Politics, News

Will Biden’s Classified Document Scandal Derail His Presidency?

The president still has time to limit the damage

John Dean
4 min readJan 14, 2023

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Public Domain photo via goodfreephotos.com

Despite having read two dozen explanations about why we should not worry that Joe Biden had confidential government documents in his possession, I am not convinced. President Biden, or someone reporting to him, screwed up. Classified documents, some marked “Top Secret,” ended up in a Washington office building and others in Biden’s garage.

There is no acceptable excuse for what happened. In particular, the argument that Trump’s possession of similar documents was “worse” doesn’t work.

Attorney General Garland has appropriately appointed a special counsel, Robert Hur, to investigate the Biden documents. The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jim Jordan (R-OH), will also look into the matter. In the next several months, we will learn a lot more about when the documents came into Biden’s possession, whether he personally moved documents into his garage, and what he was thinking.

It is too early to tell whether the special counsel will take legal action against Biden but not too early to predict that the Republicans will use the scandal in another attempt to discredit Biden and his administration. The scandal is a gift to the new House Republican majority.

Will the Republicans try to impeach Biden over the documents? Probably.

Comparisons between what Trump took and how the government reacted upon discovery that confidential documents were in his possession and the Biden case are telling. Objectively, the Trump case is more serious because Trump did not cooperate with the government when a request was received to surrender all misappropriated documents. Trump also is accused of lying to investigators. Biden, in contrast, appears to have immediately reported the confidential documents to the government. There is no evidence, to date, that Biden is not fully cooperating with the government.

I do not want to see Biden prosecuted over the documents unless information surfaces suggesting that he planned to misuse them or that the documents included material so sensitive to national security that its storage outside of a secure…

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John Dean

Writing on politics, photography, nature, the environment, dogs, and, occasionally, humor. Editor of Dean’s List.