Seth Meyers on Trump and Biden documents: ‘A false equivalency is very silly’

Late-night hosts discuss comparisons between classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago and at Biden’s private office

Seth Meyers

On Thursday evening, Seth Meyers delved into news that the attorney general, Merrick Garland, had appointed a special counsel to oversee the investigation into classified documents found at Joe Biden’s private office.

“Well, fuck,” said the Late Night host. “Obviously it’s not great for Biden that there’s a special counsel looking into the storage of classified documents from his time as vice-president. Although there are huge differences between this and Trump’s case.

For one, Biden’s team found a small number of documents in two locations, including the garage where his Corvette is parked in Delaware, which his team immediately returned.

“I guess if you’re going to store classified documents somewhere, you might as well do it next to your kickass Corvette, you know?” Meyers mused. “So that when you eventually find them, you can brag that you have a Corvette.”

“Obviously, this is not great for Biden and he shouldn’t have had those documents, although I feel personally like finding a small number of classified documents at someone’s home or office is not a big deal, as long as they give them back,” Meyers explained. “Which is true for Trump too. If Trump had just given back all the documents when he was asked, we wouldn’t have had a problem.”

The difference, Meyers continued, is that “Biden is cooperating fully, turning over all the documents immediately, looking for more. Trump refused to turn them over for more than a year after repeated requests, claimed he can declassify them with his mind, lied about them and even moved them around.”

The differences “make the GOP attempt to draw a false equivalency between the two very silly”, he noted.

Stephen Colbert

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert updated his commentary on Biden’s classified documents with news that aides found a second batch at a new location, his private garage in Delaware. “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” he exclaimed. “I know you’re retirement age, are you starting a collection? They’re classified documents not spoons from the Delaware train museum. Find another fun thing!”

Biden’s team has been cooperative, Colbert noted, and lawyers say it happens all the time. “Counterpoint: maybe it shouldn’t,” he added. “Maybe, and I don’t know if we have the technology, but maybe when you check out a document, there’s some kind of card that gets stamped, and then if you don’t return the document on time, there’s an overdue document fee that you have to pay, or you’re not allowed to check out the next exciting volume of Nancy Drew and the Status of Iran’s Nuclear Program.”

Colbert also mocked the New York congressman George Santos, whose fellow Long Island Republicans have called for his resignation for a web of fabrications about his background, education and identity. Speaking to congressional reporters, Santos said he would resign if 142 voters asked for it.

“That’s a weird answer and that’s a weirdly specific number,” said Colbert. “If 142 people asked him to resign he would do it. For the record, the Ed Sullivan holds about 450 people, and I’m going to guess at least 142 of them would make a better congressman than George Santos.”

Jimmy Kimmel

And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel also touched on Biden’s classified documents issue. “There are significant differences between this situation with Biden and the 15 boxes of documents Tanny Soprano left laying around his golf club and refused to give back,” he explained. “It’s definitely embarrassing to Joe Biden, and the gang at Fox News wasted no time rubbing it in.”

But he had to wonder: “Which is more dangerous, Joe Biden having classified documents in his garage, or Joe Biden having the keys to a Corvette?”

Kimmel also laughed at New York “misrepresentative” George Santos, who sat for an interview with none other than the far-right congressman Matt Gaetz.

“Matt Gaetz knows that the real villain isn’t the person making up the lies. It’s the people reporting them,” Kimmel deadpanned. The disgraced Florida congressman asked Santos “isn’t the New York Times going to come for every one of these Republicans before it’s over?” To which Santos replied “every last one of them, I just pray for all of you, when they come for you, that you have the same strength I have.”

“Even Jesus is like ‘Jesus’,” said Kimmel.

Guardian staff

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