News & Politics

WOAH: Did Tom Perez Just Compare Biden's Senate Docs to Hillary Clinton's Emails?!

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya. It's a photo that became an Internet meme: Hillary Rodham Clinton, wearing sunglasses, staring at her BlackBerry. Now it's becoming a focal point for Republicans on the House committee that's investigating the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya. The chairman, South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, wants to know why the panel has no emails from the day the photo was taken as Clinton, then the secretary of state, was en route to Tripoli. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)

On Sunday, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez compared presumptive nominee Joe Biden’s Senate documents to the emails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kept on a private email server, insisting that there’s no “there” there so stop asking to see the actual documents, okay?!

Martha Raddatz, anchor of ABC News’s This Week, noted that Biden “says he will not release documents from his years in the Senate now at the University of Delaware because they don’t contain personnel matters and [he] kind of brushed aside suggestions that a search be done of just Tara Reade’s name in those documents. The New York Times editorial board called for the DNC to convene an unbiased apolitical panel to review portions of Biden’s papers. … Your communications director has called that idea absurd. Why?”

Perez could not offer a good reason. Instead, he pivoted to the tired line that former President Barack Obama already vetted Biden before selecting him as his running mate in 2008.

“There’s been so many investigations of the vice president,” the DNC chair said. “The most comprehensive investigation of the Vice President was when he was vetted by Barack Obama in 2008.”

“Barack Obama trusted Joe Biden, I trust Joe Biden, and those investigations have been done, now let’s talk about Delaware for a moment,” Perez continued. “The University of Delaware — and any university that takes somebody’s documents — they’re taking their policy documents, they’re taking their speeches, they’re not taking their personnel records.”

“Why not just search ‘Tara Reade’ in those documents?” Raddatz pressed.

“This is like the Hillary emails because there was nothing there,” Perez shot back. He recalled working on the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1995. “If you want to see my personnel records, you don’t go to the Kennedy Institute.”

When it comes to searching the Biden papers, Perez said, “You’re asking them to look for something that doesn’t exist.”

If there’s nothing to see there, why are Biden and the university hiding the papers? If Biden is so confident, why not ask the university to make the papers public? Why shouldn’t Perez take The New York Times‘s advice and review the papers to release anything related to Reade?

Yet the comparison to the Hillary Clinton emails might be instructive.

Contrary to Perez’s suggestion, there were classified documents on Hillary Clinton’s private homebrew server. Judicial Watch is still suing to get full access to the emails. It recently subpoenaed Google in order to obtain deleted emails that were reportedly stored on a Gmail account.

As for the much-vaunted Obama vetting, PJ Media’s Matt Margolis deftly dismissed that defense. After all, the Biden family had notoriously cashed out on Joe’s time in the Senate, even before he became vice president and Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma. Tara Reade has also explained that she didn’t write sexual assault on her complaint against Biden, but she did insist she filed one.

Biden may be trying to hide something else, but the secrecy only adds to the scandal. The comparison to Hillary Clinton’s emails should also backfire, especially given the continuing case with Judicial Watch. It seems Perez really stepped in it this time.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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