The FBI searched the home of U.S. President Joe Biden in Wilmington, Del., on Friday and found six documents containing classified markings and also took possession of several notes from him, the attorney general for the system said Saturday.
Bob Bauer, the president’s personal lawyer, said the search of the entire property lasted nearly 13 hours. The documents have classified markings that extend Biden’s time in the Senate and vice president, while the notes cite his time as vice president. The extent of the classifications, and whether they were classified, were not immediately clear when the Department of Justice reviewed the records.
The search comes more than a week after Biden’s lawyers found six other classified documents in the president’s home library from his time as vice president, and nearly three months after the lawyers found them. a small number of classified files in his former office at the Penn Biden Center. in Washington.
It comes a day after Biden asserted that “wasn’t there” in the document discoveries, which have become a political headache for the president and complicate the Justice Department’s investigation into the matter. the fact that former President Donald Trump kept secret documents and official records after he left office. .
“We found some documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden told reporters who questioned him during a tour of the storm damage in California. “We immediately turned them over to the Archives and the Department of Justice.”
Biden said he is “fully cooperative and looks forward to this matter being resolved quickly.”
President and first lady Jill Biden was not at home when it was searched. They are spending the weekend at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
It remains to be seen whether additional searches by federal officials in other locations can be conducted. Biden’s personal attorneys earlier conducted a search of the Rehoboth Beach mansion and said they did not find any official documents or classified files.
Bauer said the FBI asked the White House not to comment on the search before it was conducted. He said the FBI “has full access to the President’s home, including personal handwritten notes, files, papers, file covers, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules and reminders from decades ago.”
The Justice Department, he added, “was in possession of documents it deems to be within the scope of its investigation, including six items including classified documents and surrounding materials, some of which that’s from the president’s service in the Senate and some of it is from his tenure as vice president.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed former Maryland United States Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate any potential misconduct surrounding the Biden documents.
“From the very beginning, the president has been committed to handling this responsibly because he takes it seriously,” White House attorney Richard Sauber said on Saturday. “The President’s attorneys and the White House Attorney’s Office will continue to work with the DOJ and the Special Counsel to help ensure this process proceeds quickly and efficiently.”
The discovery of Biden’s documents and the Trump investigation, in the hands of special counsel Jack Smith, are significantly different. The Justice Department said Trump brought hundreds of files that were marked as classified when he left the White House in early 2021 and refused months of requests to return them to the government. Biden has made a point of always cooperating with the DOJ investigation, although questions remain about his transparency with the public.