The Indiana home of Mike Pence, former Vice President, was found with documents marked as classified. These documents were seen here in November.John Minchillo/AP

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The FBI has a website checked Dick Cheney’s house?

On Tuesday, a lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence announced that classified documents at Pence’s Indiana home had been recently found. The news offers a chance to pause for a moment and consider just how far off the rails the general discourse about former officials’ possession of government materials has gone. 

Lawyers for President Joe Biden discovered classified documents at his Wilmington, Delaware, home in December. This is what it looked like Followed The discovery of classified material at Penn Biden Center in November, where Biden kept papers, was a major victory. The Federal Bureau of Investigation searched Mar-a-Lago in August for documents belonging to former President Donald Trump.

Here is an easy way to make this a logical equivalency. And as more politicians’ lawyers root around their homes for documents, more disclosures may follow, only fueling claims that Trump was not alone in hanging onto classified material. However, there is one big difference: Biden and Pence both claim they inadvertently kept documents that were classified. Trump intentionally evaded federal efforts to have him return the government property he had taken. 

The primary problem with the material Trump held was not that some of it was “classified.” The problem was the documents weren’t his. Trump allegedly stole government property—if not when he decamped Washington, then at least when he refused to comply with requests by the National Archives and the Justice Department to return it, as the Department of Justice has Details.

The Trump scandal is not about over-classification: It’s about a former president still acting like he is above the law, and correctly expecting partisans to help him get away with it.

Pence’s discovery was reported the same day that federal prosecutors trying five Proud Boys for seditious conspiracy Announced they had found that a witness in the case—also a member of the neo-facist organization—possessed a document with classification markings on it. Prosecutors at the Justice Department Although the document was online, the intelligence community has not yet provided an answer as to whether it is classified.

It is an indication that classified material is too often classified, as Mike Pence and a random Proud Boy were both revealed to have classified material on the same day. This is also a reminder to remember that there are many classified materials. “classified,” Like “weapons of mass destruction,” This is not a meaningful term. An innocuous email that a federal bureaucrat hasn’t gotten around to declassifying can be “classified.” Super-secret Material Intelligence gathering directed at China can also be done “classified.”

Pence, who repeatedly denied having classified documents, seems guilty of hypocrisy as well as sloppiness. Ditto Biden who called Trump holds on to his material “irresponsible.” However, both ex-VPs confessed to possessing the material and agreed to turn it over. Trump refused documents to be returned. Lies They were not aware of their existence until the FBI executed a search warrant to seize it.

After the FBI’s August search, they they had found documents with markings indicating they were only supposed to be stored in a secure government facility. They also found documents with markings indicating that they were only meant to be stored in a secure government facility. reportedly Material related to nuclear weapons as well as highly sensitive material concerning Iran and China were included. 

These revelations caused much media attention to shift to the national security threat created by Trump’s storage of material in a nonsecure closet, and reportedly in his desk. Online speculation veered toward the opposite, though with less support. Which Trump kept the material for Saudi Arabia and offered it to him. That combination of real reporting and dicey speculation left many Americans with the impression that the national security risk Trump created—not his apparently willful violation of straightforward laws—was the main problem with the hoarding.

In the wake of such concerns, right-wing commentators have argued that Biden’s possession of classified material also created a national security risk. Even though there is no evidence to suggest that Biden was in possession of sensitive material, this speculation continues.

In recent days, on the right, such conjecture has fused with the GOP’s interest in Hunter Biden’s past work overseas. It has drifted towards inanity. It was shocked to learn that Hunter Biden had been a victim of a breathless report. Photographed at his own father’s home. After this, a panic over the a Daily Mail Article that claimed boxes of Biden’s classified material were once Stored in an office in Washington D.C.’s  “Chinatown.” Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo and Trump himself seized on the detail—along with the fact that an aide involved with overseeing the shipping of the boxes has an Asian surname. They made racist leaps, suggesting Biden might have allowed China’s government to steal state secrets. Bartiromo claimed she didn’t know if the aide was there. “was ultimately reporting back to the Chinese Communist Party.”  House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) appeared on Bartiromo’s show and did not dispute her insinuations. “This has gone from being irresponsible to downright scary,” Comer, he said.

Comer previously claimed that Hunter Biden’s investigation was an honest oversight effort. Here it is, bad-faith bullshit, which no one is expected to take seriously. It is not a national security threat to be near dim sum.

Trump and his enablers could have made absurd arguments regardless. However, many commenters treated Trump’s own document hoarding as primarily an issue of national security. This only exacerbated the absurdity of the current discourse. Here’s the truth: Former Vice President Mike Pence and President Joe Biden have not claimed ownership of documents they received during their public service. They claim that they have documents that are accidentally classified. Trump, according the New York TimesMar-a-Lago documents: “They’re mine.”

This is sort of like Trump’s Treat The Attorney General serves as his personal attorney or attempts to assert while he is not president. “executive privilege” to refuse to give material to the executive branch. Laws don’t apply equally to him, he says. He keeps coming up with new ways to find out. Stooges To You agree.

Mar-a-Lago has nothing to do with Biden, Pence or national security. It’s about whether Trump will keep getting away with doing whatever he wants.