Trump Claims He “Cooperated Far More” Than Biden In Classified Documents Probe, Gets Fact-Checked 

Trump echoed his campaign statement during his NRA speech, claiming he cooperated more than President Biden in the classified documents probe. Facts speak differently, though Trump should be celebrating since his campaign saw a boost following Robert Hur’s report. 

Trump’s official statement 

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The 45th president and likely GOP nominee wrote an official statement on Trump’s campaign website. In part, it read, “The Biden Documents Case is 100 times different and more severe than mine. I did nothing wrong, and I cooperated far more. What Biden did is outrageously criminal.” 

Trump repeated a similar statement during his NRA speech

Republican presidential hopeful and former US President Donald Trump raises his fist as he speaks at a campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire, on January 19, 2024. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)


During the NRA speech, Trump said, “This is nothing more than selective persecution of Biden’s political opponent, me,” adding he doesn’t blame Biden “because I don’t think he knows he’s alive.” He also shared he cooperated “far more than Biden did.”

Hur’s report included Trump 

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Hur, who was once a Trump appointee, wrote in his report, “After being given multiple chances to return classified documents and avoid prosecution, Mr. Trump allegedly did the opposite.” According to the indictment, he refused to return the documents for many months and “obstructed justice by enlisting others to destroy evidence and then to lie about it.”

Biden actually cooperated

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The special counsel blasted Biden’s memory but wrote, “Mr. Biden turned in classified documents to the National Archives and the Department of Justice, consented to the search of multiple locations including his homes, sat for a voluntary interview, and in other ways cooperated with the investigation.”

Biden’s case, in a nutshell

US President Joe Biden speaks to the press as he departs from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, January 13, 2024. Biden will spend the weekend at Camp David. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)


According to PolitiFact and CNN, Biden’s lawyers found some classified documents in November 2022 and notified the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on the same day. Days later, the official investigation started. 

The FBI did not need a search warrant 

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The FBI also searched this property without a warrant, meaning they did not need it. In January 2023, the FBI continued searching Biden’s properties, where they found more documents. 

Biden’s attorney notified the public

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During the searches, Biden’s lawyer, Bob Bauer, said that the DOJ “sought to do this work without advance public notice, and we agreed to cooperate.” In October 2023, Biden willingly did an interview with special counsel Robert Hur. Hur wrote in his almost 400-page report that the interview lasted around five hours, and Biden “provided written answers to most of our additional written questions.”

Trump’s case is more complex

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NARA asked for documents, some classified, in May 2021. NARA received 15 boxes in January, with some documents “torn up.” Since “over 100 documents with classified markings, comprising 700 pages,” NARA had to inform the FBI. Archivist Debra Steidel Wall denied Trump’s lawyer’s request to delay revelations to the FBI. 

Alleged box moving 

Hand of Man Search files document in a file cabinet in work office, concept business office life.

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In May and June 2022, Trump’s aid, Walter Nauta, moved 64 boxes, according to legal filings. DOJ met with Trump briefly in early June, and the lawyers for the former president said they handed over all classified records. The investigation learned there was more and subpoenaed Trump in June 2022. 

The FBI arrives 

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In August, the FBI searched the Florida residency with a warrant and found an additional 25 boxes. The indictment also says that Trump “falsely” told the FBI he did not have the documents and suggested his lawyers hide some boxes. 

Leave it up to the jury 

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Eventually, whether Trump cooperated with the authorities or not will be on the jury to decide. The trial was supposed to start in May, but the case could be pushed back due to numerous delays in other Trump cases. 

The charges against Trump

Former US President Donald Trump sits in New York State Supreme Court during the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization, in New York City on January 11, 2024. Trump's legal team will deliver closing arguments January 11 in the fraud case after the judge barred the former president from using the trial finale as an election campaign grandstand. (Photo by Peter Foley / POOL / AFP)

Image by Peter Foley / POOL / AFP

Trump faces numerous charges regarding the alleged mishandling of the classified documents, including that he “willfully retaining classified documents, including national defense information, making false statements and representations, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document, concealing a document in a federal investigation, and a scheme to conceal.” 


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