Joe Biden’s legal team finds fresh batch of classified documents
Washington : US President Joe Biden’s legal team has found a fresh batch of classified documents at a second location following the initial discovery of confidential material dating back from the time when he was Vice President at his former think tank office in Washington, media reports said.
Since the original batch of about 10 documents was discovered in November 2022 at the Penn Biden Center think tank near the White House, but only came to light this Monday, Biden’s aides have been searching for any additional classified materials that might be in other locations he used, an informed source told CBS News on Wednesday.
The classification level, number and precise location of the fresh batch of documents was not immediately clear. It was also not known when the additional documents were discovered and if the search for any other classified materials Biden may have from the former Barack Obama administration is complete.
The White House has not yet commented on the newly discovered batch. Earlier on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to answer questions about the first cache of files during her daily press briefing, the BBC reported.
“This is under review by the Department of Justice” she said. “I’m not going to go beyond what the president shared yesterday.” On Tuesday, Biden said he was “surprised to learn there were any government records that were taken there to that office” which he periodically used from mid-2017 until the start of his 2020 presidential campaign.
The President said he doesn’t know “what’s in the documents” that were found in a locked closet. “They found some documents in a box in a locked cabinet, or at least a closet.
And as soon as they did, they realised there were several classified documents in that box,” Biden said. The attorneys “did what they should have done” by immediately calling the National Archives, he added.
The classified documents found inside the Penn Biden Center closet are reportedly US intelligence memos and briefing materials that covered topics including Ukraine, Iran and Britain.
The controversy comes as Biden faces scrutiny from a new Republican majority in the US House of Representatives, the BBC reported. “Now that Democrats no longer have one-party rule in Washington, oversight and accountability are coming,” James Comer, the new chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said on Wednesday.
The committee is launching inquiries into the President and his family, including a request for the White House to turn over documents and communications related to the classified files.
The Presidential Records Act requires all presidential and vice-presidential documents to be turned over to the National Archives. The developments come as the Department of Justice is investigating former President Donald Trump’s handling of a trove of classified documents seized from his estate in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, by federal agents in the summer of 2022.
Federal investigators have recovered at least 325 classified documents from Trump as part of their inquiry. In a post on his social media app, Truth Social, the former President said earlier this week: “When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House?”