White House response to Biden documents frustrates Democrats inside and outside the West Wing

White House response to Biden documents frustrates Democrats inside and outside the West Wing

White House response to Biden documents frustrates Democrats inside and outside the West Wing

Washington – Over the week, West Wing staffers, Biden administration officials and Democratic Party officials have expressed frustration more broadly to CBS News over the way the White House has explained to the general public on document discovery with classified markings at President Biden’s former office and home in Delaware.

Those who spoke to CBS News, who were granted anonymity to speak candidly about the situation and not disrupt their professional relationships, believe that the decision not to disclose the discovery of the documents earlier undermines the precious vows of transparency and professional management of the president’s government.

And they fear that with a special advocate investigation currently underway, the White House will be severely limited in what it can say, rendering it unable to confirm even basic details.

“They’re trying to put lipstick on a pig,” a Democrat close to the White House said Friday. “The problem is that this week they got 50 pigs and a stick of lipstick.”

A Northeast Democratic Party official aligned closely with the president and his senior staff added, “There is no real equivalence between the Trump document situation and the Biden situation. However, why the hell didn’t- Didn’t they release the story sooner, like before the holidays? And why didn’t they release the whole story at once, instead of drip-feeding with each new document discovery? Simply put, that was not well managed at all.

Political fallout from second batch of documents discovered at Biden’s home


Some House Democrats are more openly expressing their concerns about the situation.

“This shouldn’t have happened. This needs to be investigated and it is being investigated,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, told MSNBC on Saturday. “So we’ll have to wait and find out all the details and I’m confident we’ll get all the details. So I’m sure he’s unhappy about that, I haven’t spoken to him but who would be happy about that?”

More broadly, Rep. Matt Cartwright, a moderate Democrat who represents the president’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, told Fox News that the federal government needs to “review how outgoing presidents and vice presidents go about organizing archiving their documents both classified and unclassified because this cannot go on any longer.”

“Whether it’s President Trump leaving office or Vice President Biden leaving office, you’re talking about staff members all lining up, they’re rewriting their resumes, they’re sending them off for new jobs, they’re not thinking about , you know, ongoing business, I think,” he added.

In a statement on Saturday, the president’s personal attorney, Bob Bauerdefended the public disclosure of the discovery of the materials, saying his team “attempted to balance the importance of public transparency, where appropriate, with established standards and limits necessary to protect the integrity of the investigation These considerations necessitate avoiding public disclosure of details relevant to the investigation while it is ongoing.”

In a separate statement, the Office of the White House Counsel, which is responsible for representing the President on official matters, said it would refer future press inquiries about details of the ongoing investigation and the discovery of the documents at the Department of Justice.

Many Democrats are particularly sensitive to media reports that compare and contrast the discovery of documents from Mr. Biden’s former office and the Delaware estate and the National Archives’ months-long attempts to recover hundreds of classified documents from the ‘former president. donald trump.

“Comparing Biden’s cooperation to Trump’s obstruction is like comparing apples and arsenic,” Kyle Herrig, executive director of the Congressional Integrity Project, wrote on Friday.

The Democratic-aligned group is designed as an outside force to support the president and congressional Democrats in the upcoming barrage of House Republican oversight investigations.

Herrig sent updated suggested talking points Friday to prominent party activists and frequent TV guests, urging them to say the president is “fully cooperating” while Trump “has repeatedly obstructed efforts.” to recover sensitive documents to the point that the Department of Justice had to obtain and execute a search warrant.”

Herrig called the Biden and Trump cases, respectively, “Cooperation versus obstruction. Lost versus stolen. Voluntary versus subpoena. Immediate versus search warrant.”

Another Democrat who advised Mr Biden’s 2020 campaign and worked in campaign politics in the South and West for decades described the situation the president currently faces as “hypocritical”, given the Mr. Biden’s past denunciations regarding Trump’s handling of classified information.

But this Democrat said the White House had been ‘neat’ in its response to this week’s positive economic data showing a new reduction in inflation and growing Republican calls to cut federal benefit programs in exchange for raising the national debt ceiling, which the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Friday is to be in early June.

Staying focused on building the economy should support the president’s policy stance, the Democrat said. “Do the American public really care about the files in Trump’s mansion or in Biden’s garage? I don’t think so. I think they care more about the price of a carton of eggs.”

Jane Chick contributed reporting to this story.

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