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US Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed two different special counsels to conduct independent investigations into former Republican President Donald Trump's handling of classified documents

Donald Trump - American businessman and politician Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946 in New York and his successor Democrat Joe Biden

Joe Biden (Joseph Robin Biden) is an American politician. Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942 in

Jack Smith, a war crimes prosecutor, is investigating whether Trump or his associates improperly stored classified documents at his Florida mansion after he left office in 2021 and subsequently tried to obstruct a federal investigation.

Garland appointed Robert Hurr, a former federal prosecutor in the state of Maryland under the previous US president, to investigate the export and possession of classified documents from when Biden was vice president and their discovery at his home and former think tank office , writes Reuters, quoted by BTA.

What are the similarities between the two cases?

Neither Trump nor Biden should be keeping any classified documents.

During the transition period when the president changes, the documents of each of the governments should be handed over to the legal supervision of the National Archives.

It is illegal to knowingly or intentionally export or possess classified material.

Failure to properly store and protect classified material poses a risk to national security if it falls into the wrong hands.

Biden said he was surprised to learn classified documents were found in his possession.

Trump indicated on social media, without providing evidence, that he had leaked the documents, though his lawyers declined to confirm his claims at a court hearing.

The materials in question date from Biden's time as Barack Obama's vice president from 2009 to 2017 and Trump's presidency from 2017 to 2021.

The second batch of classified documents was found at Biden's home

How are the two cases different?

Legal experts say there is a significant difference between the two cases.

As for Trump, the National Archives has been trying for more than a year after the former US president left office to get all the withheld documents back, but without success.

When Trump finally returned 15 boxes of documents in January 2022, National Archives officials discovered they contained classified material.

The matter was referred to the Justice Department, which issued a subpoena last May seeking the return of all classified documents.

Investigators then visited Trump's home, where his lawyers turned over more materials and said there were no more documents in the building.

That turned out to be a lie.

Additional evidence gathered by the FBI, including surveillance footage from the Mar a Lago estate, prompted federal agents to seek a search warrant on Aug. 8 amid concerns of possible obstruction of justice.

The FBI discovered another 13,000 documents, about 100 of which turned out to be classified.

In the case of Biden, Garland said the president's lawyers informed the National Archives and the Justice Department in November that they had discovered less than a dozen classified documents in a closet in the president's private office at the Penn Center think tank in Washington. early this month.

After their discovery, lawyers continued with additional searches of Biden's properties in Washington, D.C. and in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where more documents were found in December and then this month.

They were all handed over to the authorities.

What legal consequences are Biden and Trump facing?

Only the possession and export of secret documents abroad is considered a crime.

Prosecutors don't usually bring charges for accidentally withholding classified documents, but if there's evidence of possible obstruction of justice, that can change things.

For that reason, legal experts say Trump faces far more serious legal consequences than Biden.

To date, there has been no suggestion from the Justice Department that Biden willfully kept documents classified or refused to return them to authorities.

In addition, Biden is unlikely to be the subject of prosecution as he is a sitting president.

The Justice Department has not changed its longstanding rule that a sitting president cannot be prosecuted.

It helped protect Trump when he was president and special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating him.

In that case, Mueller declined to rule on whether Trump obstructed the investigation into possible ties between Russia and his 2016 campaign precisely because of the Justice Department rule in question.

Donald Trump

Joe Biden

classified information

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