In our relativistic age in which everyone has his or her own “truth,” and none is to be preferred over another so long as the individual feels good about it, why should anything be considered scandalous? If truth is subjective rather than objective, who is to say what is right and what is wrong? And if one does make such a claim, is that not an affirmation that a standard exists by which truth and falsehood, scandalous and honorable behavior can be measured?
The White House is caught in an ethical bind. On the one hand, they claim that classified documents found when an FBI warrant was executed at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home are scandalous while simultaneously claiming that classified documents found in President Biden’s home and in an old office suite are no big deal because Mr. Biden instructed his lawyers to get them and inform the National Archives.
This is akin to admitting to doing something wrong before you have been discovered. If it is wrong in one instance to keep classified documents after leaving office, then why is it also not wrong in the other instance?
Quoting a source, CBS News has reported: “Representatives for Mr. Biden signed a form outlining the parameters of the search, including which areas in the president’s home could be swept for papers. … A Justice Department attorney was present at the residence Friday.”
So the one being investigated gets to tell authorities which places can be searched and which are off-limits? Come on, man, as the president likes to say. That will come as a surprise to people who have been awakened by SWAT teams before dawn and treated like criminals while every room in their house is searched. And I’m not just talking about Roger Stone. Too much of this is occurring among far lesser-known Americans.
The CBS report continued, “Justice Department officials are also considering the possibility of conducting other consensual searches at locations linked to Mr. Biden, said the source familiar with the investigation.”
Keep in mind that the documents were found in November but only this month was the discovery made public. I’m sure the delay had nothing to do with the November election, right?
Appearing on Sunday talk shows, two Senate Democrats were critical of the president. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said the president should be “embarrassed by the situation.” He added that Mr. Biden had ceded the moral high ground on an issue that Democrats have been using against former President Donald Trump. Mr. Durbin went on to say such discoveries “diminishes the stature of any person in possession of it because it’s not supposed to happen. … The elected official bears ultimate responsibility.”
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Mr. Biden “should have a lot of regrets. … You just might as well say, ‘Listen, it’s irresponsible.’”
Sounding like the Frank Sinatra song “My Way,” the president has said he has “no regrets” about the documents, apparently not even too few to mention.
Could this document scandal be the excuse some Democrats are quietly looking and hoping for to persuade Mr. Biden not to run for reelection and nominate a younger and more vibrant candidate?
Now we learn a dozen classified documents have been found at former Vice President Mike Pence’s home. Mr. Pence’s lawyer immediately alerted the National Archives, which in turn informed the Department of Justice. FBI agents have since retrieved the documents.
The top-secret documents Mr. Trump walked out of the White House with could also be a legal problem for him, depending on what the special prosecutor and Attorney General Merrick Garland decide to do. Their problem is that if they move ahead with legal proceedings for one (Mr. Trump), they would be hard-pressed to credibly explain to a cynical public why the other (Mr. Biden) should get a legal free pass.
In another America where laws were once supposed to be equally enforced (the exception being the rule) and truth was not personal, this would likely not have been a problem.
• Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book, “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States” (HarperCollins/Zondervan).
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