Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., who has defended President Biden’s handling of classified documents, dismissed comparisons of Biden’s situation to former President Donald Trump’s legal controversies, calling them “apples and oranges.”
Goldman is a freshman lawmaker who previously served as House impeachment counsel against Trump. In an interview with Punchbowl News published Tuesday, he rebuffed GOP accusations that Democrats are holding a “double standard” for Biden after they assailed Trump, who may be indicted for failing to turn over hundreds of classified documents to the National Archives.
“The American people are smart enough to understand the difference here,” Goldman said.
“On the one hand, you have classified information where it shouldn’t be. And President Biden’s team is doing exactly what you would hope they would do. They weren’t even asked for these documents. They self-reported,” he continued.
“And on the other hand, you have a former president trying to obstruct justice and withhold classified information from the proper authorities. So these are apples and oranges.”
Trump is under criminal investigation by Jack Smith, a career prosecutor appointed as special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Last year, the FBI executed a search and seizure at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida and retrieved approximately 300 documents with classified markings – some “top secret” – that the former president neglected to turn over to the National Archives as required by law. Trump and his legal team have said the former president was working with the National Archives to turn over those documents before the FBI raid.
Garland has also appointed Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate Biden after documents with classified markings from the Obama administration were discovered at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., and subsequently at Biden’s private residence in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden and his legal team have been emphatic that they immediately turned over all documents to the Justice Department and have been fully cooperating with law enforcement.
House Republicans have already begun requesting copies of Biden’s documents as part of their own investigation into the president’s classified materials. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., have also planned investigations into Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Goldman panned these investigations and dismissed the newly formed “Weaponization of the Federal Government” committee as “nothing else than the committee to obstruct justice.”
“The American people do not care about Hunter Biden’s laptop,” he said. “And what we’re going to see, as they have foreshadowed, is excessively overreaching partisan investigations that are solely designed to hurt President Biden’s re-election chances in 2024.”
“They have determined the narrative and what they will now try to do is find an investigation that can match the narrative,” he added. “And what we Democrats can do is continue to point out the fact that they are doing nothing for the people while focusing on politicized investigations that have no merit.”