Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-Md.) made a distinction between President Joe Biden‘s handling of classified materials and that of former President Donald Trump.
What Happened: Raskin, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, appeared on CNN to discuss the findings of Special Counsel Robert Hur‘s 388-page report on Thursday. Raskin highlighted the contrast between Biden’s “negligent” handling of classified materials and Trump’s “deliberate” conduct.
He also expressed his intention to introduce legislation to prevent future government officials from mishandling classified documents after leaving office. Raskin emphasized that Biden’s conduct, as detailed in Hur’s report, is significantly different from Trump’s, who was indicted for deliberately retaining hundreds of top-secret documents.
“You know, as the lead Democrat in the Oversight Committee, we would like to do some legislation to get our best archivists and librarians together to figure out a way that we can tag material more quickly and prevent it from kind of negligent mishandling, the kind we had from Mike Pence and Joe Biden,” Raskin said.
“But that is an ocean away from Donald Trump, who deliberately pilfered hundreds of top secret classified government documents and then refused to return them and hid them all over his house.”
“Whereas this Republican special counsel said that Joe Biden had been completely forthcoming and cooperative and they’re not bringing any criminal charges against him.”
Why It Matters: The contrast drawn by Raskin between Biden’s and Trump’s handling of classified materials is significant in light of the recent findings of the Special Counsel’s report. The report revealed that Biden willfully retained and disclosed sensitive military and national security information. Despite the report’s findings of Biden’s struggles to recall information, no criminal charges were recommended against the president.
However, Trump, Biden’s likely Republican opponent in the 2024 presidential election, was indicted in June 2023 on federal criminal charges related to the mishandling of classified documents stored at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.