EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., hypothesized that the classified documents scandal surrounding President Joe Biden is being fueled by Democrats who are ready to give the flailing president the hook.
“There’s an element to this that feels like the Democrats are taking out Joe Biden,” Gaetz told Fox News Digital on Wednesday.
“I don’t know that that’s the case, but I don’t know that it’s not,” he said. “But just as Joe Biden is hardening the cement around his decision to run for president again, they start looking for what classified documents might have been tucked away eight years ago.”
Three batches of Obama administration-era classified documents were found on Biden’s property in recent months: one batch at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., and two at his Wilmington, Delaware, property.
The Justice Department began its investigation into Biden after the first batch was discovered by the president’s personal lawyers at the Penn Biden Center in November, just days before the midterm elections. The developments only became public this month after CBS News broke the story and the White House was forced to respond. Attorney General Merrick Garland launched a special counsel investigation after additional classified documents from Biden were found at the president’s Wilmington home.
Gaetz said everything is speculative until it’s revealed what’s actually in the documents that were recovered.
“I mean, there’s an element of this where it’s Joe Biden’s lawyer who turns this information over, it’s Joe Biden’s own Justice Department that’s appointed a special counsel to investigate him – maybe the Democrats have realized that Joe Biden is not useful to them anymore, and they just assume toss him out and get a younger crop of candidates engaged in the next presidential race,” he said.
Gaetz said the biggest point of concern is any possible connection between the documents that were recovered at the Penn Biden Center and the reported millions in donations from unnamed Chinese donors to the University of Pennsylvania, which runs the center.
“We have a lot to learn about the content and substance of those documents, and if they relate to China, and if they were at that Biden Center at UPenn funded by China. That’s going to be a far more grave concern,” the congressman said.
“What if the documents relate to our economy?” he said. “What if Joe Biden was hustling information to his CCP (Chinese Communist Party) funders at the Biden Center for UPenn and that gave China economic advantage over Americans? That would create a nexus between those documents and our economic woes at the hands of rising China. I don’t know because I don’t know what the documents pertain to, but documents in and of themselves don’t seem to have an obvious connection to the quality of life of my constituents, in the absence of understanding their content and context.”
Gaetz said Americans are more concerned with the state of economy, and that will continue unless the documents controversy can be shown to impact them personally.
“I haven’t been frothing at the mouth over the mere existence of some documents in a garage in Delaware,” he said. “You know, I believe Americans are more worried about the weaponization of government against them than they are, you know, what papers Joe Biden stuffed in [the] glove box of his Corvette.”
“If the documents pertain to China and were at a repository funded by China, one could reasonably assess that the scandal runs deeper and would have a real damaging effect on our country,” he added. “If they are mementos or, you know, documents that have far outlived any sort of functional relevance quite some time ago, then I think that’s different.”
Gaetz made a similar comment on Twitter days earlier, writing that the Biden documents “aren’t critical to quality of life for my constituents.”
“I guess my view would change if the Biden docs related to China, as the CCP was functionally underwriting the Biden Center,” he added.
The special counsel investigation into Biden was launched just months after a similar one into former President Donald Trump, who kept classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida. In that case, the FBI raided Trump’s property after the agency suspected there were more documents than previously believed based on interviews and failed negotiations to hand them over. Trump has claimed he did no wrong in the matter.
The White House has emphasized that Biden’s case is different because his team cooperated with the DOJ and National Archives while Trump’s team resisted requests to turn over the classified documents.
Fox News’ Patrick Hauf contributed to this report.