The Observer view on the secret garage documents which could deliver a devastating blow to Joe Biden dreams
It’s something of an accepted Washington custom that, sooner or later the sitting president will be subject to an investigation by the federal special counsel or special prosecutor.
The terms can be interchanged. In recent times only Barack Obama has escaped this situation, and it wasn’t due to the lack of accusations from opponents who accused him of insidious crimes.
It’s easy to overlook last week’s revelations that the old, possibly obsolete classified documents were discovered at a think tank in which Biden was a member after leaving the vice-presidency in 2017 and also in a garage at his house in Delaware might not be an issue at all.
However, such a perspective does not comprehend how Washington does business. Regardless of how significant, the finding has given the faltering Republican group a weapon to use against the president, and it has used it with great aplomb.
A number of GOP-controlled committees within Congress has already initiated investigations of their own, as well as the special counsel inquiry directed by Biden’s attorney-general Merrick Garland.
The Observer view on the secret garage files that could deal a severe blow to Joe Biden’s hopes | Observer editorial https://t.co/6THQV5T0cQ
— The Guardian (@guardian) January 15, 2023
They are seeking to determine if the security of the nation was compromised and whether Biden’s son Hunter who has been a frequent Republican victim was able to access the dossiers; and, if so, why they believe that the White House failed to admit the existence of the files until it was forced to admit it through an CBS TV scoop.
Importantly, Biden’s adversaries are asking the standard Watergate questions: What did the president know about it, how did he find out, and did there exist an attempt to cover it up?
It’s an unfortunate fact that regardless of what Biden declares either now or in the course of what’s likely to be exhausting and tense months of testimony and hearings, the majority of Americans won’t believe what he says. The distrust that pervades and creates distortions in US politics is only predicted to increase.
The detachment of attention from Biden’s goals and accomplishments is just one of the many potential negatives for Biden’s presidency.
Another one is the unjust and potential for disaster, confusion of his allegations of wrongdoing in the seemingly more serious situation that his father had. Donald Trump is accused of storing hundreds of documents classified in the present in his Florida home , and refusing to deliver them to the authorities.