US: Republicans accuse Biden of hypocrisy

Republicans have accused US President Joe Biden of hypocrisy following the discovery of more classified documents at his Delaware home.

“If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones,” Nebraska congressman Don Bacon told ABC’s This Week.

At least 20 documents related to Mr Biden’s time as vice-president have been found at his private residence and at an office he used in Washington.

He criticised Donald Trump when his home was raided for classified files.

“How could anyone be that irresponsible?” he said at the time.

Mr Trump is being investigated by a special counsel, in his case over the hundreds of classified files found at his Mar-a-Lago resort last year.

An FBI raid was carried out because archivists said his team was not handing over all the documents they had identified as missing.

Mr Biden is also being investigated by a special counsel, Robert Hur, who was appointed by the US Department of Justice to conduct an independent probe into the president’s handling of the classified documents.

It is not clear what was in the documents found in Mr Biden’s possession but CBS News has reported that some of them were marked “Top Secret”, which is the highest level of classification.

By law all White House files should be handed over to the National Archives at the end of a presidency.

On Sunday a number of Republicans took to the airwaves to accuse Mr Biden of double standards.

James Comer of Kentucky, the new chair of the House oversight committee, told CNN’s State of the Union: “While he was doing this [accusing Trump], he knew very well that he himself had possession of classified documents so the hypocrisy here is great.”

Some Democrats have also raised concerns about the files, including House representative Adam Schiff who told This Week that he wants to know “if there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be” to national security as a result of the documents being misplaced.

The White House has not said how long Mr Biden knew the documents were in his possession but they insist his lawyers handed them over as soon as they found them.

It is unclear what penalties Mr Biden may face, but experts have said that criminal charges are unlikely as prosecutors would have to prove the president and his aides knowingly removed and held the files.

Mr Biden himself said it came as a surprise to learn they had been found there and that he takes the handling of sensitive material very seriously.

The first batch in his former office was found on 2 November, days before the midterm elections, but it was not until last week that this was made public.

Marc Short, a former top aide to Mr Trump’s Vice-President Mike Pence, on Sunday suggested the news was deliberately withheld to avoid the final days of the election campaign.

Several Republicans have demanded visitor logs to Mr Biden’s residences be made public, to see who might have had access to the material.



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