Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday called for Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents by President Biden while he served as vice president.
Graham said the appointment of a special counsel is necessary to investigate Biden after Garland announced the appointment of career prosecutor Jack Smith to investigate former President Trump’s possession of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
“I think if you believe a special counsel is necessary to assure the public about the handling of classified documents by Donald Trump, you should apply a special counsel to the mishandling of classified documents by President Biden when he was vice president,” Graham said during an interview with Martha MacCallum on Fox News.
Biden’s aides reported finding a second batch of classified documents at a different location than his Washington office, where fewer than a dozen classified records were found. The Washington office is located at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
Trump turned over 15 boxes of records, including more than 100 classified documents, to the U.S. National Archives a year ago.
“If there is not a special counsel appointed to find out how this happened with President Biden regarding classified information … it will hurt the country,” Graham warned.
When informed about the FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence to retrieve classified documents, Biden asked, “How could anyone be that irresponsible?”
“Garland, if you’re listening, if you thought it was necessary to appoint a special counsel regarding President Trump, then you need to do the exact same thing regarding President Biden when it comes to handling classified information,” Graham said.
Graham warned that many conservatives believe prosecutors and the media are applying a different set of standards for Trump and Biden.
“Every conservative out there is completely disgusted with the standard that exists in America when it comes to conservatives and everybody else,” he said.
Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), another Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Garland on Wednesday requesting the appointment of a special counsel and complaining of what he called an “astounding” double standard.
“In President Trump’s case, that retention [of documents] triggered an unprecedented raid on the home of a former president, rationalized with a thicket of partisan doublespeak. President Biden has not experienced anything remotely similar,” Hawley wrote.
Hawley asked Garland to disclose when he learned that Biden’s office possessed classified documents and to provide a full explanation of the Justice Department’s decision not to dispatch FBI agents to search the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
He also wants to know what communications Garland has had with the White House and the National Archives about the classified documents in Biden’s possession.
Biden said Tuesday that he was “surprised to learn” of any classified documents in his possession.
CNN reported that documents at the think tank include intelligence memos and briefing materials related to Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom.