Joe Biden's classified documents problem just got bigger

There are some similarities to Donald Trump's secret documents scandal but there are key differences, too

President Biden.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

On Thursday morning, White House Counsel's Office spokesperson Ian Sams confirmed overnight reports that a "small number" of documents "with classified markings" had been found at President Joe Biden's Wilmington, Delaware, home. "All but one of these documents were found in a storage space in the president's Willmington residence garage," Sams wrote in a brief press release. "One document consisting of one page was discovered among stored materials in an adjacent room."

The revelation that Biden may have improperly stored classified material has understandably been compared to former President Donald Trump's ongoing legal battle with the Justice Department over the tranche of documents — some of which are alleged to have contained deeply sensitive information about Iranian nuclear materials and China-focused intelligence operations — taken from his Mar-a-Lago property in a court-approved FBI search this past summer. But while details about both Trump and Biden's document troubles are still forthcoming due to the sensitive nature of each case, as well as the relative newness of the current president's circumstances, there are some key differences to keep in mind when comparing the two incidents. Here's everything you need to know:

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Rafi Schwartz, The Week US

Rafi Schwartz has worked as a politics writer at The Week since 2022, where he covers elections, Congress and the White House. He was previously a contributing writer with Mic focusing largely on politics, a senior writer with Splinter News, a staff writer for Fusion's news lab, and the managing editor of Heeb Magazine, a Jewish life and culture publication. Rafi's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GOOD and The Forward, among others.