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U.S. President Joe Biden listens during a meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 13, 2023.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
In a statement, Richard Sauber, White House special counsel, said that a total of six pages of documents with classification markings were discovered at Biden’s Wilmington residence. The White House previously said that only one page was found there.
The first document was identified on Wednesday by Biden’s personal lawyer and turned over, and the additional five documents were discovered later that week, Sauber said.
“The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them,” he said in the statement.
Sauber said the president’s lawyers have acted “immediately and voluntarily” to provide the documents to the Department of Justice.
The disclosure of the latest discovery comes days after Sauber confirmed media reports that attorneys for the president found an initial batch of classified documents from the Biden administration on Nov. 2 in an office that Biden had used as a private citizen at a Washington think tank.
That was nearly three months after FBI agents raided the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump and seized more than 100 classified government documents and hundreds of more records that federal prosecutors say belong to the U.S. government.
Trump is the focus of a criminal probe by the DOJ for his removal of the records from the White House in January 2021.
Sauber disclosed Thursday that a second batch of documents had been found in Biden’s Delaware home. He issued a statement detailing how and where the second batch of documents was found and said a “small number” of records with classified markings were found in the garage.
According to a statement Saturday from Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer, the second batch of documents was discovered in the garage of Biden’s Delaware residence on Dec. 20. The president’s attorneys conducted another search of the home to look for other classified materials beginning Wednesday, which is when they found the additional records in a room adjacent to the garage.
Bauer said that Biden’s personal attorneys are working to balance public transparency and the limitations necessary to “protect the investigation’s integrity.”
Bauer said the attorneys do not have security clearances, which means they are not aware of the exact number of documents or their content. He said that when an attorney discovered a document with classified markings, they stopped, notified the government, and did not review it.
“Adhering to this process means that any disclosure regarding documents cannot be conclusive until the government has conducted its inquiry, including taking possession of any documents and reviewing any surrounding material for further review and context,” Bauer said.
By law, government records must be given to the National Archives when a president or officials in their administration leave office. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed former federal prosecutor Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate the discovery of these classified records.
Hur is authorized “to investigate whether any person or entity violated the law in connection with this matter,” Garland said in a public statement he made on the appointment at the Department of Justice.
Soon after the second discovery, Biden discussed the documents with reporters.
“As I said earlier this week, and by the way, my Corvette is in a locked garage, so it’s not like they’re sitting out on the street,” Biden said, referring to the documents.
“People know I take classified documents and classified materials seriously,” Biden said. “I also said we’re cooperating, fully cooperated with the Justice Department’s review.”