meAfter the Justice Department uncovered another batch of materials, President Joe Biden faced criticism Sunday for his handling of classified documents from an unlikely source: Senate Democrats.
There are many unanswered questions about why Biden had classified documents from his vice presidency at his think tank’s office in Washington, DC and his residence in Wilmington, as well as the circumstances in which they were found and the transparency that has been the president Even as they pushed back against GOP attacks on the matter, top Senate Democrats expressed dismay at the White House’s handling of the situation amid a steady stream of document discoveries.
DOJ SEARCH OF BIDEN’S WILMINGTON HOME FINDS MORE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS
Asked whether Biden has ceded the moral high ground on the issue after publicly criticizing former President Donald Trump’s mishandling of classified documents, Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) said that the president should be “ashamed of the situation” and called it “outrageous” that either of them was in possession of these materials.
“Let’s be honest about it. When that information is found, it diminishes the stature of anyone in possession of it. It’s not supposed to happen,” Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said in the state of the CNN Union. “Whether it was an employee’s fault or an attorney’s fault, it makes no difference. The elected official has ultimate responsibility.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a critical vote in the Senate Democratic conference, condemned Biden for the document’s findings while on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“Putting them in unsafe spaces is irresponsible,” Manchin said of Biden’s classified materials. “I think I should have a lot of regrets.”
“I say, whoever’s responsible, I mean, if I hold people accountable, whether it’s my chief of staff or, you know, my staff that was doing this and I’m watching, then I’m going to hold somebody accountable. , but basically, the buck stops with me,” he added.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who announced his re-election bid over the weekend, told CBS’ Face the Nation that he could not explain how classified documents from Biden’s Senate race could end up at the Biden residence.
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“I don’t really know the answer to that question because I review classified material as a senator on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, but when I do, it’s always in a classified facility where I don’t have access to the materials other than sitting there and read them,” Kaine told anchor Margaret Brennan. “So that’s why there needs to be an independent investigation and an independent prosecution.”
“How many documents are we talking about? Dozens? A handful or hundreds? How serious? Why were they taken? Did someone have access to them? And then the president is being cooperative?” Kaine continued, listing his questions. “And I think of course it suggests that yes, of course he’s cooperating, as anyone should be. But those are the reasons why this independent prosecutor and an investigation is needed.”