Justice Department reviewing potentially classified documents found at Biden office

The material turned up at the Penn Biden Center, where the US president kept a space after he left the vice presidency in 2017. Trump asked when the FBI is going to raid the current leader’s ‘many homes’

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at the National Palace in Mexico City on Monday.
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at the National Palace in Mexico City on Monday.NICOLAS ASFOURI (AFP)

The US Justice Department is reviewing a batch of potentially classified documents found in the Washington office space of President Joe Biden’s former institute, the White House said on Monday.

Special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said “a small number of documents with classified markings” were discovered as Biden’s personal attorneys were clearing out the offices of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, where the president kept an office after he left the vice presidency in 2017 until shortly before he launched his 2020 presidential campaign in 2019. The documents were found on November 2, 2022, in a “locked closet” in the office, Sauber said.

Sauber said the attorneys immediately alerted the White House Counsel’s office, who notified the National Archives and Records Administration, which took custody of the documents the next day.

CBS News reported that Attorney General Merrick Garland has assigned the US attorney in Chicago to review the documents, according to two sources with knowledge of the inquiry.

Irrespective of the Justice Department review, the revelation that Biden potentially mishandled classified or presidential records could prove to be a political headache for the president, who called Trump’s decision to keep hundreds of such records at his private club in Florida “irresponsible.”

Trump weighed in Monday on his social media site Truth Social, asking, “When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House?” FBI agents entered Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August of last year looking for classified documents on nuclear weapons.

Biden smiled this afternoon in Mexico City, where he is on an official visit, without saying a word when he was asked if he had any comments to make about the documents.

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