The Department of Justice's handling of classified documents found at former President Donald Trump's home and President Joe Biden's residence points to a double standard, said former U.S. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.
"The way these cases are handled points to the double standard as to how the Department of Justice is attempting to investigate both these cases," Whitaker said Friday during an appearance on Newsmax's "Spicer & Co."
The disclosure by Biden's legal team this week that classified documents were found in a private office that Biden had used before beginning his 2020 presidential campaign and at his residence in Wilmington, Delaware, has prompted comparisons to Trump's keeping sensitive government records at his Florida home, which is the subject of a criminal investigation.
Attorney General Merrick Garland in Trump's case appointed a special counsel, Jack Smith, in November and on Thursday named Robert K. Hur, a former Trump-appointed U.S. attorney, as special counsel for the Biden probe.
Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was raided by the FBI on Aug. 8 following a criminal referral by the National Archives and Records Administration. The probe into the former president relates to three criminal statutes, including destroying or concealing records "with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence" federal government activity.
Trump and other Republicans have called for the FBI to do the same to Biden's homes, accusing the agency and "deep state" federal government officials of harboring an anti-Trump stance.
Whitaker said Garland knew that Biden had a problem when he appointed Smith.
"He knew that there were multiple locations that had documents in December. You know, he gave this case to John Lausch to evaluate whether or not a special counsel was necessary. But, you know, ultimately, they were hoping this never saw the light of day," he said.
"They were hoping that this story and that Rob Hur never had to be appointed because they didn't ... take it as seriously, and they knew that it was a pure political weapon to appoint a special counsel against Donald Trump.
"Now, you know, what's good for the goose is good for the gander; so Joe Biden ends up with a special counsel. And as you can see from these press conferences, it is dominating the White House's business; and I don't think this is what they want the next two years to look like."
Whitaker also pointed to a key difference in the cases: Trump was president and Biden was vice president.
"That means Trump could have declassified documents, and that's one of the things Jack Smith has to sort through are the claims that these documents were declassified. Joe Biden had no ability to declassify these documents, so these three areas where these documents were found were each clearly mishandled documents," Whitaker said.
The question, now, he said is whether the DOJ is willing to go after Biden "or somebody attached to him after he's president or during his presidency, if it's not Joe Biden."
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