The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Documents DeClassified: Why Holding Documents Doesn’t Warrant Impeachment

Biden’s willingness to cooperate shows how that impacts his role as a world leader.
Photo Courtesy / YouTube ABC News

Last November, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a voluntary search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, where they found about 20 classified documents from Biden’s tenure as a U.S. Senator from 1973-2009 and as vice president from 2009-2017. 

Naturally, Republicans are having a field day. But what is there to make of the finger pointing from the right to the left? Somewhere in between lies the truth. 

The New Yorker documented an interview between Representative James Comer of Kentucky and Fox News anchor Martha MacCullum, where Comer compares the differences between the public’s reaction to the F.B.I’s raid on former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence for classified documents to those of Biden’s. Comer’s main concern was Biden being treated differently than Trump — and not the national security implications this could have on the United States. However, Biden’s legal team is quickly addressing the concerns that the Republican Party has. The key differences, Biden’s personal lawyer Bob Bauer told CNBC, is that whilst Trump and his legal team refused to give up hundreds of documents, Biden is fully cooperating to give up the sum of about twenty classified documents.

Examples like this show just how muddled the lines are between right and wrong as the lines separating the Democratic and Republican party become clearer. 

Neither president had done the right thing by keeping classified documents. Biden keeping those documents in a garage could potentially harm national security. The Democrat versus Republican position that representatives such as Comer are making takes away the hard truth: on either side, keeping classified documents is dangerous and irresponsible to the American citizenry.

The New Yorker documented how some Republicans believe that Biden’s recent political scandal is cause for impeachment, but it leaves one to wonder if this is in the spirit of accountability or politics. In fact, according to CNN, a lawyer for former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence recently found more classified documents in his Indiana home. If the United States impeaches every elected official that has taken classified documents, it could possibly span decades. This could be carelessness, but  The New Yorker was quick to note that it could also be because the country has an issue with over-classifying documents. A sum of about fifty million documents get classified each year. 

Therefore, the way to separate the malicious from the mistaken is to note the willingness to cooperate with the FBI. Biden’s responsibility with providing the documents to the FBI shows that the Senate should not go so far as to impeach the president, but rather set an example for future leaders.

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    Brian careyFeb 24, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    Very well done. Excellent point