Tuesday, January 31, 2023
HomeWorldSome Democrats express frustration with Biden over classified documents – live

Some Democrats express frustration with Biden over classified documents – live

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Democrat Ruben Gallego announces run for Kyrsten Sinema’s senate seat

After spending months alienating her ostensible allies in the Biden administration and Democratic party at large, senator Kyrsten Sinema last year announced she would leave the party and continue representing Arizona as an independent. Sinema said she would continue to work with her former allies in the Senate, but her decision nonetheless infuriated Democrats, and today a popular congressman announced he would run against her in the 2024 election. The Guardian’s Joan E Greve has the latest:

The Democratic congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona announced on Monday that he will run for the Senate, teeing up a potential battle against incumbent Senator Kyrsten Sinema next year.

Gallego, a marine combat veteran who has served in the House of Representatives since 2015, made the widely expected announcement in a campaign video that was filmed in his Phoenix area congressional district.

In the video, Gallego explains his unlikely journey to the House as the son of an immigrant mother who struggled to make ends meet. If elected, Gallego, who is of Mexican and Colombian descent, would be the first Latino to represent Arizona in the Senate.

“Growing up poor, the only thing I really had was the American dream,” Gallego says. “I’m running to be the senator of Arizona because you deserve somebody fighting for you and fighting with you every day to make sure you have the same chance at el sueño americano.”

The announcement comes after months of speculation. Whispers of Gallego’s plans grew louder last month, when Sinema announced she would switch her party affiliation from Democratic to independent, although she continues to caucus with Senate Democrats.

“At a time when our nation needs leadership most, Arizona deserves a voice that won’t back down in the face of struggle,” Gallego said at the time. “Unfortunately Senator Sinema is once again putting her own interests ahead of getting things done for Arizonans.”

Joe Biden said he had “no regrets” about how he handled the matter of classified materials dating from his stints as vice-president and senator that have been found at a former office and at his home in Delaware.

That didn’t sit well with Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator who acted as a power broker in the past Congress and spoiler for progressive priorities. “I think he should have a lot of regrets,” Manchin said in a Sunday appearance on NBC News, adding that if he was in a similar position, he would hold his staff accountable, but “the buck stops with me.”

Here are his full comments:

Speaking to CNN, fellow Democratic senator Dick Durbin was similarly critical of Biden, but hit back at Republicans’ insistence that what the president did was no different than Donald Trump’s stashing of government secrets at Mar-a-Lago. “At its heart, the issue is the same. Those documents should not have been in the personal possession of either Joe Biden and Donald Trump. But what happened and followed from it is significantly different,” Durbin said. “Donald Trump defied those who knew the documents were in place, and ultimately led to, involuntarily, a court order and a search of his Mar-a-Lago hotel resort to find out how many documents were there.”

Joe Biden, “embarrassed, as he should have been,” Durbin said, allowed the justice department and other agencies to search his property for additional classified material. “It is outrageous that either occurred, but the reaction by the former president and the current president could not be in sharper contrast,” Durbin said.

Here’s his full interview:

Democrats express frustration with Biden over document discoveries

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Joe Biden might have spent the weekend outside Washington DC, but he could not escape the growing furor over classified documents turning up in his possession. The latest batch were discovered when the president made the unusual step of allowing federal agents to search his residence in Wilmington, Delaware, during which they seized six more items. His Democratic allies are walking a fine line between shaking their finger at a lifelong politician who should have known better when it comes to classified material, and making the case that Biden is being far more transparent than Donald Trump, who stands accused of doing nearly the same thing, albeit in greater quantities and far more deliberately. “It diminishes the stature of any person who is in possession of it,” Democratic senator Dick Durbin told CNN in an interview Sunday, when asked about the president’s handling of the secrets. Expect to hear more about this today.

Here’s what else is going on:

  • Kyrsten Sinema has a challenger for Arizona’s Senate seat: Democratic House representative Ruben Gallego. After repeatedly infuriating progressives, Sinema left the Democratic party last year to serve as an independent, though she says she’ll continue to work with Biden’s allies. Democrats will have to decide whether to support her re-election, or back a risky bid to oust her in a swing state.

  • The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, briefs reporters at 2pm eastern time, who will surely pester her for more details about the documents investigation.

  • Tensions with China will probably rise again when the Republican House speaker, Kevin McCarthy, makes a visit to Taiwan in the coming months, Punchbowl News reports. Beijing reacted with fury when his Democratic predecessor Nancy Pelosi did the same last year.

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