WASHINGTON, D.C. – After news broke on Monday that classified documents from when President Joe Biden had been serving as Vice President were discovered in a private office Biden had previously utilized – prompting the Department of Justice to conduct a review of the materials – former President Donald Trump fumed on social media, bringing up the FBI raid at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida and demanding that Biden be the recipient of the same treatment.
“When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House? These documents were definitely not declassified,” Trump said on his Truth Social account, despite the fact that he had previously claimed that a sitting president could declassify top-secret documents simply by “thinking about it.”
The documents were discovered in an office that Biden had used when he served as an honorary professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington.
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The classified Obama-Biden era materials were found Monday by the president’s lawyers as they were clearing out materials from the office, who then notified the National Archives and Records Administration; the documents were then taken possession of by the agency, which is charged with the preservation and documentation of government and historical records.
The documents recovered from Biden’s office are currently being reviewed by the U.S. attorney general for Chicago; the White House is reportedly cooperating with the review.
Trump’s anger on social media stemmed from a search warrant executed by the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida in August, where agents discovered over one hundred top secret and classified documents that the former president had kept from his tenure in the Oval Office.
Trump is currently being investigated regarding the matter and is calling for Biden to receive the same treatment; however, the difference between the two situations is that Biden’s lawyers reached out and informed the National Archives of their discovery, whereas Trump allegedly failed to turn over the classified documents in his possession despite being requested to do so.
Regardless of the circumstances, however, both Trump and Biden may have violated the Presidential Records Act, which requires that presidents turn over all classified documents to the National Archives at the end of their terms for security and preservation.