Differences in the FBI raid on President Biden and Trump’s home

The FBI searched the home of President Biden in Delaware without a warrant, while they had to work very hard to get a warrant to search Trump’s residence for classified documents.

The latest development in the US Department of Justice’s investigation into classified documents related to President Joe Biden occurred at his home in Rehoboth, Delaware on February 1. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents conducted an unannounced search of the house, “to ensure security and transparency”.

Bob Bauer, President Biden’s personal lawyer, said agents found no classified documents after the search, only taking away some handwritten notes from Biden’s days as vice president and some additional documents to consider, like what was done during a search of his home in Wilmington in January.

The move is reminiscent of a similar FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last August. However, these two activities have many differences, according to Christian Paz, an analyst with Vox.

Bauer said the Rehoboth search was planned and conducted with the “full support and cooperation” of President Biden. That’s consistent with the news that the FBI doesn’t need a warrant from a court to do its job.

In Trump’s case, FBI agents had to collect evidence for a long time, make a report to get a search warrant from a judge to be able to carry out their duties, because they did not receive cooperation from the government. former president.

President Joe Biden at the White House in December 2022.  Photo: AFP.

President Joe Biden at the White House in December 2022. Photo: AFP.

In the incident involving classified documents related to Biden while serving as vice president, the White House has cooperated with the Justice Department from the beginning. Biden administration officials have also worked hard to avoid giving the impression that he is interfering with the investigation.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in January appointed Robert Hur, a Trump appointee, as the special prosecutor in charge of the investigation into the incident of Biden’s classified documents.

This means that the US has two special prosecutors leading two separate investigations into the former and current president. Garland previously appointed special counsel Jack Smith to investigate whether Trump violated regulations on handling classified documents.

Secret documents were not only discovered at the residence or office of Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump. Attorneys for former Vice President Mike Pence also said they had found “several classified documents” at his Indiana home last month. The National Archives has reached out to the FBI to have it work with Pence’s legal team and recover the document.

These documents were not stored in a safe place, but were placed in file boxes when the vice president moved from Washington to Indiana. Once discovered, these classified documents were moved to a safe place in Mr. Pence’s home before being handed over to the FBI. With this cooperation, the former vice president is not under investigation, but says he will cooperate if asked.

Biden’s secret document incident began when a series of documents were discovered at the Penn Biden Center on November 2, less than a week before last year’s midterm elections. All 10 documents are from Biden’s time as vice president.

Attorneys for President Biden immediately notified the White House Counsel’s office, which turned over the classified document to the National Archives the next day. According to the CBS Newsthe FBI raided the Penn Biden Center office in mid-November 2022.

In late December last year, Biden’s team also voluntarily searched various locations to check for the possibility of neglected documents. A small amount of documents were found in Mr Biden’s home in Wilmington. The FBI searched the house, seizing six documents and some handwritten notes on January 20, and the White House released the information a day later.

The investigation into Trump began when the National Archives discovered that the Trump White House did not turn over enough sensitive documents. After they requested it, Mr. Trump returned some documents, but not all of them. That led to the FBI seeking a court order and conducting a search of Mar-a-Lago, where they obtained dozens of classified documents.

Frank Figliuzzi, analyst at MSNBCpreviously said that Biden’s consent to the FBI’s house search would further highlight the difference between him and former President Trump in how to coordinate the investigation of classified documents: one fully cooperates, the other does not. really cooperate.

President Joe Biden's home in Rehoboth, Delaware on February 1.  Photo: Reuters.

President Joe Biden’s home in Rehoboth, Delaware on February 1. Photo: Reuters.

While recent surveys by CBS News, CNN, and NBC News show Americans are concerned about the Biden scandal, the president’s overall approval rating is unlikely to change. Meanwhile, the US public opinion on the former president’s response to the investigations is quite negative.

The Quinnipiac poll shows a similar picture. A majority of respondents said Biden mishandled the classified document and thought it was a serious matter to be investigated, but they did not consider him to be criminally responsible for it.

“About two-thirds of Americans are interested in classified documents found at the home and private office of President Biden. But is this a criminal case? The answer is no,” said Tim Malloy, home visitor. Quinnipiac poll, share.

Meanwhile, nearly 50% of voters polled in a YouGov survey after the Mar-a-Lago estate search said Trump should be criminally prosecuted for the incident of classified documents.

The Quinnipiac poll also shows that Americans also see the difference between Biden and Trump’s case, as well as recognize the incumbent’s cooperative attitude with the investigation agency.

“While the incidents of classified documents raise questions about security and how presidents handle classified documents, they do not appear to change Americans’ perception of Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden, at least. is up to the present time”, Christian Paz, editor of Voxspeak.

Thanh Tam (Theo Vox)

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