This is a biggest hugest glaring issue to me and no one is even talking about it or bringing it up in the media. It's a gigantic difference between the two cases.
Has anyone here yet heard of any commentators talking about this?
Have we heard anything from the Archives about whether or not they ever asked for them back? If they did ask for them back all those years ago and Biden never responded and they just gave up, then that's a big problem for him.
But if they never asked for them back and he had no idea that he even still had them, then I can't see how he could be legally liable for "knowingly" having and withholding them.
I have a feeling that all this is going to bring to light a lot of problems with the Archive's systems and procedures themselves.
Could it be that the archives, up until the Trump era, was never really in the habit of confirming to the last piece of paper what documents were still out of their hands at the end of a president or VP's administration? That they were just so used to all or nearly all of the documents being dutifully returned that they got extremely lax in their duties and just didn't bother about the final .001% that they didn't get back?
That seems rather unlikely. But if so, the Trump administration and his chumminess with our adversaries during his stretch may have awakened the Archives to the fact that they had best get their shitt together when his term is over to make sure they get every last thing back.
Could it be that these Biden documents, although marked CLASSIFIED, weren't of a sufficiently top secret nature that they don't generally bother about asking for them back? That they count on the person they were given to to destroy such documents? We don't know enough about the nature of these documents to know either way yet.
Could it be that Biden knew full well of each and every CLASSIFIED document he had? And that he had a specific reason of self preservation in not wanting to let a single one of them get back into the record? And that he had someone inside the Archives helping him by covering up their absence?
Who knows? It's possible. I certainly admit that. But it certainly is in no place to be the #1 Most Likely Scenario as it's being portrayed in right wing media.
But hey. It's all they've got. Knock yourselves out, all you MAGA Hats.
We just don't know enough about anything yet to speculate with any degree of eventual accuracy what the real truth is.