A statement from the White House on Thursday confirmed that President Joe Biden’s lawyers found records with classified markings in a storage space at the president’s home in Wilmington, one day after reports surfaced that the documents had been found.
Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said in a statement that Biden’s attorneys searched the president’s homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach after government documents were found in November at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington.
“As we stated previously, 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,” the statement read.
Statement from White House Counsel's Office on ongoing cooperation with the Archives and Department of Justice: pic.twitter.com/Dn3F8Oqggd— Ian Sams (@IanSams46) January 12, 2023
It was not immediately clear what documents were found, exactly how many there were or at what level they were classified. Sauber said a “small number” of records with classified markings were found in storage at a garage at the Wilmington home. A single, one-page document was found in storage in an adjacent room, he said.
“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,” he added. “The White House will continue to cooperate with the review by the Department of Justice.”
Attorney General Merrick on Thursday named Robert Hur to serve as special counsel overseeing an investigation into the records.
Biden said the documents were found after his lawyers reviewed places where records from his time as President Barack Obama’s vice president were being stored.
“People know I take classified documents and classified materials seriously,” Biden told reporters. “I also said we’re cooperating fully and completely with the Justice Department’s review.”
Earlier, the president said he was surprised to learn that government documents had been taken to his office at the Penn Biden Center. He added that he didn’t know what was in “several classified documents” found in November.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Thursday accused Biden of “treating law differently based upon your political beliefs,” noting that the documents were found before the mid-term elections in November.
“I think Congress has to investigate,” he said. “Here’s an individual that’s been in office for more than 40 years. Here’s an individual that sat on ‘60 Minutes’ that was so concerned about President (Donald) Trump’s documents.”
In May 2021, officials with the National Archives contacted Trump to obtain documents they believed should have been turned over by the former president, The Washington Post reported. The investigation became public months later after officials confirmed that they got 15 boxes of materials from Trump.
Since the former president left office, authorities have recovered about 300 documents with classification markings from Trump, according to The Associated Press.
Last year, Garland appointed a special counsel to review the handling of classified records found at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Authorities continue to investigate.
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