FBI More classified documents found in Wilmington, Delaware, home of the President Joe Biden in a consensual search on Friday that lasted nearly 13 hours, his personal attorney and a prosecutor said on Saturday night
This is the fourth time since November that confidential files or documents have been found at a Biden address.
His personal attorney, Bob Bauer, in a statement, said the Justice Department seized “six items including classified documents and surrounding material.”
Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, told NBC News: “I can confirm that the FBI on Friday conducted a planned, consensual search of with the President’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware.”
Bauer said some of the items date from Biden’s tenure in the Senate, where he represented Delaware from 1973 to 2009. And some of the items are from his tenure as vice president. during the Obama administration, from 2009 to 2017.
In addition to those files, FBI agents, who did not have a search warrant, also seized several notes Biden handwritten as vice president, according to attorneys and the White House.
According to Richard Sauber, special adviser to the president, neither Biden nor first lady Jill Biden were present during the search.
Other entries an undisclosed number of classified government records previously discovered by the president’s lawyers.
Biden’s attorneys first found a small number of classified files on November 2 in a private office he kept at a research institute in Washington, DC following the end of his vice-presidential term in office. Obama administration in 2017.
The White House only disclosed that finding on January 9.
On December 20, a small number of classified files were found in the garage of the Biden home in Wilmington.
Then, a single page of classified documents was found at the Wilmington mansion on January 11. Then, the next day, another five pages of classified documents were found in a room next to the garage. of Biden, when DOJ officials went there to retrieve the document. page found the day before.
The White House said that when the president’s attorneys found the previous documents, they immediately notified the National Archives and Records Administration and the DOJ.
Friday’s search was the first publicly revealed that federal law enforcement agencies had conducted searches of government documents at Biden’s private addresses.
Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this month appointed a special counsel to investigate Biden’s retention of government records after he served as vice president.
Former President Donald Trump is under criminal investigation by another special counsel for taking hundreds of classified files and other government documents from the White House when he left office. Trump is also being watched for his ability to obstruct justice by obstructing government officials’ efforts to recover those documents.
The FBI in early August raided Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where they found thousands of pages of government records. The FBI had a search warrant in that case.
By law, presidents and vice presidents must return government documents to the National Archives when they leave office.
Biden and the White House have been criticized for a two-month delay in disclosing the discovery of the first batch of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center for Global Affairs and Engagement in Washington.
That first discovery came six days before the midterm elections when the balance of political party control in both houses of Congress was a stake.
And critics have asked why searches of other private locations maintained by the president weren’t conducted until after the White House revealed the first discovery.
Bauer, in his statement Saturday said the president’s legal team had offered to provide “immediate access” to Biden’s private residence “to allow the DOJ to conduct a full search of the premises.” to find potential vice president records and potential classified documents.”
He said the offer was made “in the interest of moving the process forward as quickly as possible.”
“The DOJ requested that the search not be made public in advance, according to its standard procedures, and we agreed to cooperate,” Bauer said.
He said that on Friday, “the DOJ completed a thorough search of all documents in the President’s home in Wilmington.”
“It started around 9:45 a.m. and ended around 10:30 p.m. and covered all of the workspace, living space and storage in the home,” says Bauer. “In agreement with the DOJ, representatives from both the individual legal team and the White House Attorney’s Office were present.”
Authorities have “full access to the President’s home,” including “personal handwritten notes, files, papers, file covers, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and words.” mentioned decades ago.”
“The DOJ was in possession of documents it deems to be the scope of its investigation, including six items including classified documents and surrounding materials, some of which were from the service of President in the Senate and some of that is from his tenure as Vice President,” Bauer said.
“The DOJ also considered adding personal handwritten notes from his years as vice president.”
“As noted in the Statement we issued on January 14, we have tried to balance the importance of public transparency where appropriate with standards and limitations,” the attorney said. established necessary to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
“We will continue to do so throughout our partnership with the DOJ,” Bauer said.
Sauber, Biden’s White House attorney, in his own statement, said, “The President and his team are working quickly to ensure the DOJ and Special Counsel have what they need to proceed with the assessment. Thorough pricing.”
“From the very beginning, the President has been committed to handling this responsibly because he takes it seriously,” Sauber said.