Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Critical Thinking Debacle: Comparing Biden Files Case To Trump's Intentional Malfeasance & Obstruction


Some of the boxes of classified files found at Mar-a-Lago

And here's a 'thumbnail' image comparison of the two radically different cases, to clear the minds of the skeptical:

"Accidentally retaining classified documents happens frequently. So, the mere discovery of such documents in President Biden’s possession was not newsworthy. But, by reporting on Mr. Biden’s retention of documents, newspapers signaled it was somehow newsworthy without extenuating circumstances." -  Letter writer, Washington Post, 1/14

On November 2nd Joe Biden's lawyers reported finding ten odd, "potentially classified documents" (according to LA Times report)  at his office, at the Penn-Biden Center. And now, it's become a freaking 'federal case' thanks to a case of too eager, indiscriminate reporting at a time of political polarization and upheaval. Oh, and a starved right wing gaggle of freaks in the GOP House thirsting for any hint of lickspittle to feed on.

Thank CBS’ Adriana Diaz  finding and releasing this latest “storm in a teacup” political story which wouldn't have legs if we had a more intelligent, discerning populace. The latest blowup (which at least takes conservos' febrile brains off the border) concerns Biden's lawyers finding 10 classified files at his office at the Penn-Biden Center. This despite the open and immediate reporting to the White House counsel and National Archives. Which CBS' junior correspondent Diaz never would have known about except the Biden White House doesn't hold secrets like Trump's did.

Diaz' indiscriminate 'gotcha' reporting naturally triggered an immediate political firestorm among the MAGA tribe, as if this nation needed any more. And, as might be expected, at a time when Trump finds himself in increasing legal peril. Further, the new GOP House majority is chomping at the bit - like a pack of half-starved rabid dogs - to find anything with which to tar or persecute Biden and his administration. Thus, no surprise these GOP House renegades are rushing to undermine any investigations against their master while salivating to unleash a wave of counter investigations against the current president.  Diaz' report thus fell right into their corrupt laps like a ripe plum.

But contrary to too many careless media outlets, this in no way has any bearing on Trump’s criminal violations, including carrying away BOXES of top secret documents and dumping them at Mar-A-Lago.  Hundreds mind you, not just ten as Biden was found to have. And then having his staff obstruct their return to the National Archives- even after the Archives dispatched a team last March to collect them. Indeed, let me lay this out in more detail:

In the case of Trump, he was asked repeatedly by the Archives to transmit the missing documents back to them, for months and months and months.  And even then, what was transmitted back was not complete. Trump was subpoenaed to get the rest of the classified information and what was provided even then was not complete. Then there was a search warrant issued after evidence of potential obstruction of the investigation and even after that search warrant additional documents had been found.  So the evidence at least based on the public record so far - pertaining to Trump and those around them - is that they had knowledge they had national defense information, were not returning it, and potentially obstructing recovering the materials.  Here, in Biden's case, there is reporting after the documents are located so it's totally different.

But do the dimwit righties get this? No. They actually look to Trump’s exoneration from the Mar-a-Lago documents crimes despite it being a case of comparing ‘apples and oranges’ to Biden’s situation.

Former federal prosecutor Scott Frederickson on CBS Mornings Monday stated emphatically that there are key differences with Trump's concealing of top secret documents at Mar-a-Lago and Biden's situation. For one thing, Biden’s lawyers immediately reported missing docs to the Archives and further are cooperating fully with the Archives and the DOJ.

This is in radical contrast to what Trump and his lawyers did: lying and obstructing the retrieval of even top secret, classified nuclear documents.   Another aspect as Maddow pointed Monday night, the Archives wasn’t even looking for the Biden docs, as they were with Trump’s top-secret materials, and didn’t know they had been missing until informed by Biden’s lawyers.

 As Scott Frederickson also noted, this self-reporting was the single most important part of the situation which shows a lack of intentional conduct.  This in distinction to the Mar a Lago case where there was an intentional attempt by Trump to hide documents.  See e.g.

The Key Takeaways From The Unsealed DOJ Warrant

Barbara McQuade, former district attorney for the eastern district of Michigan, said last night (ALL In) that the difference is like comparing an incidental "fender bender" (Biden's situation) to actually using a vehicle to drive into a crowd and run them over (Trump's).

Bradley Moss, a security clearances expert and executive director of the James Madison Project, told “CNN This Morning” last Tuesday that so far, and if no problematic evidence emerges, the current president team’s conduct was different because of “the cooperation and the absence of obstruction in which they have engaged compared to what Donald Trump did.”  He put it succinctly:

So far, it’s completely apples to oranges here.” 

But will the half-cocked Right accept an 'apples to oranges' difference? Hell no! They are too consumed with taking down Biden and tarnishing his brand before the next general election.  So they will blow any minor incident up in order to exploit it to pursue Biden. As evidenced when the boneheaded bimbo Marjorie Taylor- Greene roared "Now we really need to impeach Biden!"  after learning of the files from a media nitwit.

Thus the “euphoria on the Right” according to Rachel Maddow, “is expected by them to exonerate Trump based on ‘what aboutism’ but is already turning into a stark hangover because of the stark contrasts”.

The 'stark contrasts', alas however, are only noted by the segment of the populace with IQs over 110. I wager that FOX will nevertheless keep stoking its propaganda mills about this spurious controversy,  betting its uneducated, low IQ viewers will gobble it up wholesale.

So any distinctions re: the severity of the Biden case vs. Trump documents will be obliterated for a large segment (maybe 20 percent) of the population, After all many already got snookered by all the conservos' Covid 19 claptrap ("no more serious than flu") and the MRNA vaccines ("They change your DNA").  So in the political torrent DIaz report has incited look for the conservative media to draw false equivalencies by the bucket between the two cases .

Diaz' report also affords an immediate opening for Trump to claim "unfairness" as he seeks to dodge culpability for his genuinely criminal behavior. The maggot traitor has already repeatedly insisted he’s a victim of persecution, designed to thwart his 2024 campaign. The orange fungal pestilence is also is a master at turning one incident into an entire campaign narrative – as he did with former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016.  

Did Diaz grasp any of this before she burped out her "find" to try to get a leg up on the competition - and mayhap a promotion - at CBS? I doubt it.  The media acolytes and nabobs seldom grasp the damage done by reckless, indiscriminate reporting before they unleash it. They are too much in the proverbial rush to get that 'scoop'.  But sometimes rash scoops can be deleterious to a nation's health as this one clearly is. Especially when so many millions lack any critical thinking capacity.

Thanks to Adriana Diaz and her knee-jerk "scoop", the new Republican House majority will have fresh meat with which to revile Biden and his family, as it unleashes a multi-front investigative assault against the White House.  Trump, the traitor who brands attempts to make him face accountability for his conduct as political victimization, sought to capitalize on Biden’s discomfort over the documents in a post on his Twitter knock off, Truth Social, e.g.

“When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House? These documents were definitely not declassified,” 

But Biden and his lawyers at least informed the proper authorities and the National Archives immediately, you asswit.  Unlike you - who actually kept nuclear secrets at your hacienda where any passing fool could grab them.  Trump's rabid righties and MAGAs need to grab a chill pill and cool it, there is no "there, there".  

 As for other folks, if you have had the briefest exposure to watching the propaganda parade of conservative media, break away from it. They only want you to believe what happened with Biden is on a par with Trump carting away BOXES of classified materials and refusing to give them back. 

Final elementary clues to unraveling the coming media blitz:

One person  (TRUMP) STOLE documents and obstructed their return, the other (BIDEN) is RETURNING documents immediately.  

It is not the job or duty of Biden or his administration to be publicly as well as legally transparent before a critical election - where a large segment of the populace would not be sufficiently prepared to distinguish the cases. Thereby risking another debacle as transpired in 2016 when James Comey came out about Hillary's emails 10 days before the election - likely costing her the presidency.

 Since the lowering of classified file standards in the 70s there are now literally BILLIONS of classified documents and most are not kept track of. In any case it is the aides' - lower staff’s responsibility to monitor document location, disposition.  A president can't be expected to do that and run the country! 

The media's 'drip, drip, drip' reporting of found Biden files is ignorant and plain stupid given even the conservative WSJ reported they were left after a rush to leave owing to a change in administrations "as often occurs".  So this isn't news just more media BS.

  Until a rigorous QA process is imposed we can expect more incidents like happened to Biden, but these are still not the same as Trump’s willful malfeasance and obstruction.

Don't fall for the false equivalence which the Reeptards will try to parlay into a non-indictment of Trump. Be smarter than being played in a 'rope a dope' right wing media gambit. Discerning citizens ought to be much more concerned about how the House GOP plans to cut Social Security and Medicare, than an obvious distraction. See e.g.

by Joan McCarter | January 11, 2023 - 9:01am | permalink

See Also:

by John Stoehr | January 16, 2023 - 8:31am | permalink

by Elizabeth Preza | January 17, 2023 - 8:23am | permalink


The GOP can’t slam Biden on classified documents without condemning Trump


by Robert Reich | January 13, 2023 - 8:48am | permalink

— from Robert Reich's Substack


For years, Trump and his enablers in Congress and on Fox News have accused Hillary Clinton and then Joe Biden of doing exactly what Trump has done, or worse, and the mainstream media has usually played along by making false equivalences. But of course there’s never been any valid comparison. Trump repudiated the Constitution and staged an attempted coup, which he’s still mounting, among other things.

And now we have the specter of Biden being accused of having done exactly what Trump did when Trump brazenly stole top-secret documents from the United States. But let’s be clear: The Biden documents were discovered by Biden’s own lawyers, who then reported the discovery to the Justice Department. The Trump documents were requested repeatedly by the National Archives. Trump repeatedly refused to produce them. They were then found by the FBI over the objections of Trump and his lawyers.


by Maya Boddie | January 11, 2023 - 9:13am | permalink

— from Alternet

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is “intensifying” its investigation by choosing to question individuals from the team that searched former President Donald Trump’s properties and found more classified documents last year, The Guardian reports.

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