Democrats on Sunday found themselves again on the defensive after officials from the Justice Department recovered additional classified items from President Joe Biden’s Delaware home on Friday.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) downplayed concerns about Biden’s handling of classified documents, adding: “I don’t think this is an issue that is keeping Americans up at night.”
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Coons said that concern over the discovery of additional classified documents at Biden’s residence in Delaware is, more than anything else, distracting the nation from more important issues. Coons noted the search was “consensual,” contrasting it with how former President Donald Trump handled classified material after he left office.
Biden’s attorneys discovered a series of classified documents on multiple occasions from November 2022 to January 2023. On Saturday, it was announced that six additional documents marked as classified were found at Biden’s Delaware home after the Justice Department searched for nearly 13 hours.
In a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” 34 percent of Americans said they think Biden handled classified documents appropriately after he left office as vice president, compared with 64 percent of Americans who think he acted inappropriately.
Those numbers were still better than those for Trump; 77 percent of those polled said they thought the former president acted inappropriately. But the polling was conducted before the announcement of more documents being discovered in Biden’s possession.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), speaking on Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” echoed Coons’ sentiments, saying that there’s a “stark comparison to the other investigation of classified documents with former President Trump.”
“The White House needs to cooperate with the Justice Department,” Gottheimer said. “That’s what they’ve been doing for months. I think as long as the White House does what it should do, which is cooperate fully so we can get to the bottom of this, there’s the appropriate process.”
In November, lawyers to the president discovered Obama administration documents in a Biden-associated Washington think tank. Days later, Biden’s legal team found additional documents in Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Del., one of Biden’s lawyers announced.
Biden aides found five additional documents in this president’s Delaware home, the White House announced Jan. 14. They were then turned over to the Justice Department, which had appointed a special counsel to investigate the matter.
Speaking after Coons, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said the fallout could still end up being much larger than anticipated now.
“Watergate started as a very small burglary, and it led to the president of the United States resigning,” said the new chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “So, I don’t know what’s there until we see the documents — if there are national security documents relating to foreign nations adversaries, particularly China.”
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