Former President Donald Trump again pointed a finger at President Joe Biden’s handling of classified information in light of the Department of Justice (DOJ) bringing additional charges against Trump in the Mar-a-Lago documents case.
The former president is now facing 40 charges, including willfully retaining classified documents and obstruction of federal justice, in the DOJ’s investigation into the cache of sensitive information recovered from his resort home in Palm Beach, Florida, in August.
The additional charges announced Thursday stem from accusations that Trump attempted to wipe the security tapes from his Mar-a-Lago estate after being subpoenaed for the footage by federal prosecutors last summer. He is also being charged over his statements during a recorded conversation with guests at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, in which the former president is accused of sharing a top-secret Pentagon document with associates who did not have security clearance.
In his first Truth Social post since the updated indictment was handed down, Trump repeated his argument that his documents case was being treated differently than Biden’s, who in January was found to be in possession of former President Barack Obama-era classified documents from his time as vice president. The documents were at Biden’s home in Delaware and in his former office, and all such materials have been returned to federal authorities.
“Whatever happened to the Crooked Joe Biden Document’s case? He had 20 times more Boxes than I did, and he wasn’t covered by the Presidential Records Act. I was!” the former president wrote.
“When it first came out that Biden had all of these Docs, many Classified, almost everyone, including those on the Left, said, ‘there goes the case against Trump,'” he continued. “But they waited and waited, got failed prosecutor Deranged Jack Smith, and STRUCK – but did almost nothing on the REALLY BAD Biden Documents case, many stored in Chinatown!”
Trump has repeatedly, and mistakenly, claimed that under the Presidential Records Act (PRA) of 1978, he has every right to keep documents from his time in the Oval Office.
According to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the PRA dictates ownership of any presidential or vice-presidential record created after January 1981 to the National Archives. It also requires that presidents separate any of their personal documents from presidential records before leaving office.
And while investigations into Biden’s handling of classified documents is far from over, unlike Trump’s, the president’s lawyers fully complied with NARA once materials were found in Biden’s possession. Former Vice President Mike Pence was also found with a small batch of documents at his home in Indiana, although prosecutors have already announced that charges will not be filed against him.
Trump has also previously argued that Biden stored the documents in Chinatown, D.C., potentially putting the documents at risk of being viewed by national adversaries. While there is no evidence that indicates anyone had access to the documents while they were in Biden’s possession, the boxes were once temporarily kept in an office that the Penn Biden Center was leasing in Chinatown, according to testimony from Biden’s former staffer Kathy Chung.
When reached for comment by Newsweek, Trump’s campaign shared a statement Thursday that accused the new charges of being “nothing more than a continued desperate and flailing attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their Department of Justice to harass President Trump and those around him.”
“Deranged Jack Smith knows that they have no case and is casting about for any way to salvage their illegal witch hunt and to get someone other than Donald Trump to run against Crooked Joe Biden,” the statement added.