DOJ is ‘Boxed In’ in Handling of Biden, Trump Document Probes: Experts

DOJ is ‘Boxed In’ in Handling of Biden, Trump Document Probes: Experts
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington on Jan. 27, 2023. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)
John Ransom
The Department of Justice and the FBI may have little room to move in their handling of the Biden classified documents case, according to experts and GOP figures, who were skeptical of the agencies’ ability to recapture the confidence of a sizeable segment of the population who had lost trust in them. 
With the appointment of special counsel Robert Hur to investigate the revelations that Biden kept classified documents in various locations including his Delaware home, the spotlight has also turned brighter on the treatment of former president Donald Trump by the U.S. government’s justice apparatus over Trump’s possession of classified documents, the experts said.
“The American people have lost trust in Joe Biden’s corrupt DOJ and FBI after witnessing these agencies fully weaponized against Joe Biden’s number one political enemy by raiding Donald Trump’s house, but continue to cover up for the Biden Crime family,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, told The Epoch Times.
The alleged cover-up Stefanik was referring to is the yearslong investigations into Hunter Biden by the DOJ that have reportedly yielded “voluminous evidence,” but produced neither indictments nor dismissals by the federal agency.
As such, it will be difficult for the DOJ to credibly prosecute Trump while exonerating Biden for similar actions, yet prosecuting both Biden and Trump would be terrible and painful for the country, the expert said. 
On the other hand, finding both men innocent of an actual crime would deal a big blow to the DOJ and the FBI, tending to suggest that the treatment of Trump was just a political stunt by overly-partisan federal law enforcement agencies, they said.
And each of the experts couldn’t conceive of investigations that would find Biden guilty of a crime, yet Trump innocent.
President Joe Biden speaks at a reception celebrating Lunar New Year in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 26, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
President Joe Biden speaks at a reception celebrating Lunar New Year in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 26, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Justice ‘Boxed In’

“I think the framing of the [justice] establishment being boxed in is right,” Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, told The Epoch Times.
“The reason that [U.S. Attorney General Merrick] Garland appointed a special prosecutor so quickly, was because it was readily apparent that given that he called for one with Trump, he had to with Biden,” added Shapiro.
In November, Garland appointed former career Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, Jack Smith, as special counsel in the investigation surrounding Trump’s handling of classified documents.
Shapiro said that while the outcomes of the two cases won’t be exactly similar, he doubts it will result in a conviction for either Trump or Biden. 
“Whatever that outcome is, it’s not going to be both of them sitting in the federal penitentiary,” said Shapiro.
“I don’t know if Biden is going to pardon Trump and then self-pardon? We had that debate over the self-pardoning power two years ago. Is that going to be a thing again? Or is there going to be some sort of slap on the wrist for both of them and fine of several tens of thousands of dollars? I don’t know. But I do think that the cases are going to run in parallel,” he added. 

A Lose-Lose Situation

But even the appointment of a special prosecutor meant to quell distrust in the case of Biden raises more questions now than it does settle doubt about the fairmindedness of the DOJ, according to Paul Kamenar, chief counsel of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a conservative watchdog group.
“While it appears that Special Counsel Robert Hur has the necessary credentials to be appointed by Merrick Garland, NLPC is seeking documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on the vetting process that was used to ensure his impartiality,” Kamenar told The Epoch Times. 
The FOIA request from NLPC asked the DOJ to provide a release of all documents relating to the vetting of Robert Hur prior to the announcement of his appointment including any information regarding any conflicts of interest that Hur may have had in the case.
Under the federal Code of Regulation, NLPC requested the documents be produced in 10 days as a “matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government’s integrity that affect public confidence.”
Former congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) told The Epoch Times that as a former prosecutor, he thinks that the only way for people to really evaluate potential bias by either a Trump or Biden prosecutor is to look at their work product once the investigations are complete, which means waiting both lengthy investigations to finish.
“Equal justice for all means that no matter your wealth, social status, or political power, the Department of Justice should treat every suspect and defendant the same,” said Brooks.
“I pray the Department of Justice will do that in this matter. Evaluate the evidence and turn a blind eye to the politics,” he added.
The waiting game for the work to be completed is likely to exact a toll on the DOJ and FBI.
“There’s a cost,” to waiting, said Shapiro.
“Whoever tries to measure this, social scientists or pollsters, the level of institutional trust is very low right now. The Justice Department and the FBI aren’t trusted by either side for various reasons,” added Shapiro.
No matter what the result, in the final analysis, it’s a “lose, lose, lose,” for the DOJ and FBI, said Shapiro, likely not satisfying anyone with the outcome, which is now stuck in an investigative process that is already under investigation by groups like NLPC and Congress itself.
“House Republicans will hold Biden’s corrupt agencies accountable for this double standard of justice and uncover the truth to deliver accountability,” said Stefanik.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the DOJ and FBI for comment.