Posted on Sat Jan 21 2023 8:01pm EDT
The president’s attorney said Saturday that the FBI raided President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday and found six additional documents marked classified and also obtained some of his diaries.
Bob Bauer, the president’s personal attorney, said the documents the FBI has collected cover Biden’s tenure in the Senate and vice president, while the notes date back to his tenure as vice president. He added that searches throughout the building took nearly 13 hours. It was not immediately clear the level of classification and whether the documents removed by the FBI were classified as the records were reviewed by the Justice Department.
The extraordinary search came more than a week after Biden’s lawyer found six classified documents in the library at the president’s home since he was vice president, and nearly three months after a “small number” of classified documents were found in his former offices in Ben Biden. . Center in Washington. It came a day after Biden claimed he “wasn’t there” in the document leaks, which have become a political irritant as he prepares to launch his re-election bid and undermine his efforts to project a favorable image to the American public after tumultuous unrest. Presidency of his predecessor Donald Trump.
“We found a handful of documents that were kept in the wrong place,” Biden told reporters Thursday in California. We immediately turned them over to the Department of Archives and Justice. »
Biden added that he is “cooperating fully and looking forward to resolving this issue quickly.”
The President and First Lady Jill Biden were not home when the home break-in took place. They were spending the weekend at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
It remains to be seen if additional inspections can be conducted by federal officials of other sites. Biden’s personal attorneys have conducted a previous search of the Rehoboth Beach residence and said they found no official documents or classified records.
The Biden investigation also complicated the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s retention of classified documents and official records after he left office. The Justice Department says Trump took hundreds of documents marked secret when leaving the White House in early 2021 and resisted months of requests to return them to the government, having to obtain a search warrant to get them back.
Bauer said the FBI asked the White House not to comment on the research before it was conducted, and it was attended by personal attorneys for Biden and the White House. He added that the FBI has full access to the president’s home, including handwritten notes, files, papers, records, keepsakes, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades.
He added that the Ministry of Justice “obtained documents that it considers relevant to its investigation, including six documents consisting of hashtags and related materials, some of which are from the Senate department of the Presidency of the Republic and others from his term as Vice President.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed former Maryland attorney Robert Hoare as special counsel to investigate potential irregularities in the Biden documents. Hoare is expected to succeed John Lauch, the US Attorney General appointed in Illinois to oversee the investigation.
“From the beginning, the president has been committed to handling this matter responsibly because he takes it very seriously,” White House attorney Richard Sauber said Saturday. Attorneys for the President and the Office of the White House Counsel will continue to cooperate with the Department of Justice and the Special Counsel to help ensure that this process is conducted quickly and efficiently. »
The revelations from the Biden document and the Trump investigation, which is in the hands of Special Counsel Jack Smith, are very different. Biden has made sure to cooperate with the Justice Department investigation at every turn — and Friday’s search was voluntary — though questions remain about his transparency with the public.
To commit a crime, a person must “intentionally remove” documents without permission and intend to keep them in an “unauthorized location.” Biden said he was “surprised” by the release of classified documents at the Ben Biden Center.
In general, classified documents must be declassified after a maximum of 25 years. But some documents are so valuable that they are kept secret for much longer, although specific exceptions must be granted. Biden served in the Senate from 1973 to 2009.
Associated Press writer Seong-min Kim in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, contributed to this report.