President Joe Biden has been voluntarily interviewed by special counsel Robert Hur in connection with an ongoing investigation regarding the handling of classified documents. This development may suggest that the investigation is nearing its conclusion, but the key details revealed in this interview highlight the differences between this case and former President Trump’s similar situation.
The Justice Department
The White House has confirmed that President Biden was interviewed as part of the ongoing investigation into his handling of classified documents.
A spokesperson for the White House Counsel Office, Ian Sams, revealed that the interview took place over two days.
However, Sams directed further questions to the Justice Department, while a spokesperson for special counsel Hur chose not to comment. Sams stated, “We would refer other questions to the Justice Department at this time.”
The investigation, led by special counsel Robert Hur, revolves around the retention of classified documents by President Biden, dating back to his time as a U.S. senator and vice president.
In His Private Office
These documents were discovered at his Delaware home and a private office he used during the period between his service in the Obama administration and becoming president.
President Biden maintains that he was unaware of the presence of these documents and has stated, “There’s nothing there.”
The fact that President Biden has been interviewed indicates that the special counsel investigation may be approaching its conclusion. In the past, investigations involving high-profile figures have often concluded relatively soon after interviews were conducted.
For instance, in 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey recommended not charging Hillary Clinton just three days after agents interviewed her at FBI headquarters.
Cooperation From the White House
Special counsel Robert Hur’s team has interviewed a wide range of witnesses to gather details about the handling of classified documents.
The White House has consistently reaffirmed its commitment to cooperation with the investigation and emphasized its dedication to transparency while preserving the integrity of the process.
Sams emphasized, “As we have said from the beginning, the President and the White House are cooperating with this investigation, and as it has been appropriate, we have provided relevant updates publicly, being as transparent as we can consistent with protecting and preserving the integrity of the investigation.”
Differences Between Biden and Trump’s Cases
President Biden’s situation differs from former President Trump’s in several key aspects.
While both cases involve the handling of classified documents, the allegations against Trump include personal involvement in packing the documents as he left the White House, boasting about having secret material, and pushing his attorneys to mislead the FBI about the information he had stored at his home.
In contrast to the charges placed against Trump, no evidence has emerged to suggest that President Biden engaged in comparable conduct or willfully held onto records he wasn’t supposed to have.
Boxes in Mar-a-Lago
In the case of former President Trump, boxes of classified material were uncovered at his Mar-a-Lago residence, leading to more than three dozen federal criminal charges against him and his associates in Florida. However, Trump and his associates have pleaded not guilty.
It is not uncommon for sitting presidents to be interviewed in criminal investigations.
For example, President George W. Bush underwent a 70-minute interview as part of an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative’s identity.
Similarly, in 1998, President Bill Clinton faced over four hours of questioning from independent counsel Kenneth Starr before a federal grand jury.
Straight to Jail
Though some seem to think the differences between Biden’s and Trump’s classified document investigations are too different to be comparable, others feel as though he is still guilty of breaking the law, and that requires legal repercussions.
One social media user commented, “These are classified documents from when he was a Senator and VP. He wasn’t allowed to have these at all. He automatically should go to jail regardless of him giving them up fast when he gets caught after years of having them.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Trevor Bexon