The United States justice department has found six more classified documents at President Joe Biden’s family home in Delaware.
US President Joe Biden insisted he had done nothing wrong and downplayed the situation as an innocent mistake. (Photo: File)
By India Today Web Desk: The United States justice department has found six more classified documents at President Joe Biden’s family home in Delaware during a search, the president’s personal lawyer was quoted as saying by AFP.
The new disclosure is being seen as a hassle for Biden as he gets ready to declare whether he will run for another term in 2024. Biden insisted he had done nothing wrong and downplayed the situation as an innocent mistake.
Documents from his time as vice president and marked as classified first turned up in an office at a Biden-affiliated think tank in Washington last year, and then again at his home in Delaware. Altogether, there are about a dozen documents.
“DOJ took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials,” Biden attorney Bob Bauer said.
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The search lasted for more than 12 hours and covered “all working, living and storage spaces in the home,” Bauer said.
“DOJ had full access to the President’s home, including personally handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades,” he said.
Some of the new papers seized were from Biden’s time in the Senate and some were from his tenure as vice president, according to Bauer.
On Thursday, Biden dismissed the furor over the discovery of the old classified documents.
Asked by reporters during a trip to California about the issue, he said: “I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there.”
“I have no regrets. I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. It’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s no there there.”
“We found a handful of documents… were filed in the wrong place. We immediately turned them over to the Archives and the Justice Department. We’re fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly,” he added.
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Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this month appointed a special counsel, former government lawyer Robert Hur, to act as special counsel for the investigation.
FIRST BATCH OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS
A Democrat, Biden has faced criticism from Republicans after his Justice Department launched an investigation last year into Republican former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents discovered at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
The cases differ in several ways.
Biden’s attorneys discovered fewer than a dozen classified records last inside the office at the think-tank and informed the US National Archives of their discovery, turned over the materials, and said they were cooperating with the Archives and the Justice Department.
The White House has said the earlier batches of documents were turned over to the Justice Department and National Archives, which handles presidential records, as soon as they were found.
Biden periodically used the think-tank office space from mid-2017, after his term as vice president for Democratic President Barack Obama ended, until the start of his 2020 presidential campaign.
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By contrast, Trump kept thousands of government records, a few hundred of which were marked as classified, inside his Florida residence for more than a year after departing the White House, and did not return them immediately or willingly, despite numerous requests by the National Archives.
Last Tuesday, President Joe Biden said he was surprised to learn that classified documents were found in a think-tank office he once used and said he and his team are cooperating fully with a review into what happened.
Biden told reporters at a joint news conference with the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he takes classified documents seriously. He said he did not know what was in the documents.
“We are cooperating fully with the review, which I hope will be finished soon,” Biden said.
(With agency inputs)