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Senator says Biden has lost moral ‘high ground’ to Trump after latest document discovery

A prominent Democratic Senator has slammed Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents days after files were found at the current head of state’s home in Delaware, calling his handling of sensitive materials ‘unacceptable.’

Appearing for an interview Sunday, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin chided the president for his decisions – labeling them careless, and likening them to the actions of the president’s embattled predecessor, Donald Trump.

The documents recovered Saturday from Biden’s Wilmington residence range from his three-decade tenure in the Senate and his time as vice president, and reportedly brings the total number of classified files found to between 25 and 30.

It’s not immediately clear how many of the six documents unveiled were top secret in nature – though The DOJ searched the property for more than 12 hours, a statement from the president’s personal lawyer said.

The long and winding document trail has raised concerns over the president’s decision making, as officials discern whether his hoarding of the documents in his garage – next to his vintage Corvette – constitutes a breach of national security.

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Appearing on CNN Sunday, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin chided the president for his decisions, labeling them careless, and likening them to the actions of his embattled predecessor

Pictures of the entrance to President Joe Biden's lake front home in Wilmington, DE

The documents recovered Saturday from Biden’s Wilmington residence range from his three-decade tenure in the Senate and his time as vice president. It reportedly brings the total number of classified files found at Biden’s private home to between 25 and 30

Speaking with Dana Bash on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Durbin decried Biden’s conduct, saying it has seen him lose his moral ‘high ground’ over Trump – whose home in Mar-a-Lago was recently raided by federal authorities.

‘There’s a standard we follow when it comes to members of Congress and classified information,’ Durbin said during the televised sitdown, before detailing the actions of officials in his office when handling classified materials.

‘The door to my office is closed. The person that presents the document to me takes it out of a locked briefcase, hands it to me and watches as I read it. 

‘When I finish reading it, he takes it back, puts it in the briefcase and leaves the scene. That’s how carefully we review these documents,’ Durbin went on.

‘To think that any of them ended up in boxes in storage one place or the other,’ he continued, ‘is just unacceptable.’

Durbin, a 78-year-old progressive serving his fifth consecutive Senate term, went on to compare Biden’s ongoing debacle with Trump’s own classified documents crisis – which resulted in an FBI raid on his Florida mansion back in August.

While drawing parallels between the two situations, Durbin made it clear that he sees Biden’s behavior as entirely different from former President Trump, citing the former’s apparent willingness to cooperate with federal investigators.

At least a few documents were found in Biden's garage at his Wilmington home, next to his vintage Corvette - a location Biden last week touted as 'safe'

At least a few documents were found in Biden’s garage at his Wilmington home, next to his vintage Corvette – a location Biden last week touted as ‘safe’

‘Joe Biden has said from the start, we are going to be totally transparent about this,’ Durbin said. ‘Let the chips fall where they may. I’m going to open my home voluntarily to a search, not the first search, I’m sure, of his offices and home. He has shown total cooperation in this effort.’

The elected official added: ‘That is a sharp contrast to President Trump.’

At that point, Bash stopped the senator, and asked if, after the latest discovery, Durbin fears that Biden – who has mocked Trump’s mishandling of files recovered during the Mar-a-Lago raid – has lost his ‘high ground on this notion of classified information’ to the former president.

Durbin responded by stating, ‘Well, of course,’ before elaborating on exactly how far Biden – currently the subject of a DOJ investigation – has fallen. 

During the interview, CNN's Dana Bash (left) asked the senator that if following the latest discovery, Durbin fears that Biden - who has mocked Trump's mishandling of files in the past - has lost his 'high ground on this notion' to the ex-president

During the interview, CNN’s Dana Bash (left) asked the senator that if following the latest discovery, Durbin fears that Biden – who has mocked Trump’s mishandling of files in the past – has lost his ‘high ground on this notion’ to the ex-president

‘Let’s be honest about it,’ Durbin said, appearing visibly perturbed by the president’s current plight.

‘When the information is found, it diminishes the stature of any person who is in possession of it. Because it’s not supposed to happen. 

‘Whether it was the fault of a staffer or attorney,’ he added, ‘it makes no difference. The elected official bears ultimate responsibility.’

Just before the DOJ’s discovery last week, Biden insisted his garage was a secure location in an exchange with a reporter following a string of discoveries by DOJ officials at his Delaware home that spurred a still ongoing FBI investigation in November.

‘Classified materials next to your Corvette? What were you thinking?’ Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked the president during a White House press conference.

‘My Corvette is in a locked garage, OK?’ Biden replied, seemingly annoyed by the inquiry. ‘It’s not like they’re sitting out on the street,’ 

‘So it was in a locked garage?’ Doocy persisted.

‘Yes, as well as my Corvette,’ Biden quipped back.

 

The president is currently being investigated by a special counsel, appointed by his own Attorney General Merrick Garland, over his handling of classified records.  

Federal officials are ‘considering whether to seek’ further searches of the commander-in-chief’s family home, after six additional items were discovered there during a search on Saturday.

The news broke while Biden was at his Rehoboth Beach vacation property – and after Biden slammed Trump’s mishandling of files, hundreds of which were recovered from Mar-a-Lago, as ‘irresponsible’.

Trump is currently the subject of a separate federal investigation, also over his handling of classified records. It is believed the former head of state lied to investigators about holding the presidential papers at his private residence, resulting in an FBI raid on his home last summer.

Hundreds of allegedly top-secret files were subsequently uncovered by agents who carried out the search, and seized as evidence. Trump has since faced heat from investigators for seemingly attempting to thrwart their investigation.

Biden, by contrast, has said he is taking the investigation ‘seriously’ and working with officials at the DOJ and National Archives every step of the way. 

But Republican critics of the Democratic president have called that into question following this weekend’s discovery – the magnitude of which has yet to be seen.

‘AGAIN?!? How in the HELL do they keep screwing this up?? As Biden repeatedly says, “everyone knows how seriously I take classified documents.” Yes. Yes we do,’ Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz wrote on Twitter. 

Biden at his Rehoboth Beach property this weekend while more classified files were found in his Wilmington home

Biden at his Rehoboth Beach property this weekend while more classified files were found in his Wilmington home

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry, a member of the House Oversight Committee, echoed Biden’s own words: ‘Everyone know i how seriously I take classified documents.’ 

‘I guess the operative words here were, “I take,”‘ Perry wrote.

Other Republicans are similarly clamoring for the president to face legal repercussions amid the growing scandal.

House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. James Comer said his investigation into the Biden family was moving into its ‘next phase,’ which reportedly involves both the classified documents and the president’s finances – along with those of his son Hunter Biden.

‘We’ll be looking at bank statements. We’ll be looking at bank violations,’ Comer told the Washington Examiner.

‘That’s the next phase of our investigation because we’re trying to figure out who these anonymous sources are that are sending so much money to the Biden family schemes – the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Hunter Biden’s artwork.’

Saturday’s discovery in Wilmington was made just four days after Biden insisted he had ‘no regrets’ in his handling of classified files. 

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