Revelations that attorneys for President Joe Biden found more classified documents than previously known in a search last week at his Wilmington, Delaware, home have led some to question why federal authorities haven’t taken the step of executing a search at Biden’s residence to ensure more documents don’t remain.
The mixture of incomplete and shifting statements out of the White House in the week-long span since the story broke has drawn parallels to the torrent of increasingly damning details that emerged immediately following the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August.
Due to the ongoing nature of a criminal investigation, the Justice Department and special counsel’s office won’t comment on the distinctions between the two matters, citing longstanding department policy.
Former President Donald Trump arrives for a New Years Eve party at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 31, 2022.
But legal experts, including former federal prosecutors reached by ABC News, say at least so far, that for Biden there doesn’t appear to be evidence that would justify the dramatic and unprecedented step of the FBI seeking a search warrant on the current president’s private residence.
To do so, as they did for Trump, prosecutors would have to persuade a federal judge that there’s probable cause that by conducting a search they would find evidence of a crime or multiple crimes.
President Joe Biden listens to members of the press