Delaware search is 'miles apart from what's going on with Trump': former prosecutor
FBI agent (Katherine Welles /

President Joe Biden handed over his keys to his Delaware beach house on Wednesday for the FBI to search for any additional possible classified information that could have made its way there after his time in the vice president's office.

Law school professor and former prosecutor Joyce White Vance emphasized that this is vastly different from what Donald Trump is dealing with in terms of his document scandal.

"It took more than a year and negotiations and defied subpoenas and insistence by the former president he could declassify anything and they were his to keep before they could even get in there with a search under a judge -- they satisfied a judge that they couldn't get it any other way," MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell said. "And then they didn't even deliver everything. They had to go back and find it at another location, find more."

Vance explained that the vocabulary is too limited when it comes to describing what is happening at Biden's home.

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"When we use the term search, what's going on is miles apart," Vance said. "What we are seeing with Biden is a consensual process. It's important to remember that the FBI has more than just criminal investigative authority. It has national security responsibilities. Once you find a spill of classified documents in one of the president's residences, it makes sense to search every place. It's not satisfactory to let the Biden team do it themselves. You need someone outside and objective to complete that."

When comparing it to Donald Trump, Vance noted that there was a lengthy back and forth, and back and forth, between Trump the National Archives, the Justice Department, the Archives lawyers, the FBI and a slew of lawyers.

"DOJ got wind of that in April of last year and still tried to negotiate to get documents back. When they got a search warrant from the federal judge, they have to convince him that there's probable cause to believe that they will find evidence of crimes or fruits of crimes," Vance continued. "It's a serious standard. Probable cause is not the highest burden in our criminal justice system, but allegations of criminality and evidence of that are taken seriously by judges before they sign off on a search warrant. Miles apart from what we see going on today in Rehoboth Beach."

There's no word yet on the classified documents found in Mike Pence's home and when the FBI intends to do an additional search there.

Lawmakers have told Raw Story that Biden and Pence's documents are indicative of a flawed classification system that can be too overly broad. They've added that packing up a president or vice president's things might need additional caution because it's clear that even the most detail-oriented people can end up with information among their personal effects.

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Deleware search is 'miles apart from what’s going on with Trump': former prosecutor