White House Confirms Second Set of Sensitive Docs Found
WASHINGTON — Documents with classified markings from President Joe Biden’s years as vice president were found in a storage space at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the White House confirmed Thursday morning.
The discovery, first reported by The New York Times, was confirmed just days after the administration confirmed sensitive documents were also found at Biden’s former office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement of the University of Pennsylvania in Washington.
Biden started the Washington, D.C.-based think tank as an affiliate of the University of Pennsylvania, where Biden held a part-time position after his vice presidency. He used the office periodically between mid-2017 until he launched his 2020 presidential campaign in April 2019.
In a statement distributed to reporters this morning, Richard Sauber, a special counsel to the president, said after the initial documents were found by Biden’s personal attorneys, they examined other locations where records might have been shipped after Biden left the vice presidency in 2017.
These locations were his residences in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
“The lawyers completed their review last night,” Sauber said, turning up a “small number” of classified documents.
Most of these documents were found in a storage space in Biden’s garage in Wilmington, while one was located in his personal library.
No documents were found in the Rehoboth Beach residence.
“As was done in the case of the Penn Biden Center, the Department of Justice was immediately notified, and the lawyers arranged for the Department of Justice to take possession of these documents,” Sauber said.
“We are fully cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice in a process to ensure that any Obama-Biden administration records are appropriately in possession of the archives,” he added.
The latest revelation inspired a testy give and take between Biden and members of the intown press pool Thursday after the president delivered remarks on a new government report that shows inflation pressures are easing.
Asked by one reporter how he could store classified documents “alongside” his Corvette, the president responded sharply that his Corvette is stored in a locked garage.
“People know I take classified documents seriously,” he continued, adding “We are cooperating fully with the review of the Department of Justice.”
He also suggested he’ll have more to say on the matter once the DOJ completes its review.
The revelation that classified documents were discovered at the president’s Washington-based think tank offices quickly became a political headache for the president, as House Republicans were already gearing up for a series of investigations of the administration
Now that a second batch of documents has been found, the Republicans are quickly drawing comparisons between this situation and the ongoing DOJ investigation of former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified material following his departure from the White House in January 2021.
So far, at least, there appears to be a world of difference in the two cases.
To begin with, Biden’s lawyers discovered the initial 10 classified documents in a locked storage closet. In the Trump case, the 325 classified files were found in at least 12 unsecured boxes in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
And while Biden’s team immediately turned the documents over to the Justice Department, the FBI’s high-profile August raid on Trump’s home came after an extended 19-month back and forth between Trump officials and law enforcement.
During that time, lawyers for the former president conducted a review of his Mar-a-Lago storage facilities and provided the government with some material, including classified documents, but archivists did not believe the president’s team had been fully cooperative.
That set in motion the events that led to the raid of Trump’s Florida estate and the discovery of more than 100 additional documents.
The matter has since been handed over to Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is reportedly looking into whether Trump or his team violated federal law by obstructing the document recovery process or destroying government materials.