Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that he does not believe that President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents was “sinister.”
“I’ve known President Biden for a long time. I don’t think there’s … I would be shocked if there’s anything sinister here,” Graham told reporters.
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Graham later clarified on Twitter that he has the same view of former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, who reported that he found classified documents in his Indiana home. (RELATED: Congressional Leaders Request Access To Documents FBI Seized From Mar-A-Lag0: REPORT)
“We have a classified information problem which needs to be fixed,” he added.
Attorneys for Biden initially reported the presence of classified documents in his office at a Washington, D.C., think tank in early November. Since then, documents have been found in his Wilmington, Delaware, home. The retention of classified “documents or materials at an unauthorized location” is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
The White House has claimed that Biden and his attorneys are fully cooperating with the Department of Justice’s probe. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur, a former district attorney in the Trump administration, special counsel to investigate Biden’s apparent mishandling of the documents.
Some Democrats have begun to criticize Biden’s response to the documents scandal.
“It is a real problem that these documents are somewhere they shouldn’t be. I have a deep concern over anytime we discover that they’re classified information in materials anywhere they shouldn’t be,” California Rep. Adam Schiff said Monday.
“It is unbelievable how this could happen. It’s totally irresponsible, and who’s at fault?” West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin asked.
House Republicans have pledged their own investigations into the documents, although the White House has signaled they will limit their cooperation. Spokesman Ian Sams has accused congressional Republicans of “engag[ing] in fake outrage about an issue that they’re clearly pursuing only for partisan gain.”
Biden and Graham served together in the Senate from 2003-09, when Biden became vice president.