US President Joe Biden was on the defensive Thursday after the discovery of new confidential documents, this time at his family home. If he admits wrongdoing, a special prosecutor will nevertheless investigate the case.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur, a former federal prosecutor, to the post. The announcement aims to prevent any suspicion of patronage, since Merrick Garland has already appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Donald Trump and the classified documents taken by the former president, in greater numbers.
The challenge for Joe Biden, who plans to run again in 2024, is of course to undermine any similarities between his case and his predecessor, who was a candidate. The White House insists that the current Democratic president is actively cooperating with justice, unlike his Republican predecessor, who is suspected of deliberately hiding part of his archives.
Energetic press conference
“We are trying to do this within the rules,” said and repeated his spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, in a particularly lively press conference on Thursday. A White House adviser who was invited at the last minute to speak on international topics was asked to be briefed by a reporter, impatient like all the press to move on to more high-profile events.
The spokesperson assured that Joe Biden is working with the greatest “transparency”, but he has been contacted several times, in the name of the independence of justice.
“A careful investigation will show that these documents were accidentally misplaced and that the president and his lawyers acted immediately upon discovering this error,” presidential attorney Richard Sauber said in a statement.
The White House said Thursday that a “small number of confidential documents” related to Joe Biden’s work as Vice President (2009-2017) were found Wednesday night at his private residence in Wilmington, Delaware ( east), stored in the garage and in an adjoining room.
On Monday, the American executive acknowledged that a dozen documents of this type were discovered in November at the Penn Biden Center, a Washington think tank where Joe Biden had an office.
“The research is done,” said Karine Jean-Pierre. He did not explain why the US executive immediately contacted the documents found in Wilmington, but waited two months, and the publication of revelations to the press, for those found at the Penn Biden Center in Washington.
The American president, who was directly questioned on Thursday, appeared on the defense. “Classified documents next to your Corvette, but what’s on your mind?” Asked him, teasingly, a reporter from the famously conservative Fox News column.
“My Corvette is in a locked garage” and not “on the street” was the Democrat’s answer about his favorite car. Before nervously referring to the language elements contained in his files.
A 1978 law obliges American presidents and vice-presidents to send all their emails, letters and other work documents to the national archives. Former President Donald Trump is facing federal indictment over his handling of his records.
Leaving the White House, he took the entire boxes. Asked to return them, he returned about fifteen boxes in January 2022. About thirty others were seized by federal police in August at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.
Merrick Garland has entrusted this investigation to a special prosecutor, Jack Smith, as well as investigations into Donald Trump’s role in the attack on the Capitol, on January 6, 2021.
The fact that he also appointed someone to investigate Joe Biden’s archives didn’t calm Republican opposition. “With or without a special prosecutor”, the House of Representatives, which is under the control of conservatives, will investigate “President Biden’s inappropriate handling of classified documents and the ‘backwater’ efforts ‘ to keep this information,” James Comer said in a statement.
This Republican, who heads a powerful House of Representatives inquiry commission, uses a term beloved of Donald Trump. The former president described Washington’s Democratic elite as a “backwater” (“swamp”).
This article was published automatically. Sources: ats / afp