The big story has been about members of President Biden's team finding classified documents three times as of Thursday, January 12, 2023. Some are saying this is nothing and you can't compare it to the case of former President Trump. Well, let's get into the details using facts and see if the cases are similar.
The Presidential Records Act
The Presidential Records Act was established in 1978. Prior to reforms made to the Presidential Records Act after Watergate, the president's documents were considered his personal property. After the reforms were made to the act, the president's documents were changed from private to public. The law also allows public access to presidential records through the Freedom of Information Act five years after the administration ends, but the president can put restrictions on public access for up to 12 years.
The difference between Trump and Biden is that Trump was president, which gave him the authority to declassify documents. Biden was Vice President and did not have the authority to declassify any documents, and should not have had the documents in his possession.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he was appointing a special counsel to investigate Biden after the latest document disclosure. Garland announced that Robert Hur would be the special counsel in charge of investigating the case.
Robert Hur has an impressive legal background, including being the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Maryland from 2007 to 2014, the Associate Deputy Attorney General from 2017-2018, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland from 2018-2021, and in 2021 Hur became a partner at the law firm Gibson Dunn where he currently works.
We will now need to wait for both special counsels for Trump and Biden to finish their investigations and see what the outcomes will be.