Additional classified documents discovered in Biden's Delaware home

The access road to US President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, January 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Attorneys representing US Vice President Joe Biden discovered more secret documents at his house in Wilmington, Delaware, than was previously known, the White House confirmed on Saturday.

Six pages of secret documents were discovered during a review of Biden's personal library, according to a statement released by White House attorney Richard Sauber. The White House had previously stated that there was only one document present.

Documents from Biden's time as vice president were discovered in December in his garage and in November in his former offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington. The most recent disclosure is in addition to those discoveries.

Former US attorney Robert Hur, appointed as a special counsel on Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland, is investigating the possible mishandling of sensitive papers and official records by the Obama administration.

Sauber stated in a statement released on Saturday that Biden's personal attorneys, who lacked security clearances, ceased their investigation after discovering the first document on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, when he facilitated the Department of Justice's removal of the other materials, Sauber discovered the remaining items.

"While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the accompanying material," Sauber stated. They were immediately seized by the DOJ agents accompanying me.

Sauber earlier stated that the White House was "confident that a comprehensive review will demonstrate that these documents were accidentally misplaced, and that the president and his attorneys acted swiftly upon discovering this error."

Sauber's statement failed to explain why the White House waited two days to submit a new assessment of the number of classified documents. The White House has already been criticized for taking more than two months to disclose the finding of the first batch of records in Biden's office.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, in response to a question about whether Vice President Biden could guarantee that no new classified documents would turn up in a subsequent search, "You should assume that it has been completed, yes."

Saturday, Sauber reaffirmed the White House's willingness to assist with Hur's probe.

Bob Bauer, the president's personal attorney, stated that his legal team "attempted to strike a balance between the need for public transparency and the need to protect the investigation's integrity"

Before bringing criminal charges in cases involving the misuse of classified material, the Justice Department has generally imposed a high legal threshold, requiring evidence the defendant intended to violate the law, as opposed to merely being careless or irresponsible. It is illegal to "knowingly" remove classified papers and store them in an unauthorized manner, according to the fundamental statute controlling the illegal removal and retention of classified documents.

So far as is known, the circumstances surrounding Biden differ from the inquiry into the mishandling of secret materials at former president Donald Trump's Florida private club and residence.

In the instance of Donald Trump, special counsel Jack Smith is probing whether anyone attempted to hinder their inquiry into the preservation of secret documents at his Palm Beach residence.

According to Justice Department officials, Trump's lawyers did not comply entirely with a subpoena requesting the handover of classified documents, causing investigators to return to the home with a search warrant to retrieve additional materials.

Publish : 2023-01-15 12:59:00

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