Five additional pages of classified material have been found in Joe Biden’s Delaware home, the White House said Saturday in a new twist on a politically sensitive matter for the president.
It was the latest in a series of revelations about the allegedly improper filing of papers from Joe Biden’s time as Barack Obama’s vice president. President Biden has said he had no intention of keeping secret documents.
White House attorney Richard Sauber said the latest papers were found after he visited the home on Thursday to oversee the transfer to the Justice Department of an initial set of documents found in a room a day earlier next to the garage of the house.
Joe Biden’s personal attorneys who searched the garage at the Wilmington, Delaware home — where the 80-year-old president often spends weekends — had found a document marked as classified in the garage itself.
Because these lawyers did not have the necessary security clearance to read it, they notified the Justice Department, Mr Sauber said in a statement.
A 1978 law requires US presidents and vice presidents to hand over their emails, letters and other official documents to the National Archives.
Mr. Sauber said he has the necessary security clearance, so he then went to the Delaware home to review the situation for himself. Then he found the other five pages, he said.
He said all documents were “promptly and voluntarily” handed over to the Justice Department.
Critics of President Biden have seized on the steady string of revelations to argue that he has failed to be transparent and forthright.
Other papers had been found Nov. 2 in President Biden’s former office at a Washington think tank where he had offices after leaving the Obama White House.
The president’s lawyers had also found “a small number of documents” potentially confidential in the Wilmington garage on Dec. 20 and alerted the Justice Department.
Amid mounting furor over the Washington discoveries, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed Robert Hur as an independent prosecutor to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents.
The issue is an unwanted distraction for Joe Biden as he prepares to announce whether he will seek a second term.
The revelations have prompted comparisons to the case of former President Donald Trump, who is also under investigation by special counsel for storing hundreds of classified materials at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and allegedly obstructing the efforts. from the government to get them back.
Sauber, on the other hand, emphasized that Joe Biden had returned documents “immediately and voluntarily” when they surfaced.
“I take classified documents and classified materials seriously. We are fully (and) fully cooperating with the Justice Department review,” Joe Biden told reporters Thursday.
“As part of that process, my lawyers reviewed other places where documents from my time as vice president were stored, and they completed the review last night.”
The first cache of Biden documents was discovered in November, a week before last year’s midterm elections, but was not recognized by the White House until Monday, sparking accusations from Republicans that it was being kept secret for political reasons.
Republicans, who recently led the House of Representatives, have vowed to launch an investigation led by James Comer, a Kentucky conservative who chairs an oversight committee.
In an interview on the Fox network Saturday, Comer called the Biden family — including son Hunter Biden, whose work for a Ukrainian company has also drawn Republican scrutiny — “a risk to national security.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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