(Washington) Joe Biden pleads the “error”: the American president is on the defensive after the discovery of new confidential documents in his family home, a case which a special prosecutor will investigate.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur, a former federal prosecutor, to the post.
The announcement aims to quell any suspicion of patronage, since Merrick Garland had already appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Donald Trump and the classified documents taken away by the former president, in much greater numbers.
The challenge for Joe Biden, who plans to run again in 2024, is of course to undermine any parallel between his case and that of his predecessor, already a candidate.
The White House thus insists that the current Democratic president is actively collaborating with justice, unlike his predecessor who is suspected of having deliberately concealed part of his archives.
“We are trying to do this by the book,” said and repeated his spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, during a particularly lively briefing on Thursday.
An adviser to the White House invited at the last minute to speak on international subjects was thus asked to abbreviate by a journalist, impatient like all the press to move on to this ever more resounding affair.
The spokeswoman assured that Joe Biden was working with the greatest “transparency”, but she kicked into touch many times, in the name of the independence of justice.
“A careful investigation will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced and that the President and his attorneys acted promptly upon discovering this error,” Presidential Counsel Richard Sauber said in a statement.
The White House said Thursday that a “small number of confidential documents” relating to Joe Biden’s work as Vice President (2009-2017) were found Wednesday evening at his private residence in Wilmington, Delaware ( east), stored in the garage and in an adjacent room.
On Monday, the American executive had already acknowledged that a dozen documents of this type had been discovered, in November, at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington where Joe Biden once had an office.
“The research is over,” said Karine Jean-Pierre.
She did not explain why the US executive communicated immediately on the documents found in Wilmington, but waited two months, and the publication of revelations in the press, for those found at the Penn Biden Center in Washington.
The American president, questioned directly on Thursday, appeared on the defensive.
“Classified documents next to your Corvette, but what did you have in mind?” a journalist from the popular conservative channel Fox News asked him defiantly.
“My Corvette is in a closed garage” and not “on the street” retorted the Democrat about his favorite car. Before nervously referring to the elements of language contained in his files.
A 1978 law obliges US presidents and vice-presidents to send all their emails, letters and other working documents to the National Archives.
Former President Donald Trump is facing federal indictment over his handling of his records.
Leaving the White House, he had taken whole boxes. Asked to return them, he had returned fifteen boxes in January 2022.
The federal police had seized about thirty others in August in his residence of Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Merrick Garland has since entrusted this investigation to a special prosecutor, Jack Smith, as well as the investigations concerning the role of Donald Trump in the assault on the Capitol, on January 6, 2021.
The fact that he also appoints one to investigate the Joe Biden archives has not calmed the Republican opposition.
“With or without a special prosecutor”, the House of Representatives, which has just come under the control of the conservatives, will investigate “the inappropriate treatment of classified documents by President Biden and the efforts of the “backwater” to hide this information”, James Comer promised in a statement.
This Republican, who chairs a powerful commission of inquiry of the House of Representatives, uses a term dear to Donald Trump. The former president described Washington’s Democratic elites as a “backwater” (“swamp”).