House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will lead an investigation into both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump for keeping classified documents, Washington Examiner reported. The California Republican also pointed out the hypocrisy in the way each situation has been treated.
Speaking to reporters on C-SPAN, McCarthy explained how lawmakers "have a constitutional responsibility to oversee the Justice Department, and that also means overseeing special counsels," he said Tuesday. “So we will look into both situations.”
.@SpeakerMcCarthy (R-CA) on Biden and Trump documents probes: "It's not a fair process when you equalize this out, and that is what is wrong with the system." https://t.co/wY8OFxGe89 pic.twitter.com/FZ8vlO1aDZ
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 17, 2023
McCarthy also spoke about how Trump was treated more severely than Biden has been so far. "So let’s just put it on its premise that the past president, President Trump, had documents that he was his lawyers were talking with, the archives knew they were there," McCarthy explained.
"They actually asked to put another lock on. So it was behind lock at any time, they could have walked in and grabbed it. No, they had the FBI come and raid Mar-a-Lago," McCarthy pointed out.
In August, the FBI raided Trump's private residence ostensibly to recover said documents. "Now we have a current sitting president that had gone on [CBS's] '60 Minutes' criticizing President Trump for what he’s done," McCarthy continued.
"We had all the Democrats attacking. They even put a special counsel prosecutor to go after President Trump on this," he added. Trump's situation was treated as a grave scandal, but Democrats are singing a different tune with Biden.
McCarthy also went on to criticize the timing of these revelations in relation to the actual discovery for Biden. On Nov. 2, the government recovered documents from an office Biden had occupied after his time as vice president, the New York Times reported.
However, it wasn't publicized until earlier this month, even though it happened before the 2022 midterm elections. Moreover, another trove of documents kept in an unsecured location is in stark contrast to how Trump kept his files.
"Before the election, they found out President Biden had these documents not under lock, a simple push of a button that could open a garage door that every American has and knows what happens with how people get robbed, mainly by going through a garage door. It makes it quite easy," McCarthy said.
When pressed about whether McCarthy thought it was a problem when Trump did it, the House Speaker explained why his position differed. "The one thing I will say here, too is a president who just left office is not the individual who’s packing up their boxes, who’s not moving them," he began.
"So how much does he even know in that process and others? And did you have to have an FBI raid it? At any time, the president would have lawyers provided it to them," McCarthy said.
"But it’s interesting, in the raid of Mar-a-Lago, did they just go to where they knew the boxes are already were, or did they go through the former first lady’s clothes? Did they go through his son’s area?" he asked of the intrusive raid on the former president.
"What have they done? They haven’t even gone into the garage. He let some attorney do it for Biden," McCarthy pointed out. "So it’s not a fair process when you equalize this out. And that is what is wrong with the system," he added.
It's a serious matter to have classified documents kept in places that are not secured. However, McCarthy is right that Trump received harsher treatment for a similar infraction.