Should we all check for ‘sticky’ classified documents?
First, Donald Trump, then Joe Biden and now Mike Pence (”Classified documents found at former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana residence,” Jan. 24). I have come to the conclusion that there is only one explanation why classified documents left the White House and ended up in their homes. Classified documents must be printed on fly paper!
I recalled that I visited the White House on one occasion, a guided tour some time during the last century. So, “out of an abundance of caution,” as they say, I asked my grandson to conduct a search for classified documents in my private residence. Sure enough, he discovered a “small number” of classified documents in a stack of old issues of The Baltimore Sun.
Now, my only question is how do I give them back?
— Edward Leslie Ansel, Owings Mills
Classified mess a public relations disaster for Biden
Last weekend, six more classified documents were found in President Biden’s personal residence. The fact that the quantity of classified docs is still relatively small gets lost by the drip, drip, drip of more docs being found over an extended period of time. But what really differentiates Biden’s doc mishandling from Trump’s is a matter of mindset and intent. By all accounts, Biden’s transgressions are accidental, while Trump’s were intentional and willful. Unfortunately for Biden, many people in the public never get past the headline of more classified material having been uncovered and equate Biden’s and Trump’s mishandling as being basically the same.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, has wisely appointed special counsels to investigate whether or not Biden and/or Trump’s document handling were illegal and indictable, although by DOJ precedent, a sitting president cannot be indicted (”Robert K. Hur, former U.S. attorney in Maryland, named special counsel on Biden classified docs. Here’s what to know,” Jan. 12). This is a public relations disaster for Joe Biden, no matter how the special counsel eventually rules. Biden’s apparently lax handling of classified material works to undermine the severity and potential illegality of Trump’s behavior. If the special counsel investigating Biden eventually clears him, while Trump’s special counsel finds evidence of illegal behavior, it will be too late. For millions of people, both men are either equally innocent or guilty, and their behavior will be judged to be virtually equivalent in the court of public opinion. If Biden is cleared and Trump not, it’s simply more grist for the Trump’s grievance and persecution complex, an identity millions of Americans accept as being totally legitimate.
— Ken Derow, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Looks like I’m going to have to report myself
Jesus! I have no idea how they got here, but I just found some classified files in my grandkids’ toy stash!
— Tom Urbanski, Jarrettsville
Classified document scandal the least of Trump’s legal woes (I hope)
It has become clear that it is quite likely that every former president and vice president has secret documents that inadvertently accompanied them home once their elected terms had elapsed. These men are presented with thousands of documents in the course of dispatching their responsibilities.
The good news is that, with the news of Mike’s Pence’s inadvertent stash, the GOP’s attempt to paint Joe Biden as a hypocrite and a liar, and to conflate the reprehensible (yet all too common) whining of Donald Trump — ringing the “witch hunt” and victim bell one more time, taking umbrage, obstructing efforts to assess the damage, and generally making himself a real pain in the butt — is rendered a moot point.
Mr. Trump’s motivating principles with regard to public service have little to do with responsible governance, and much more to do with purposely using polarization and fear mongering in order to personally enrich himself, consolidate power and increase his influence.
And as for policies and procedures, that’s for lesser men than he. For in his world, gaming the system is much more fun than having to conform to such annoying things as accepted practices, checks and balances, the rule of law, and other prominent symbols of a democratic system of government.
With any luck — the results of the grand jury in Georgia will produce a new legal entanglement to occupy Mr. Trump, and perhaps trigger the end of his reign of terror for good.
— Neil Rauch, Pikesville
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