Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) surprisingly found himself on the defensive Friday while appearing on CNN as host Don Lemon called him out for claiming that President Biden has been “transparent” concerning the mishandling of classified documents.
(Video Credit: CNN)
Schumer appeared on “CNN This Morning,” a place he probably considers friendly territory.
He told the panelists on the show that it was “too early to tell” whether Biden had violated federal law but insisted he had handled the situation “correctly.”
Schumer made it clear that he supported the decision by Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate the matter. He asserted that Garland’s comments on classified documents have been consistent between Biden and former President Trump.
Lemon asked if Schumer felt that Biden and his team had been transparent over the discovery of the documents.
. @SenSchumer completely controls the CNN morning crew, slinging mud at the GOP & pushes hard against @donlemon, Lemon quickly backs down.@PoppyHarlowCNN doesn’t & continues with her questions. Good job, Poppy.@kaitlancollins stays quiet and then thanks Schumer for answering.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) January 13, 2023
“I think the Biden folks, as I said, cooperated with the prosecutorial authorities from day one, and Donald Trump didn’t,” Schumer claimed, bringing the former president into the mix.
Lemon then appeared to ambush Schumer.
“According to one justice’s official statement, this week offered an incomplete narrative of documents from Biden’s time as vice president and reinforced the need for a special counsel. It creates the impression that Biden’s team has something to hide,” Lemon informed the senator.
“I have to get — I have to say this. You seem much more measured about this than with the Trump documents because you called for transparency with the documents. You wanted lawmakers to have access to the documents seized from the former president’s residence in Florida,” Lemon charged.
This morning on CNN, Don Lemon was pushing back against Chuck Schumer like he intended to do some journalism. I was floored.
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) January 13, 2023
That didn’t seem to sit very well with the elderly Democrat.
“I said that night it was premature to comment. I stand by that,” Schumer replied.
When Schumer was asked by Lemon if he believed his statements on both issues were consistent, Schumer said, “I do.”
Co-host Poppy Harlow chimed in and pointed out there is a question of transparency with the Biden White House.
“So you said the president has fully cooperated and there’s no indication that he and the White House have not. But there is a real question about transparency and what the American people deserve,” she stated.
“The prosecutors will get to the bottom of this, and let’s let them do it, for God’s sake. I know you want to buzz around —” Schumer retorted before Harlow interjected.
“I hear you!” she insisted.
“I know you all want to buzz around and all of that, but bottom line is…” Schumer started to say.
“Let me buzz for a minute. Let me buzz for one minute, and I promise we’ll get to something else,” Harlow cut in.
“Hold on,” Lemon said, “It’s not just us buzzing, you’re the head of the Democratic Senate; it’s not just us buzzing around. This is a really important issue. It’s not just buzzing around. This is serious stuff.”
Just waiting to see how they spin this one like all the rest of Biden’s corruption
— Mike O’Brien (@stratat4) January 13, 2023
“And if there were no special prosecutor, there would be you know, you might have a different thing to say, but there is. And now we have the law enforcement people who have the power to get all the facts out doing it. I support both. I think we should have a special prosecutor on each. I don’t mind your asking these questions, but my view is I’m not going to say anything. Let the special prosecutors do their job,” Schumer remarked.
“The question I was going to ask is about the fact that when this did come out after CBS News’s reporting and the White House came out and acknowledged it, they only addressed the documents found on November 2nd. But they knew at the time about the documents found on December 20th. And that’s what begs the question of full transparency. And it’s not just us. The Washington Post editorial board, you know, this morning says the same thing, that if the president and this White House answered more questions directly, like that exact timeline that would, quote, promote trust and preempt this criticism, would you like to see the White House do that today?” Harlow asked.
What about how he shouldn’t have had them in the first place?
— Clayton Pajunas (@ClaytonPajunas) January 13, 2023
“I leave everything up to the special prosecutors. Their obligation legally was to report things to the archives the minute they discovered them. Unlike Trump, they did,” Schumer stated, defensively taking a further swipe at Trump.
Attorney General Merrick Garland tapped Robert Hur, a former US attorney, to handle the investigation into the misplacement of the documents. The Justice Department escalated it to a special counsel investigation from a mere review on Thursday after a second stash of classified documents was found inside the garage and an adjacent room of Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home. The first documents were found inside the Washington, DC, offices of the Penn Biden Center think tank.
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