Representative Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, explained on Saturday why she supports an investigation into whether President Joe Biden mishandled classified documents while serving as vice president under former President Barack Obama.
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday announced that a special counsel led by U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur will investigate Biden’s handling of the documents. The probe came after classified documents were found in Biden’s Delaware home and former office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement think tank in Washington, D.C.
However, after the investigation was ordered, more classified documents were found in Biden’s home on Saturday. Republicans, who have faced scrutiny for defending former President Donald Trump as he faces a similar investigation, have unsurprisingly seized on the probe as an opportunity to criticize the Biden administration.
However, at least one progressive Democrat has voiced support for the investigation as well. During an appearance on MSNBC‘s Symone, Omar told host Symone Sanders-Townsend that she believes Biden should face an investigation into the documents.
“I’m glad that there is a special prosecutor that’s been appointed,” Omar said.
Omar, one of the House Democrats who comprise the progressive “squad” who was elected in 2018, is generally seen as being significantly to Biden’s left, and has previously been willing to criticize the president on issues including foreign policy.
During the Saturday interview, Sanders-Townsend asked Omar on why she agrees with the investigation.
“Anytime there is a deviance in regards to security protocols, that should be taken serious. That should be investigated,” the Democratic lawmaker said.
Democrats Respond to Biden Classified Documents Probe
Democrats have found themselves forced to navigate a tough situation after the announcement of the Biden investigation. They have largely sought to differentiate Biden from Trump, who is also under investigation for potentially mishandling classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago residence last summer.
Biden’s allies have highlighted his cooperation with Justice Department officials as to why his situation is different from Trump, the latter who has claimed his investigation is a witch hunt and faced criticism for allegedly not handing over every document. Trump has maintained his innocence in the matter.
“I think president Biden has handled this correctly. He’s fully cooperated with the prosecutors. When the documents were found, he notified [the National Archives],” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat. “It’s a total contrast to president Trump, who stonewalled for a whole year.”
Representative Matt Cartwright, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said during a Fox News appearance last week that both cases show a need for a change in the way presidential administrations from both parties handle archiving classified documents.
“It’s clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we’ve got to review how departing presidents and vice presidents are going about organizing the archiving of their documents, both classified and unclassified. Because this can’t go on,” he said.
Newsweek reached out to the White House and Omar’s office for comment.
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