Chinanews.com, January 25th. Trump, Biden, Pence... The former president, current president, and former vice president of the United States have been involved in the "Document Gate" incident. Two of them are Republicans and one Democrat. Everyone is a potential or official contender for the 2024 presidential election, and the big drama in American politics is becoming more and more complicated and subtle.
Data map: The then US Vice President Pence (left) at the White House press conference.
Photo by China News Agency reporter Chen Mengtong
At the beginning of 2023, U.S. President Biden will be caught in political turmoil due to the "document gate", and will face the same investigation by the special prosecutor as former President Trump.
Now, Trump's partner in the presidency, former Vice President Pence, is also accused of being involved in similar incidents.
On the 24th, US media released a letter from Pence's lawyer Craig Jacobs to the National Archives and Records Administration.
Pence's team confirmed that a "small amount" of classified documents were found at the former vice president's home in Indiana and will be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration.
"The small number of classified documents were inadvertently boxed and shipped to the former Vice President's private residence at the end of the previous administration."
The findings make Pence the third former or current senior U.S. official to keep classified material while in office at home, after Biden and former President Trump.
The Presidential Records Act requires the President and Vice President to transfer documents to the National Archives for safekeeping.
Data map: US President Biden.
"Did Biden a favor"
"Did Biden a favor"
Former Republican Vice President Pence's family also found confidential documents. What does it mean for Democratic President Biden?
CNN stated that for now, the potential Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election may have "did Biden a favor."
Clearly, this development is good news for the White House.
CNN stated that the vigorous confidential document drama has a "new spokesperson", which makes Pence the most popular person in the White House.
Because the revelation came as Republicans in Congress lashed out at Biden, portraying him as careless and potentially compromising sensitive information.
Today, Republicans are embarrassed to find that Pence seems to have made the same mistake as Biden.
Pence and Biden approached their respective cases similarly, with lawyers both quickly notifying the Justice Department and the National Archives and Records Administration, which could blunt some of the Republican attacks on the White House.
The US "Capitol Hill" stated that the confidential documents found in Pence's home will complicate the issue of congressional Republicans' coordinated attacks on Biden's confidential documents during his tenure as vice president.
Some legal experts have analyzed that, politically, this makes it difficult or even impossible for the Republican Party to criticize Biden without harming Pence.
Senior Republican Senator Graham told reporters on the 24th, "I don't know what's going on. The most important thing is that I don't believe that Pence is deliberately endangering national security."
There are also some Republicans who seem less willing to relax their criticism of Biden, suggesting that they will step up investigations.
House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer said Pence contacted the panel about the documents found at his home and "agreed to cooperate fully with congressional oversight."
Comer requested documents found by Biden's team, communications between the Biden White House and the Justice Department regarding them, and a Secret Service-vetted list of visitors to Biden's home in Delaware.
On November 15, 2022 local time, former U.S. President Trump delivered a speech at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, officially announcing his participation in the 2024 U.S. presidential election.
"Give Trump a Chance"
"Give Trump a Chance"
Is it good news or bad news for Pence's involvement in classified documents for his old partner Trump?
Former President Trump also commented on the issue of Pence's confidential documents on the 24th.
He posted on social platforms, saying that "Pence is innocent. He has never knowingly done anything dishonest in his life."
CNN also analyzed that although Pence's revelation obviously helped Biden, it also inadvertently provided Trump with a political opportunity.
For one thing, Biden, Pence and Trump have all found classified documents in their residences, which could mean that three of the most high-profile potential contenders in the 2024 presidential election now all have to deal with the same controversy.
It also complicates the Justice Department's investigation into the mishandling of classified documents by politicians.
Sources close to former President Trump told CNN they believe Biden and Pence's entanglement in classified documents could make it harder for the Justice Department to ultimately charge either of them.
At present, former US President Trump and current President Biden are both facing investigations by special prosecutors for improper handling of confidential documents.
On the other hand, for many voters unaware of the details of the classified documents turmoil, it may be difficult to distinguish the nuances of the three cases.
The more documents that are unearthed, and the more current and former senior executive branch officials are involved, the less likely it seems that such a discovery would be a big deal, or that everyone involved might be held equally at fault by voters.