were kept silent from the public by that same media. It took months after the midterm election for the news to come out.
That same media that fiercely attacked Trump tried to downplay the documents found at Biden’s office and mansion. And, ‘surprisingly’, not one picture of the docs was leaked.
Should this inequality make the press corps in Washington not very angry?
It does not.
Not even the fact that the garage at Biden’s house, where the classified documents were found, was used by his son Hunter. Who, in his turn, had very lucrative foreign business adventures without professional experience.
What if there is a relation between the classified documents found, Hunter Biden’s laptop from Hell, and his lucrative foreign business dealings? Of course, you can never be sure until that has been adequately investigated; the public has the right to know what is happening.
As if this is not enough food for thought, former vice president Mike Pence suddenly entered the stage earlier this week. He found classified docs in his house as well.
Thanks for sharing and confessing, but that does not change the fact that the law should be applied equally to all. That is the beauty of the principle of equality. In the end, a crime is a crime and should be dealt with accordingly.
A perfect moment to start Biden’s impeachment.