Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas defended former Vice President Mike Pence's reported possession of classified documents after leaving office only moments after trashing President Joe Biden for doing the same thing.
A CNN report on Tuesday revealed that classified documents had been found at the former vice president's home last week. The revelation followed news of classified documents dating back to the Obama administration and earlier had been found at the home and private office of Biden.
Cruz took aim at Biden during a Tuesday appearance on the Fox Business show Kudlow, suggesting that the president may be guilty of "major crimes" by keeping the documents and demanding that the FBI search the properties of his son Hunter to find more.
"The FBI needs to search the residences of Hunter Biden and any business offices of Hunter Biden to determine if there are classified materials there," Cruz said.
"If these classified materials in particular implicate Burisma, Ukraine, communist China, payments going to Hunter Biden or Joe Biden's brother or the Biden family," he continued. "Then this shifts from a political problem to a very serious problem of criminal liability and major crimes."
Cruz was then asked about the Pence find. The senator protested that it was too "early" to pass similar judgement on the former vice president. He said that Pence was a "good friend" and insisted that his situation was "very different" from Biden's, despite both men apparently keeping classified documents after serving as vice president.
"The Mike Pence story, it's still early," Cruz said. "You know, Mike Pence ... he is a good friend, he's a good man. He's explained where these came from ... That was a mistake, but there's no reason to think this was anything but inadvertent."
"That is very different from what Joe Biden has done," he added. "Biden has given zero explanation how these classified documents got there. And in particular, he has given no explanation as to how he has documents from his time in the Senate."
Cruz was called out for the comments on social media a short time later, with some accusing the Texas Republican of hypocrisy.
"Can I just say again that Ted Cruz sucks?" tweeted Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman and 2020 presidential candidate. "He doesn't have the honesty, the decency nor the fair mindedness to simply say 'It was wrong for Biden to have classified docs at home, and it was wrong for Pence to have classified docs at home' and leave it at that."
"Ted Cruz might as well say: There's a big difference between Mike Pence and Joe Biden. I'd vote for Mike, but not for Joe," tweeted author Grant Stern.
"Shameless hypocrisy from Ted Cruz?" actor Bob Clendenin tweeted. "You're kidding me."
Last month, Cruz was mocked and accused of hypocrisy after lashing out at Biden for traveling to the Caribbean for a family vacation just after a massive winter storm hit the U.S.
Critics were quick to point out that Cruz faced backlash of his own after leaving Texas to vacation in Cancun, Mexico, while his home state was facing a brutal storm and widespread blackouts in 2021.
Despite calling for the FBI to raid Hunter Biden's properties on Tuesday, Cruz previously argued that the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in August was "corrupt & an abuse of power" by the Biden administration.
The raid of Trump's home uncovered more than 100 classified documents. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed special counsels to investigate both the Trump and Biden document finds, with the fate of any potential investigation into Pence still to be determined.
Newsweek has reached out to the office of Cruz for comment.