The FBI searched US President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Del., on Friday, found six documents with classification marks and also seized some of his notes, the president’s attorney said Saturday.
Bob Bauer, the president’s personal attorney, said the search lasted nearly 13 hours. The classification marker documents cover Biden’s time in the Senate and vice presidency, while the notes date back to his time as vice president. The level of classification and whether they remained classified was not immediately clear when the Justice Department reviewed the files.
The search came 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 lawyers found a small number of classified documents in his former office in the Penn Biden Center. in Washington.
It came a day after Biden claimed “there’s nothing there” about the document discoveries, which have become a political headache for the president and the Justice Department’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s holding of classified and official documents after he left office. .
“We found that a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden told reporters who questioned him during a tour of storm damage in California. “We immediately turned them over to the archives and the Justice Department.”
Biden said he was “fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly.”
The President and First Lady Jill Biden were not home when the house was searched. They spend the weekend at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
It remains to be seen whether additional searches by federal officials from other locations can be conducted. Biden’s personal attorneys previously conducted a search of the Rehoboth Beach residence and said they found no official or classified documents.
Bauer said the FBI had asked the White House not to comment on the search before it was conducted. He said the FBI had “full access to the president’s home, including personal handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules and mementos going back decades.”
The Justice Department, he added, “has taken possession of material it deemed within the scope of its investigation, including six items consisting of classification-marked documents and surrounding material, some of which came from the President’s service in the Senate and others from his tenure as Vice President.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed former Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate possible misconduct surrounding the Biden documents.
“Since the beginning, the president has committed to handling this responsibly because he takes this seriously,” White House attorney Richard Sauber said Saturday. “The president’s attorneys and White House counsel will continue to work with DOJ and the special counsel to ensure that this process proceeds quickly and efficiently.”
Biden’s document discoveries and the Trump investigation, which is in the hands of special counsel Jack Smith, are fundamentally different. The Justice Department says that upon leaving the White House in early 2021, Trump took hundreds of documents marked classified and resisted months-long requests to return them to the administration. Biden has made it a point to cooperate with the DOJ investigation every step of the way, though questions remain about his transparency with the public.