The Department of Justice has been investigating government documents found in the possession of current or former presidents and vice presidents — and has completed the first of three cases.
Over the course of the past year, documents have been located at the homes or offices of Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence, all apparently wrongly kept after leaving office (Biden’s were from his time as VP).
While the three cases differ in some significant ways, the close of the first heightens anticipation for the outcome of the other two.
Pence was actually the last of the three to be found in possession of possible classified or otherwise sensitive material, and in fact, located the documents in what his representatives say was a search out of an abundance of caution, after Biden informed the National Archives that some documents had been located in the packing of an office he held.
Trump’s case differs from both Biden’s and Pence’s, in that he is the only one of the three who fought against efforts to have documents returned, and in that he is the only one to have allegedly shown confidential government information to others.
That hasn’t stopped him from responding to the news about his former VP with complaints about his own case not being similarly closed. The Washington Post reports:
‘A Justice Department official sent a one-page letter to Pence’s lawyer Thursday informing him of the decision, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a federal investigation…A spokesman for Pence…said the former vice president was ‘pleased but not surprised.'”
This comes only days after reports that Special Counsel Jack Smith is wrapping up his investigation into the documents found at Mar-a-Lago. (Biden and Pence’s cases have been handled separately, by different teams.)
There’s speculation that charges will emerge in Trump’s case, potentially including obstruction of justice, mishandling government documents, and violations of the Espionage Act, according to Bloomberg.
Trump responded on social media, demanding to be “fully exonerated” and declaring himself “at least as innocent as” Pence, then pivoting to repeat his unsupported fantasy that Biden is “hiding” additional boxes of material “in Chinatown.”
There have been no credible reports of Biden having any additional documents, or keeping anything from investigators, and if Trump had any legitimate reason to claim otherwise, his attorneys certainly have contact information to pass it on to the DOJ.
See Trump’s post below.