Classified Documents Found in Garage at Biden Home, White House Says

12 Jan

Classified Documents Found in Garage at Biden Home, White House Says

Documents with classified markings from U.S. President Joe Biden’s time as vice president have been found in the garage of his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the White House said Thursday, days after it confirmed that other sensitive material had been discovered at the Washington think tank where he had an office before running for president in 2020.

In the latest disclosure, Richard Sauber, a special counsel to Biden, said that after the initial documents were found at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, his lawyers searched other locations where records might have been shipped, rather than to the National Archives as required by U.S. law, when Biden’s vice-presidential term ended in early 2017.

Sauber, in a statement, said Biden’s lawyers searched his Wilmington home in the eastern U.S., as well as his vacation retreat near the Atlantic Ocean in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

“The lawyers discovered among personal and political papers a small number of additional … records with classified markings” in the garage, he said, adding that another one-page classified document was found in an adjacent room.

The papers were from Biden’s vice presidency under former President Barack Obama. No classified documents were found at his vacation home.

Sauber said the Department of Justice was “immediately notified” after the documents were found in Wilmington and that department lawyers took custody of the records.

Biden, speaking to reporters on Thursday, attempted to minimize the discoveries in an apparent effort to contrast it with a months-long dispute between former President Donald Trump and the Archives over hundreds of classified documents that were transferred to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in early 2021.

A special counsel is investigating whether Trump committed a criminal offense in failing to turn over the classified material when he left Washington or later, in response to repeated requests from the Archives for their return.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland selected U.S. Attorney John Lausch in Chicago, a holdover Trump appointee, to review the circumstances of how the classified material linked to Biden ended up at one of the president’s offices and in a box beside his Corvette in a locked garage.

“As I said earlier this week, people know I take classified documents and classified material seriously,” Biden told reporters on Thursday, adding that his administration is “cooperating fully … with the Justice Department’s review.”

Some Republicans have called for Garland to name a special counsel to investigate Biden’s retention of classified documents from his vice-presidential years, just as Garland named long-time federal prosecutor Jack Smith to investigate Trump in connection with the classified papers and his attempts to upend the results of the 2020 election to remain in power.

New House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, at a news conference in the U.S. Capitol, said, “I think Congress has to investigate this. I do not think any American believes that justice should not be equal to all.”

SJ

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