REPORT: The DOJ Went Easy on Joe Biden in Search for Classified Documents

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

When news broke that Joe Biden had been illegally keeping classified documents at the Penn Biden Center, many wondered when the FBI raids would begin. That became an even more prudent question as more and more troves were discovered, including one in the president’s garage. After all, direct FBI involvement was the standard set when dealing with former president Donald Trump. In mid-2022, his Florida home was raided to recover supposedly classified documents, complete with embarrassing leaks showing them strewn all over the floor


Yet, even in the midst of classified materials turning up seemingly everywhere, Biden’s lawyers have still been allowed to run the show, conducting the searches and giving the final word on what was or wasn’t found.

So where has the DOJ been? According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the department went easy on the president, deciding against having FBI agents oversee the searches of Biden’s various homes and offices.

The Justice Department considered having FBI agents monitor a search by President Biden’s lawyers for classified documents at his homes but decided against it, both to avoid complicating later stages of the investigation and because Mr. Biden’s attorneys had quickly turned over a first batch and were cooperating, according to people familiar with the matter.

After Mr. Biden’s lawyers discovered documents marked as classified dating from his term as vice president at an office he used at a Washington-based think tank on Nov. 2, the Justice Department opened an inquiry into why and how they got there. Mr. Biden’s legal team prepared to search his other properties for any similar documents, and discussed with the Justice Department the prospect of having FBI agents present while Mr. Biden’s lawyers conducted the additional searches.


Can anyone explain how having the FBI present while the searches were being conducted would have complicated the later stages of the investigation? That’s like saying that a murderer should be allowed to examine his own crime scene lest the investigation become “complicated.” I have no idea what the logic is in that assertion. When someone breaks the law, you don’t trust them to self-report any evidence of their law-breaking.

Past that, this notion that Biden and his lawyers were cooperating is a farce. How is it cooperating to hang on to classified information for six years, only reporting it at the most politically opportune moment? The White House has yet to explain why these documents were being searched for, which would seem important to delineate motive and intent. The biggest question aside from how the documents got there in the first place is just being completely glossed over with proclamations of cooperation that are dubious at best.

Nothing about this situation makes sense, and for the DOJ to just shrug at what could very well be duplicitous behavior is more proof of its rank partisanship. AG Merrick Garland had no problem ordering FBI agents to publicly raid Mar-a-Lago, but having a few FBI agents simply oversee Biden’s lawyers was a bridge too far? That’s a ridiculous and clear double standard of justice.

There was nothing to be lost by playing things safe and getting the FBI involved after the first batch of documents turned up. Instead, the DOJ seemingly didn’t want to put Biden and his team in the position of incriminating themselves. That’s what this feels like, right? If the FBI were sent in, they might actually find something that makes the president’s life more difficult. Better to just sit on the sidelines and let Biden run an investigation into himself.


If there was any hope after the appointment of the special counsel that the DOJ wasn’t protecting Biden, I think this story dashes it. Things are the same as they ever were, and it’s just a matter of time before the special counsel comes back and assures us that “no reasonable prosecutor” would pursue the case.


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