Dick Durbin agrees Dems lost ‘high ground’ to pursue Trump after Biden’s ‘unacceptable’ handling of docs

Another Democrat has joined the small cohort of Democrats who’ve spoken out about President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.

Speaking on CNN this Sunday, Sen. Dick Durbin said the president’s behavior is outright “unacceptable.”

“There’s a standard that we follow when it comes to members of Congress and classified information. The door to my office is closed. The person who presents the document to me takes it out of a locked briefcase, hands it to me and watches as I read it, when I finish reading it, and he takes it back and puts it in the briefcase and leaves the scene,” he said.

“I mean, that’s how carefully we review these documents. To think that any of them ended up in boxes in storage one place or the other is just unacceptable,” Durbin added.

Listen:

However, he then turned around and defended the president from the allegation that his mishandling of classified documents is equivalent to former President Donald Trump’s mishandling of classified documents.

“Let me make this point clear. Joe Biden has said from the start we are going to be totally transparent about this, let the chips fall where they may. I’m going to open my home voluntarily to a search. … He has shown total cooperation in this effort. That is a sharp contrast to President Trump,” the senator said.

CNN host Dana Bash responded to his comments by playing an old clip of him shrieking that Trump’s classified documents scandal was “a literal outrage.”

“Is it also an outrage for the current president to have what appears to be multiple classified documents in multiple locations?” she then asked Durbin.

“At its heart, the issue is the same. Those documents should not have been in the personal possession of either Joe Biden or Donald Trump,” the senator initially admitted.

But like before, he then started running defense for Biden again.

“But what happened and followed from it is significantly different. Donald Trump defied those who knew the documents were in place and ultimately led to, involuntarily, a court order and a search of his Mar-a-Lago hotel resort to find out how many documents were there,” he said.

“Contrast that with Joe Biden. Embarrassed by the situation, as he should have been, he invited the government agencies in to carefully look through all the boxes he had accumulated. It’s a much different approach. It is outrageous that either occurred. But the reaction by the former president and the current president could not be in sharper contrast,” he added.

Bash followed up by asking Durbin if Biden “has kind of lost the high ground on this notion of classified information being where it shouldn’t be?”

“Well, of course,” he conceded. “Let’s be honest about it. When the information is found, it diminishes the stature of any person who is in possession of it. Because it’s not supposed to happen. Whether it was the fault of a staffer or attorney, it makes no difference. The elected official bears ultimate responsibility.”

While Republicans believe there’s a difference between the Biden and Trump cases, they believe the difference lies in the power each man wielded at the time the documents were taken.

Trump was president when he removed classified documents from the White House, meaning he had declassification authority. Biden, on the other hand, was vice president when he did so, meaning he lacked such authority.

Below are some more differences, as detailed by former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is now engaged to Don Trump Jr:

Durbin’s soft condemnation of the president comes after several Democrats expressed support for a full investigation into the matter.

“The reports about President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents are extremely irresponsible and disturbing. These allegations should be investigated fully,” Sen. Joe Manchin told Fox News on Friday.

“This news raises serious questions, and the appointment of an unbiased special prosecutor to investigate the matter is the right step,” Sen. Tim Kaine added.

Meanwhile, Rep. Katie Porter said during a town hall last Tuesday that she and her colleagues “definitely” want “to get answers from the White House” about the documents.

“Classified documents belong in classified settings, and I think you heard me say oversight is not a partisan thing. Good oversight means you’re willing to hold any rule breaker to account. We should be asking for answers in a respectful way, and we should be expecting to get honest ones,” she said.

Most Democrats are either ignoring the scandal or making defensive remarks on behalf of the Biden administration.

Republicans meanwhile are gearing up to use their newfound House authority to investigate Biden’s mishandling of classified documents from top to bottom.

House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan and House Oversight Committee chair James Comer have sent letters to, respectively, Attorney General Merrick Garland and the White House demanding access to all documents “related to the discovery of the [classified] documents,” according to UPI.

“It is troubling that classified documents have been improperly stored at the home of President Biden for at least six years, raising questions about who may have reviewed or had access to classified information,” Comer wrote in his letter addressed specifically to White House chief of staff Ron Klain.

“As Chief of Staff, you are head of the Executive Office of the President and bear responsibility to be transparent with the American people on these important issues related to the White House’s handling of this matter,” he added.

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Vivek Saxena

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