Trump has sought to liken the classified documents at Biden’s office, used as a private citizen after he left as vice president in connection with his being a honorary professor at the University of Pennsylvania, to the documents taken by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago in August.
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity in September, Trump maintained that he had declassified the documents at Mar-a-Lago, that he could do so simply by thinking about it, and even said that they were his property.
How did each respond?
When the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago and found a large number of classified documents — some containing top secret markings — it came after a months-long effort by the National Archives and Justice Department to retrieve them.
By contrast, when Biden attorneys found what they said was a small number of documents in November when closing the office, which Biden was said to have used only periodically, they said they immediately notified the National Archives.
Number of classified documents
Sources told ABC News there were approximately 10 documents discovered by Biden’s personal attorneys including some that were marked ‘Top Secret’ and that they were from the period between 2013 and 2016.
Intent and knowledge?
It’s not clear whether Biden, unlike Trump, was aware of the classified documents at the office.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has assigned U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch with leading the review into how the documents ended up at the Penn Biden Center, a source familiar with the matter confirmed.