Senate Democrats are raising concerns about President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents. In interviews on Monday evening, Democratic senators expressed their worries about the recent discovery of additional classified documents during a 13-hour search of Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. This follows previous discoveries of classified materials in November and December. Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) said the White House’s handling of the classified information stood in “sharp contrast” to the way Congress approaches such documents.
The issue is an unwelcome one for Democrats, as they had sought to focus their attention on House Republicans’ start to the 118th Congress and potentially hammer former President Donald Trump for his handling of classified material. However, the discovery of the Biden documents could animate the presidential campaign if Biden runs for a second term, as is expected.
When asked about the criticism from Democratic senators, White House spokesperson Ian Sams emphasized that Biden was “handling this in the right way” by fully cooperating with the Justice Department. Democrats reject comparisons with Trump, who is under investigation for retaining sensitive national security documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. They argue that unlike Trump, Biden’s legal team turned over the documents upon their discovery and invited the Justice Department to search for more.
Still, not every Democrat wants to make the comparison with Trump. Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said the discovery of the Biden documents “neutralizes the issue” politically, adding that Biden should have known better as he was chair of the Foreign Relations Committee (when he was in the Senate. Retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said Biden was “doing exactly the right thing.”)
Many Democrats are not eager to comment on the Biden documents, and several said they would withhold judgment and wait until the results of the special counsel Robert Hur’s investigation.