WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – A new search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice turned up six more items, including documents with classification markings, a lawyer for the president said. in a statement on Saturday night.
Some of the classified documents and “surrounding materials” date back to Biden’s tenure in the US Senate, where he represented Delaware from 1973 to 2009, according to his attorney, Bob Bauer. Other documents were from his tenure as vice president in the Obama administration, from 2009 to 2017, Bauer said.
The Justice Department, which conducted a search that lasted more than 12 hours, also took some notes that Biden had personally taken as vice president, according to the lawyer.
The president offered access “to his home to allow the DOJ to conduct a full-facility search for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material,” Bauer said.
Neither Biden nor his wife were present during the search, the attorney said. Biden is in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for the weekend.
Justice Department investigators coordinated the search with Biden’s lawyers in advance, Bauer said, and personal lawyers for the president and the White House were present at the time.
Other classified government records were discovered this month at Biden’s Wilmington residence and in November at a private office he maintained at a Washington, DC, think tank after ending his tenure as vice president in the Obama administration in 2017.
On Saturday, Bauer did not make it clear in his statement where the documents were found in the Wilmington home. The earlier classified documents were found in the home’s garage and in a nearby warehouse.
The search shows that federal investigators are moving quickly with their investigation into the classified documents found in Biden’s possession. This month, US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate the matter.
Special Counsel Robert Hur, who was appointed during the lawsuit, is investigating how the president and his staff handled confidential Obama-era documents that were recently found in Biden’s private possession.
Biden’s lawyers found all of the documents discovered before the DOJ’s Friday search, according to the White House. The latest search was the first time federal law enforcement officials have conducted a search for government documents at Biden’s private addresses, according to publicly released information.
Republicans likened the investigation to the ongoing probe into how former President Donald Trump handled classified documents after his presidency. The White House noted that Biden’s team cooperated with authorities in their investigation and turned over these documents. Trump resisted doing so until an August FBI search of his Florida resort.
The search raises legal and political risks for the president, who has insisted that the earlier discovery of classified material in his home and former office would ultimately be deemed inconsequential.
Biden said on Thursday that he had “no regrets” for not publicly disclosing the discovery of classified documents in his former office ahead of the midterm elections and believes the matter will be resolved.
“There is no there, there,” Biden told reporters during a trip to California on Thursday.
Since the discovery of the Biden documents, Trump has complained that Justice Department investigators were treating his successor differently.
“When is the FBI going to raid Joe Biden’s many homes, maybe even the White House?” Trump said in a social media post earlier this month.
Reporting by Nandita Bose, Matt Spetalnik, Steve Holland and Joel Schectman Editing by Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio
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