Merrick Garland Says DOJ Hasn't Treated Biden Better Than Trump Over Classified Docs

"We do not have different rules for Democrats or Republicans," the attorney general said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday denied that the Justice Department has treated President Joe Biden more leniently than former President Donald Trump for mishandling classified documents.

Speaking to a roundtable of his department’s Reproductive Task Force, Garland said the DOJ treats subjects equally, based on a “set of norms and practices.”

“These mean, among other things, that we do not have different rules for Democrats or Republicans, different rules for the powerful and the powerless, different rules for the rich or for the poor,” Garland said. “We apply the facts and the law in each case in a neutral, nonpartisan manner. That is what we always do, and that is what we do in the matters that you’re referring to.”

Garland this month appointed Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate classified documents found in Biden’s former office in Washington and at his Delaware home.

The FBI on Friday searched Biden’s Wilmington residence for 13 hours and found six additional classified documents dating back to his time in the Senate and the vice presidency. Agents also took handwritten notes by Biden from when he was vice president.

A separate special counsel is probing a trove of classified documents found at Trump’s Florida resort after he left the White House.

The two cases present significant differences. Biden has been cooperating with the DOJ and the National Archives, and voluntarily allowed the FBI into this home for a thorough search. Trump resisted turning over documents requested by the archives, prompting a court-approved search warrant and FBI search. The number of documents found in Trump’s possession was far greater than in Biden’s.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and suggested FBI agents planted documents at his club, comparing the agents to Nazi Germany’s secret police.

Biden has said the documents found in his possession were “filed in the wrong place” and “there’s no there there.”

Asked if he has any regrets over how the department has handled the two cases, Garland replied that the DOJ’s role is to stick to the facts and law, and to make decisions “in a nonpartisan and neutral way without regard to who the subjects are.”

“That is what we’ve done in each of these cases. And that is what we’ll continue to do,” he added.

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