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Attorney General Merrick Garland Denies Double Standard in Biden and Trump Handling of Classified Records

On Monday, Merrick Garland, the Attorney General, dismissed the idea that the Justice Department has been more tolerant of Joe Biden, the President, than they were of Donald Trump, the former President, regarding the improper handling of classified documents. In response to being questioned on how he would answer those who claim Joe Biden has been given preferential treatment compared to former President Trump, he gave an answer. This is in reference to the FBI having conducted a search of Trump's home last August after accusations of his refusal to hand over all confidential documents he had in his possession.

At a press conference discussing the two investigations into how ex-President Trump and President Biden dealt with confidential state information, Garland spoke his thoughts.[0] Garland’s response follows a request from the House Judiciary Committee, now led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), seeking all documents and communications related to the investigation, including correspondence with Biden’s attorneys and those related to the appointment of a special counsel.[1]

Last week, FBI agents found confidential records at Joe Biden's residence in Wilmington, Delaware, as reported by a Department of Justice attorney and the president's legal representative.[2] That discovery was the fourth time since November that classified documents were found in Biden’s possession, although his lawyers did not reveal their existence until earlier this month.[3]

Earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur as the special counsel to investigate classified records which were discovered in a certain office used by Biden after his service in the Obama administration, along with his Delaware residence and garage.[4]

In addition to Jordan's letter, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) – another prominent Republican on the House Judiciary Committee – signed a document that required Garland to provide information about the selection of Robert Hur, a former Trump federal prosecutor and Department of Justice veteran, to be the special counsel overseeing the matter of Biden's classified records.[5]

“Our Members are rightly concerned about the Justice Department’s double standard here, after all, some of the Biden documents were found at a think tank that’s received funds from communist China. It’s concerning, to say the least, that the Department is more interested in playing politics than cooperating,” said Jordan spokesman Russell Dye in a statement.[6]

Garland responded to the question of whether he regrets the way the department has handled the two cases by saying that the DOJ's job is to be impartial and adhere to the facts and law, and to make decisions “in a nonpartisan and neutral way without regard to who the subjects are.[7][7]

0. “Garland defends handling of Biden, Trump classified document probes” POLITICO, 23 Jan. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/01/23/garland-biden-trump-classified-document-probes-00079072

1. “DOJ declines to release communication on Biden docs to House Judiciary” The Hill, 30 Jan. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/3836251-doj-declines-to-release-communication-on-biden-docs-to-house-judiciary/

2. “Garland pushes back on suggestion Biden has been treated better than Trump in documents probes” 1430wcmy.com, 23 Jan. 2023, https://1430wcmy.com/2023/01/23/garland-pushes-back-on-suggestion-biden-has-been-treated-better-than-trump-in-documents-probes

3. “AG Merrick Garland Says No Double Standard of Justice in Biden Classified Docs Case” The Epoch Times, 24 Jan. 2023, https://www.theepochtimes.com/ag-merrick-garland-says-no-double-standard-of-justice-in-biden-classified-docs-case_5007576.html

4. “Garland Appoints Special Counsel To Investigate Biden Document Storage : The NPR Politics Podcast” NPR, 12 Jan. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/01/12/1148828047/garland-appoints-special-counsel-to-investigate-biden-document-storage

5. “DOJ rejects Jordan info requests on Biden classified docs by citing special counsel appointment” msnNOW, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/doj-rejects-jordan-info-requests-on-biden-classified-docs-by-citing-special-counsel-appointment/ar-AA16Ug8e

6. “House Republicans rebuffed in bid to access details of DoJ Biden investigation” The Guardian US, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/30/republicans-joe-biden-documents-investigation-rebuffed

7. “Merrick Garland Says DOJ Hasn't Treated Biden Better Than Trump Over Classified Docs” HuffPost, 24 Jan. 2023, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/merrick-garland-classified-docs-trump-biden_n_63cfefa4e4b0c2b49ad823c7