To bring in the director of the Independent Women’s Law center, may mailman and Judicial watch President Tom Fenton. Tom, I’m going to begin with you. I want to play a little soundbite here. This is Donald Trump and Ian Sam’s. And I just want you to react to the comparison as they talk about, yes, how President Trump sees this and also how the White House is spinning. How they view this is a big difference between two presidents.
Listen to this. Know, look, if he’s not going to be charged, that’s up to them, but then I should not be charged. This is nothing more than selective persecution of Biden’s political opponent, me. Republicans in Congress and elsewhere have been attacking prosecutors who aren’t doing what republicans want politically. They have made up claims of a two tiered system of justice. Now, here’s one thing that people are going to say about this.
They’re going to say, first of all, Joe Biden did not have the impromada of saying that I was a former president. I mean, he was a vice president. You’re not allowed to have this. You can’t even make the argument that this had something to do with the presidential Records act. And frankly, before that, he was a senator. What was he doing with these documents? Well, as a senator, he had no right to classified information at all as vice president.
Arguably, the presidential Records act applied to his records as vice president. And what’s interesting about what Hur said, he said President Biden has a plausible defense that he thought these records were his. They were personal, even though they were allegedly classified because the prior Justice Department positions with the Reagan diaries, and we know directly with judicial Watch because we litigated it. The Clinton sockdroer case was that a president who has records after he leaves office, no one can second guess whether they’re personal or government, including classified information.
So if that case is not going to proceed against President Biden, I think President Trump is right. It should be dropped against him because he had that defense as well. And the Justice Department and the archives came in and said, those records are yours. They’re ours. And that wasn’t true based on Justice Department precedent and legal decisions that were guiding the Justice Department that they had asked for in the Clinton sockdroar case.
May, Tom makes a great point, and I want to share this from the, her report and get you to weigh in because Tom makes the point. Listen, you could certainly argue that you could look at what happened with Obama and the battles with the archives. You could look at what happened with Reagan and the battles with the archives of the Bush administration. This is par for the course.
What’s different, though, is in this case, the battle with the archives obviously led to several charges. This is from the, her report talking about the differences here. Mr. Biden turned in classified documents to the National Archives, and the Department of Justice consented to the search of multiple locations, including his homes, sat for the voluntary interview, and in other ways cooperated with the investigation. The argument there, May, is that Donald Trump took great umbrage at this idea that he even needed to do this and didn’t play along.
What say you cooperated? So we have Joe Biden saying, hey, I found the classified documents in my basement in 2017. Did he turn over classified documents in 2017? No, he didn’t. And then his ghostwriter went and deleted the classified information that the ghostwriter had once he found out that a special prosecutor was brought in here. So I think that that is the opposite of cooperation. And moreover, that whole thing doesn’t make any sense because President Trump had the authority to deem documents his.
And that’s what he thought, versus Biden kept these documents despite Obama. He was trying to build a record that he, Biden knew better than anyone on Afghanistan, which, of course, in hindsight, maybe you shouldn’t have kept those documents after all. Yeah. This is exactly the kind of argument that I think we love here in Washington because we can sort of pick apart the long history of this. But I think it’s also fair to say that this puts the legal arguments, I think, under a very, very high intensity microscope.
May Mailman and Tom Fenton, thank you both very much. .