TThere are no real similarities between Joe Biden’s former office and his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and the secret documents taken from Donald Trump. The president had only a small fraction of the thousands who met Mr. Trump’s compound — but more important is the dramatically different handling of the men. Mr. Biden’s team realized the documents had been misplaced there, returned them, and voluntarily allowed the FBI into his home to conduct further searches. In contrast, Mr Trump was required by A to return all classified material Grand Jury Subpoena, related to the possible illegal removal and destruction of White House documents. His lawyers He said he did. The Justice Department then spent months trying to resolve the case before being forced to obtain a warrant to search Mar-a-Lago — turning over dozens of classified documents.

However, the discovery of documents held by Mr. Biden — and especially the drip-drip manner in which they emerged — is an embarrassment. The president has been sold on his ability and competence over his predecessors, and has challenged Mr Trump’s carelessness about classified material. The distinction between the cases may be lost on many voters, especially given the right-wing media’s expertise on what is. Senior Democrats have been outraged enough to be Unusually critical Of Mr. Biden.

Both cases may reflect on the part of the US government “Overclassification Addiction”. this Sorts some 50 million documents a year. This would be a good moment to take stock of its procedures, but the prospect of a sober accounting is surely slim amid the political turmoil. Either way, impeaching Mr. Trump will now be politically and legally difficult.

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The affair is Mr. Biden’s biggest misstep since his (very significant) handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. But the attacks he now faces are a sign of things to come as a result of his mistakes. Despite the Democrats’ unexpected strength in the midterms, the reality of a divided Congress is looking more acute. Republicans have long announced their intention to target Mr. Biden with investigations, with his son Hunter the first and easiest target. Some of the most conspiratorial Republicans now sit on the Oversight Committee.

Meanwhile, the debt ceiling battle ushers in a new legislative era. It’s unhappily familiar territory for Democratic presidents, but the current Republican caucus could be bloodier than ever. To the fervor of ideological small states (easily defeated when Mr. Trump seeks to raise the debt limit), and the perennial desire to hamstring Democratic administrations can be added the sheer incoherence, unpredictability and nihilism of the “Independence Caucus.” However, it may backfire against Republicans, who are likely to hold Democrats more responsible and protect the interests of voters. Mr. Trump already has warned Republicans should not touch Medicare or Social Security.

So far, the perception remains that Mr. Biden is the party’s most likely candidate in 2024, largely because no credible alternative has emerged, and because it is thought that Mr. Trump, while damaged, will be the Republican choice. But his achievements will be more in the rear-view mirror in two years’ time, and neither he nor his party can afford careless mistakes.

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