WASHINGTON (AP) – The FBI searched President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday and found more classified documents and stamps and was in possession of some of his handwritten notes, the the president’s lawyer on 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 added embarrassment to Biden which began with the announcement on January 12 that the president’s lawyer a “small number” of classified data were found former office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington before the midterm elections. Since then, lawyers have found out six classifications paper inside Biden’s Wilmington home library from his time as vice president.
Although Biden remained ” there is nothing there,” The findings have become a political liability as he prepares to launch a re-election bid, and they have undermined his efforts to show an image of integrity to the American public after the chaos of the presidency 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.
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 quickly.”
“We found a few documents that were filed in the wrong place,” Biden said. “We immediately handed them over to the Archive and the Department of Justice.”
It remains to be seen whether additional federal investigations can be conducted in other areas. 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 complicates the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s withholding of documents and official records after he left office. The Justice Department said Trump took hundreds of classified documents with him when he left the White House in early 2021 and defied months of requests to return them to the government, and should get a warrant to bring it 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 material that was considered within the scope of its investigation, including six documents containing classified information and the materials surrounding them. , 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 appoints Merrick Garland former Maryland US Attorney 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 pledged to handle this situation properly and take it seriously,” said White House attorney Richard Sauber 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.”
The document found Biden and the investigation to Trump, which is in the hands of special adviser to Jack Smith, very different. Biden has made it a point to cooperate with the DOJ investigation at all times — and Friday’s investigation was voluntary — although there are questions about its transparency with the general public to remain.
For a crime to be committed, a person must “knowingly remove” documents without authority and intend to keep them in an “unauthorized location.” Biden said he was “shocked” by the documents revealed at the Penn Biden Center.
Generally, classified documents must be declared after a maximum of 25 years. But some data is just as important but remains classified for a longer period of time, although specific information must be provided. Biden served in the Senate from 1973 to 2009.
Associated Press reporter Seung Min Kim in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, contributed to this report.