The FBI searches Biden’s Wilmington home and finds more classified materials

The FBI searches Biden’s Wilmington home and finds more classified materials



CNN

FBI investigators found additional classified material Friday while searching President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home.

Bob Bauer, the president’s personal attorney, said in a statement during the search, which lasted nearly 13 hours Friday, “DOJ took possession of materials it considered within the scope of its investigation, including six items consisting of documents with classified markings. and surrounding subjects, some from the President’s service in the Senate and some from his time as Vice President. DOJ also accepted for further review personal handwritten notes from the vice presidential years.”

Those six items are in addition to materials previously found at Biden’s Wilmington residence and private office.

Although the federal search of BIden’s home is voluntary, the probe into the president’s handling of classified documents is an escalation and will undoubtedly draw comparisons to his predecessor, former President Donald Trump — even if the FBI search of Trump’s residence was conducted under different circumstances. .

​​​​​​The FBI five months ago obtained a search warrant to search Trump’s Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, an unprecedented step taken because federal investigators had evidence to suggest that Trump is in possession of all classified material after receiving a subpoena to turn it over. over classified documents to the National Archives. Trump’s handling of classified material at Mar-a-Lago is the subject of a special counsel investigation led by Jack Smith.

The search shows that federal investigators are moving quickly with the probe into classified documents found in Biden’s possession. meThe office of US Attorney John Lausch, a Trump appointee, was handling the initial review of the Justice Department’s probe.

Lausch did not request any search of Biden’s property during her initial review, according to a source familiar with the investigation. Nor did he wait for Biden’s team to complete their voluntary search before recommending a special counsel.

Robert Hur, who was appointed just over a week ago, is still transitioning into his role as special counsel. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice tells CNN that “we expect Special Counsel Hur to be on board soon.”

The FBI search was conducted with the consent of the president’s attorneys, people briefed on the matter said. The FBI also picked up documents found at the residence, which Biden’s team disclosed last week.

The search did not require a search warrant or subpoena, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Bauer said representatives from Biden’s personal legal team and the White House Counsel’s Office were present during the “thorough search,” who had “full access” to Biden’s home during that period.

Bauer added that the DOJ “asked not to make the search public in advance, per its standard procedures, and we agreed to cooperate.”

The first documents were found in Biden’s private office on Nov. 2 but were not publicly disclosed until earlier this month when CBS first reported their existence.

Since then, another search in December turned up a “small number” of records with classified markings in the garage of Biden’s Wilmington home and a third discovery was made at the Wilmington residence in January, when Biden’s legal team searched the rest of the property for documents. . They found them, in a room next to the garage.

Bauer said in a statement on January 11 that once Biden’s personal attorneys found the classified documents, they left the document where it was found and suspended their search of the space where it was located.

“​​​​​​​We found that a bunch of documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden explained Thursday during a whirlwind tour of California.

“I think you’re going to find out there’s nothing. I have no regrets,” Biden continued Thursday.

Neither Biden nor the first lady Dr. Jill Biden was present during the search, special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said in a statement.

Biden, Sauber, wrote that “he is committed to handling this responsibly because he takes this seriously” and he and his staff are “working quickly to make sure that DOJ has what they need and by the Special Counsel to conduct a thorough review.”

Bauer said investigators had full access to Biden’s home during the search, including “personal handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back years.”

Biden is spending this weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Asked by the Associated Press on Friday if the visit had anything to do with documents found at Biden’s Wilmington home, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre referred reporters to the White House counsel’s office and the Law Department. and Justice, but said that Biden travels often. to Delaware on the weekend.”

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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