U.S. President Joe Biden listens during a meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, the United States, January 13, 2023.
Jonathan Ernest | Reuters
More classified government documents were found at President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware this week, the White House confirmed Saturday.
In a statement, White House special counsel Richard Sauber said a total of six pages of documents with classification marks were discovered at Biden’s Wilmington residence. The White House previously said only one site was found there.
The first document was identified and turned over by Biden’s personal attorney on Wednesday, and the other five documents were discovered later that week, Sauber said.
“DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them,” he said in the statement.
Sauber said the president’s attorneys acted “promptly and voluntarily” to provide the documents to the Justice Department.
The disclosure of the latest discovery comes days after Sauber confirmed media reports that attorneys for the president found a first batch of classified Biden administration documents on Nov. 2 in an office Biden had used as a private at a Washington think tank.
That was nearly three months after FBI agents raided former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence and seized more than 100 classified government documents and hundreds of other records that federal prosecutors say belong to the US government.
Trump is the focus of a DOJ criminal investigation into his removal of the records from the White House in January 2021.
Sauber announced Thursday that a second batch of documents had been found at Biden’s Delaware home. He issued a statement detailing how and where the second batch of documents was found, saying a “small number” of records with classified markings were found in the garage.
The second batch of documents was discovered on Dec. 20 in the garage of Biden’s Delaware residence, according to a statement by Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer on Saturday. The president’s attorneys conducted another search of the home looking for other classified materials starting Wednesday when they found the additional recordings in a room next to the garage.
Bauer said Biden’s personal attorneys are working to balance public transparency with the restrictions needed to “protect the integrity of the investigation.”
Bauer said the lawyers had no security clearance, meaning they didn’t know the exact number of documents or what was inside. He said when a lawyer spotted a document with secret markings, they stopped, notified the government and didn’t check it.
“Following this process means that a disclosure of documents cannot be final until the government has completed its investigation, including taking possession of all documents and reviewing the surrounding material for further verification and context,” Bauer said.
By law, government records must be turned over to the National Archives when a president or official in their administration resigns. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed former US Attorney Robert Hur as a special counsel to investigate the discovery of these classified records.
Hur has the authority to “investigate whether any person or entity has broken the law in connection with this matter,” Garland said in a public statement made on his appointment at the Justice Department.
Soon after the second discovery, Biden discussed the documents with reporters.
“By the way, like I said earlier this week, my Corvette is in a locked garage, so it’s not like they’re sitting out on the street,” Biden said, referring to the documents.
“People know I take classified documents and classified material seriously,” Biden said. “I also said that we are cooperating, fully cooperating with the Justice Department review.”