Mike Pence just gave both Biden and Trump a gift
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The new discovery that former Vice President Mike Pence had classified materials at his personal residence took some of the political pressure off President Joe Biden — and it also may have made it easier for former President Donald Trump, facing a much more serious classified documents scandal than either, to obfuscate his own wrongdoing, wrote Stephen Collinson for CNN on Wednesday.

"The discovery of classified documents in Pence’s home in Indiana, as first reported by CNN Tuesday, took the heat off Biden’s struggles to explain his possession of such material from his own vice presidency. And it made Pence the most popular man in the White House Tuesday. For one thing, the rumbling saga of secret documents had a new front man," wrote Collinson. "This was a huge embarrassment for Pence, exposing him to mockery and accusations of hypocrisy since he’d claimed moral high ground over Biden when the president was under fire for keeping documents and the Indiana Republican said he didn’t have any."

"Biden’s aides leapt at the chance to draw a more innocuous comparison between the behavior of the president and Pence than the more damaging one that’s been suggested for days between Biden and Trump, who appears to be in far greater trouble over his classified documents storm," wrote Collinson. "And at first sight, the comparison seems fair. Neither Pence nor Biden appeared to obstruct investigators once modest batches of documents were discovered at their homes – even if the White House’s management of the crisis has been sluggish and sometimes misleading to the public. Both returned the material when it was found. And each may argue that the transfer of material to their private homes was accidental."

However, noted Collinson, Trump himself is also trying to exploit the situation.

"While the Pence revelations clearly do Biden a favor, they also provide an inadvertent political opening for Trump," wrote Collinson. "That’s because it may be difficult for many voters not steeped in the details of the document saga to distinguish the nuances of the trio of cases. The more such stashes are unearthed, and the more top current and former executive branch officials are involved, the more it seems that such discoveries are no big deal or that everyone involved is equally at fault."

Trump was slapped with an FBI search at his Mar-a-Lago residence last year after repeatedly stonewalling the National Archives' attempts to recover documents he falsely claimed he didn't have. He then went to a friendly court in Florida with a federal judge he appointed, who briefly shut down the investigation and appointed a special master until the 11th Circuit stepped in and allowed the Justice Department to continue. Subsequently, an outside team discovered even more documents hidden at a storage unit he controls.