Additional classified items found in Biden’s Delaware home during Justice Department search, lawyer says

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Six additional items, including documents with secret markings, were found in President Joe Biden’s Delaware home after Justice Department officials searched the residence Friday, the president’s personal attorney said Saturday.

The search was prompted by the White House, not the Justice Department, according to a White House official and a source familiar with the case.

The documents in the Wilmington, Delaware home appear to be related to his time as vice president and to his tenure in the U.S. Senate and were found after Biden’s counsel offered full access to the property while the department denied its possession of secrets. examine material. Bob Bauer, Biden’s personal attorney, said in a statement.

“DOJ seized material within the scope of its investigation, including six items consisting of classification-marked documents and surrounding materials, some of which were from the President’s service in the Senate and others from his tenure as Vice President . ,” Bauer said.

He added that the department had “full access” to Biden’s home, “including personal handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules and mementos going back decades.”

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Investigators spent about 13 hours Friday at the president’s personal residence, White House officials and Biden’s attorney said.

Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said FBI agents searched Biden’s personal property.

“The FBI conducted a planned, consensual search of the president’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday,” he said.

The Illinois office has been involved since Attorney General Merrick Garland asked the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois to look into how classified material ended up in an office space once used by Biden.

The White House said earlier this month that Biden’s lawyers discovered a “small number” of classified documents in a locked cabinet as they left office space at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, DC, on Nov. 2. NBC News learned that one of the documents was marked Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information, the highest level of classification.

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Biden aides discovered an additional batch of classified documents that Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said were in Biden’s garage in Wilmington, and in one of the adjoining rooms of the house.

His team voluntarily and immediately disclosed the initial discovery to the police [National] Archive and subsequent discoveries to DOJ, as is proper protocol,” Sauber said in a statement Saturday.

The Justice Department has appointed special counsel to investigate how Biden possessed sensitive material in unauthorized locations.

The discoveries came after news that federal investigators had recovered more than 300 documents with secret markings belonging to former President Donald Trump.

After Trump left office in 2021, the National Archives said it realized documents related to his presidency were missing. Trump sent it 15 boxes of documents containing 25 items labeled top secret.

The FBI said it believed more sensitive documents were in Trump’s personal care, and issued a subpoena. In June, Trump’s lawyers turned over 38 classified documents, including 17 marked top secret, as well as other material. The FBI found that Trump had not fully complied with the subpoena and in August obtained a search warrant for his Mar-a-Lago property, where they found more than 100 documents marked confidential, secret and top secret, the agency said.

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Special Counsel Jack Smith is leading the FBI’s criminal investigation into the handling of the Trump documents. Federal investigators were looking in August for evidence of three crimes involving the mishandling of sensitive government data, according to a document accompanying the August search warrant.

There is no indication that a criminal investigation has been launched into Biden’s handling of sensitive documents.

Biden’s team has pledged full cooperation with the Justice Department.

“He’s not opposing an investigation,” Ian Sams, special assistant to the president, said Saturday night on MSNBC. “He’s not holding back. He’s taking this seriously.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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