Remember the tale of Donald Trump and the "illegal hoarding" of the top-secret documents? It was only last summer. On August 8, the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago to seize back highly classified material. An image of the reclaimed files promptly leaked to the press. Over-excited pundits started talking about Trump’s "Al Capone moment" — the great villain had been caught out for an unsensational crime.

Since then, the case has been stuck in the administrative cogs of the Justice Department. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Jack Smith, a former war crimes prosecutor, as special counsel for...

Remember the tale of Donald Trump and the “illegal hoarding” of the top-secret documents? It was only last summer. On August 8, the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago to seize back highly classified material. An image of the reclaimed files promptly leaked to the press. Over-excited pundits started talking about Trump’s “Al Capone moment” — the great villain had been caught out for an unsensational crime.

Since then, the case has been stuck in the administrative cogs of the Justice Department. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Jack Smith, a former war crimes prosecutor, as special counsel for the two most grave investigations into Trump — the documents one and the one into Trump’s role in events leading up to January 6, 2021.

Well, in an amusing twist, Joe Biden now also stands accused of illegally hoarding classified documents from his time as vice president. On November 2, just days before the midterm elections, the 46th president’s personal lawyers discovered ten files containing reportedly sensitive intelligence about Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom.

Biden is now a sitting president, which affords him immense legal protections. Moreover, his lawyers appear, at least at first glance, to have acted more diligently than Donald Trump’s. The story is about ten documents rather than 100. Biden’s legal team promptly alerted the National Archives and handed them back the next day. No doubt Biden’s many defenders in the American media will be quick to pooh-pooh any suggestion that their man is as reckless or dangerous as Donald Trump.

Nevertheless, this latest “secret files” story should be highly embarrassing to Biden. It is also catnip for dark Republican theories about the real motives for hounding Donald Trump over his document handling.

The Biden files were discovered at an office of Biden’s “think tank,” the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. In the past, the Penn Biden Center has refused to disclose how it is funded, though there are well-grounded theories that, as part of the University of Pennsylvania, it may in fact have been partly funded by the Chinese government.

Between March 2017, the year the Penn Biden Center was founded, and 2019, the University of Pennsylvania received a total of $61 million in gifts and contracts from China.

If — and it’s still a big if — Biden is guilty of leaving highly classified material lying around an office that has been compromised by the Chinese Communist Party, that ought to be a major story. But then Biden isn’t Donald Trump, so large parts of the American media will not be remotely interested. “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal,” said Richard Nixon, famously. In 2023, that phrase could be adapted into a new truism: when a Democratic president does it…

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.