With the discovery of “Classified documents” involving former present, Donald Trump, and sitting president, Joe Biden, the term of “Acceptance of Responsibility” has become a topic of worldwide attention from either the raid on Mar-a-Lago (Trump) by an early morning search warrant from a federal judicial officer or the voluntary surrender of alleged classified documents by the Biden administration.
In the political turmoil surround this issue these are investigations, that may or may not lead to criminal prosecutions!
The difference between the approaches of the former and present Presidents in America as to the question of what may be (AR) is striking:
Trump on advice of counsel (or his decision) did not voluntarily turn over the 320 alleged CDs which were seized in the raid of his palatial residence that was formerly owned by cereal heiress Emily Meriweather Post.
Biden on advice of counsel has voluntarily acknowledged/turned over the existence of approximately 20 plus CDs in 5-6 incidents (as of January 23, 2023) and claims that he has cooperated fully and acknowledged A/C for non-criminal negligent oversight!
The truth or false interpretations is generally split along party lines between Democrat and Republican Members.
What about “Acceptance of Responsibility?”
The term can be interpreted in terms of both criminal and non-criminal language of “admitting their actions and accepting the consequences of them in a truthful and forthcoming manner.”
However, a search of the numerous resources quickly turns to analysis under Section 3E1.1 of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines pertaining to criminal prosecutions.
It should be immediately stated that there are no criminal charges pending against either Trump or Biden and it would be pure speculation as to whether there will be such action!
The language under said section is both expansive and confining as to what will justify a motion by the federal prosecutors in their sole discretion to make a motion for a reduction in the amount of sentence and the Courts acceptance of said motion.
Eight appropriate considerations “include but are not limited to whether a criminal defendant qualifies when said section but places strong emphasis on several ‘voluntary’ actions by a person facing potential charges.
The differences in the divergent positions of Trump and Biden are striking.
Trump’s past and present strategy is to vigorously deny any wrongdoing.
Biden also denies that he has committed any wrongdoing but is careful to also vigorously demonstrates his effort to fully cooperate with law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ).
The political impact on the American public may not ever become a criminal question but how the two diametrically opposed positions by Trump and Biden if either or both run for President of the United States in 2024 will be a re-occurring theme on every form of media coverage.
(And then there was Mike Pence!)