President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have found themselves in the same precarious position. Both men have been found to have kept classified documents in their possession for some time after leaving office, however, the specifics of these two cases are significantly different.
In Biden’s case, the documents were discovered by his staff who were clearing out one of his former offices. The classified documents found date back to his time serving as vice president in the Obama administration. As soon as the documents were discovered the National Archives were contacted. This led to the documents being recovered the following day after which point the case was handed over to the Department of Justice for further investigation. Since then a few more classified documents have been found in two different locations in Biden’s Delaware residence.
On the other hand, Biden’s case and the number of documents could not be any more different. Trump’s home was raided by the FBI after he failed to comply with a request by the National Archives for all presidential records to be returned. The FBI acquired close to 300 classified documents during their search of Trump’s house. The documents were then handed over to the Department of Justice for further investigation.
Despite the important differences in the two cases, both men could face charges under the Espionage Act. However, as prosecutions will need to demonstrate intent in the two cases, Biden might be in a slightly better position as he immediately notified the regulatory bodies necessary, whereas Trump refused to hand over the necessary documents.