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Democrats slam Biden over classified documents after he used issue against Trump: 'Embarrassing.'

Rep. Adam Schiff calls for intelligence assessment after four discoveries of documents at BIden's home and office.

Published: January 16, 2023 8:59am

Updated: January 16, 2023 9:58am

Democrats are criticizing President Joe Biden for using the issue of classified documents against Donald Trump when he had his own problem with sensitive memos at his home and office.

Classified documents from Biden's tenure as vice president were found in November, December and this month at his former office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., and at his home in Wilmington, Del. 

In August, Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate was raided by the FBI over classified materials from his tenure at theWhite House. Trump had previously complied with a subpoena and voluntarily handed over some classified materials before the raid. 

Special counsels have been appointed in both cases regarding Trump and Biden. 

Biden criticized Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents in September, saying it was “totally irresponsible.” 

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that after Biden had criticized Trump over allegedly mishandling classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, the fact that he also allegedly mishandled classified documents was problematic.

“Well, it’s certainly embarrassing,” Stabenow said. 

She added Biden's team has been cooperating with authorities. 

“They don’t think it’s the right thing and they’ve been moving to correct it, working with the Department of Justice, working with everyone involved, with the archives. So, from my perspective, it’s one of those moments that, obviously, they wish hadn’t happened,” said Stabenow, who announced earlier this month that she is not seeking reelection. 

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also raised potential national security concerns regarding Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified materials on Sunday. 

When asked on ABC’s "This Week" whether there is a possibility that national security was jeopardized, which Schiff had said about the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, he noted that the matter should be examined. 

"I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts," Schiff said. "We have asked for an assessment in the intelligence community of the Mar-a-Lago documents. I think we ought to get that same assessment of the documents found in the [Penn Biden Center] as well as the home of President Biden." 

"I’d like to know what these documents were. I’d like to know what the [special counsel’s] assessment is, whether there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be and whether any mitigation needs to be done," Schiff continued. "I think that would be appropriate and consistent with what we requested in the case of Mar-a-Lago." 

The Democratic congressman added that he would "reserve judgment" regarding whether the Biden administration should have revealed the discovery of the documents sooner. 

"I think it’s important to point out that the Biden approach was very different in the sense that it looks – as far as we can tell – that it was inadvertent that these documents were in these locations," Schiff added. 

Former political adviser to President Barack Obama, David Axelrod, also criticized Biden over the classified documents. 

"It basically ... is a huge gift to Trump," Axelrod told Reuters. He added that the recent developments regarding the classified documents were an "embarrassment" following Biden’s criticisms of Trump over the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. 

"My guess is when this thing shakes out that it's going to be less than it appears today, but right now it's a huge pain," Axelrod added. 

White House lawyer Richard Sauber has said that the White House was "confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake." 

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