WASHINGTON – The FBI was looking President Joe Biden home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday and found six additional documents that contained classified information and were in possession of some of his information, the president’s attorney said Saturday.
The president welcomed the FBI into his home, but the lack of a warrant did not obscure the strange nature of the search. It further embarrassed Biden who began by revealing on January 12 that the president’s lawyers had obtained a “small number” of classified documents at a former office in the Penn Biden Center in Washington before the midterm elections. Since then, Prosecutors found six classified documents at Biden’s home in Wilmington library from his time as vice president.
While Biden has maintained “there’s nothing there,” the findings have become a political liability as he prepares to launch a re-election bid, and they undermine his efforts to present an image of fairness to the public. of America after the chaos. president of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
During Friday’s search, which lasted nearly 13 hours, the FBI seized six items containing classified documents, said Bob Bauer, the president’s attorney. Those were spent during Biden’s time in the Senate and vice president, but the records were written during his time as vice president, he said. The status of the classification, and whether the records removed by the FBI remain classified, was not immediately clear as the Justice Department reviewed the records.
US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters after arriving at Fort McNair in Washington, DC on April 4, 2022. – Biden returned to Washington after spending the weekend at his home in Wilmington, Delaware . (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL
Assistant US Attorney Joseph Fitzpatrick confirmed on Saturday that the FBI conducted “a planned, consensual investigation” of the president’s residence in Wilmington.
The president and first lady Jill Biden were not at home when searched. They spent the weekend at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Speaking to reporters during a trip to California on Thursday, Biden said he was “fully cooperating and looking forward to resolving this as quickly as possible.”
“We found a few documents that were filed in the wrong place,” Biden told reporters Thursday in California. “We gave them to the Archive and the Ministry of Justice.”
It remains to be seen whether additional federal investigations can be conducted elsewhere. Biden’s personal attorneys previously conducted a search of the Rehoboth Beach home and said they did not find any official documents or personal records.
Biden’s investigation also complicated the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s withholding of documents and official records after he left office. Of the The Justice Department said Trump took hundreds of classified documents and he left the White House in early 2021 and defied months of requests to return them to the government, and must obtain a warrant to bring them back.
According to Bauer, the FBI asked the White House not to comment on the search before it was conducted, and that Biden’s lawyer and the White House are present. The FBI, he added, “had full access to the President’s home, including personal correspondence, files, documents, seals, memos, to-do lists, schedules , and memories across the ages.”
The Ministry of Justice, he added, “held what it considered to be within the scope of its investigation, including six documents that contained classified information and the surrounding material. , some of which are from the President’s service in the Senate and some of which are from his office as Vice President.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed former Maryland attorney general Robert Hur as a special counsel to investigate any possible wrongdoing in Biden’s documents. Hur is set to replace Trump-appointed Illinois attorney John Lausch in overseeing the investigation.
“Since the beginning, the President has been willing to handle this situation because of his seriousness,” said White House lawyer Richard Sauber in on Saturday. “The President’s attorneys and the White House Counsel’s Office will continue to work closely with the DOJ and the Special Counsel to help ensure this process is conducted quickly and efficiently.”
U.S. President Joe Biden (C) leaves after attending Mass Saturday at Saint Edmond Catholic Church January 21, 2023, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
The investigation of Biden and the investigation of Trump, which is in the hands of special counsel Jack Smith, are very different. Biden has made it a point to cooperate with the DOJ investigation regularly – and Friday’s investigation was voluntary – although questions about his transparency with the public remain.
For a crime committed, a person must “knowingly remove” documents without authority and intend to store them in an “unauthorized location.” Biden said he was “shocked” by the documents revealed at the Penn Biden Center.
Generally, classified documents should be classified after a maximum of 25 years. But some data is so important that it remains classified for a longer period of time, although certain information must be provided. Biden served in the Senate from 1973 to 2009.