West News Wire: As a result of the FBI seizing additional sensitive documents during a search of Joe Biden’s house in Wilmington, Delaware, lawmakers in Joe Biden’s own party have increased their condemnation of the president over his management of national secrets.
Veteran Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Dick Durbin (Illinois) didn’t hold back when criticizing their party’s leader for failing to secure documents that were discovered at his home and a Washington, D.C., think tank bearing his name during appearances on Sunday morning talk shows. When FBI agents searched the president’s home on Friday, they found the fourth and most recent batch of classified documents.
One day after telling reporters he had “no regrets” about how he handled the incident, Biden was the subject of an FBI search. “I think he should have a lot of regrets,” Manchin said in an NBC News interview. The senator added that he would hold staffers accountable if they mishandled secret documents in his office, “but basically, the buck stops with me.”
Manchin also told CNN that it was “unbelievable” and “totally irresponsible” for Biden to expose state secrets to possible theft. Although he doesn’t believe Biden intended for the documents to fall into the wrong hands, he added, “Could it have happened? I don’t know.”
Durbin noted that when members of Congress are shown classified materials, the information is shown to them behind closed doors, then put back into a locked briefcase and taken away. “That’s how carefully we review these documents,” he told CNN. “To think that any of them ended up in boxes, in storage at one place or the other, is just unacceptable.”
The Illinois Democrat bemoaned the loss of Biden’s leadership role as well. “Let’s not sugarcoat it. Any person who possesses that information loses credibility when it is discovered because it is not supposed to occur. It makes no difference if a staff member or an attorney was at fault. The elected representative is ultimately responsible.
Both senators compared how Biden responded to questions about his possession of confidential materials with those of his predecessor, Donald Trump. Trump allegedly disobeyed a subpoena, which prompted an FBI raid on his residence. Investigators have reportedly received assistance from Biden’s attorneys.
Even if they hadn’t intended to jeopardize national security, Manchin said both leaders had a demonstrated lack of responsibility. However, he discouraged taking sides until special counsel investigations of both cases are finished.