To the White House’s deepening political discomfort, aides to US President Joe Biden have found a fresh trove of classified government records in a separate location. The first batch was discovered at Mr. Biden’s private office in Washington, DC, which he used after leaving office as vice president.
Fresh classified documents emerge
According to a source familiar with the matter, President Joe Biden’s aides have found at least one additional batch of classified documents in a location unrelated to the Washington, DC office he occupied after serving in the Obama administration.
The US Department of Justice is presently looking into the matter.
According to reports, ex-President Donald Trump is being probed criminally for alleged unlawful handling of highly sensitive documents.
As of Wednesday, it was unclear when Biden’s staffers found the fresh batch of files.
It was only this week that it was reported that a package containing approximately ten documents was discovered in November at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank close to the White House.
The US intelligence reports and briefing materials allegedly include information regarding Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom.
Why these records were found in a private office, he used after leaving his position as Vice President under President Obama is unknown.
Only those with proper clearance are authorized to access classified documents, and stringent safety and storage guidelines exist.
At the end of an administration’s term, the White House must turn over all records, including classified documents, to the US National Archives.
So yes, the White House has said nothing about the recently found stash. The discovery, however, has been reported by US media.
During Wednesday’s press briefing, Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, skirted questions about the first file cache.
She stated that the Justice Department is looking into the review. The president stated yesterday, “I will not add to what he has already said.”
She was pressed to explain the two-month wait in making the news public, and she declined to say when Mr. Biden was briefed. The discovery was made just days before the midterm elections for the House of Representatives.
Mr. Biden said on Tuesday that he was “surprised” to learn about the probe and that he was “cooperating” with the Justice Department.
The Democratic president is facing extra scrutiny as a result of the new Republican majority in the US House of Representatives.
On Wednesday, James Comer, the new chairman of the House Oversight Committee, remarked, “Now that Democrats no longer have one-party control in Washington, oversight and accountability are coming.”
As part of the committee’s inquiry into the president and his family, the White House has been ordered to turn over all communications and documents relevant to the classified files.
The White House argues that when Mr. Biden’s attorneys discovered the classified information at the think tank the following day, they contacted the archives, and the agency gathered the documents.
In August, the FBI raided Mr. Biden’s predecessor, Mr. Trump’s, Florida home, and authorities seized more than 10,000 files that Mr. Trump had not turned over to the National Archives.
Before the FBI turned at Mar-a-Lago, the Justice Department issued a subpoena requesting the return of the classified files.
Federal agents retrieved nearly 300 classified documents from a Palm Beach golf club, including 18 marked top secrets.
While Mr. Trump has not given a rationale for their appearance, he has claimed that as president, he has the power to declassify them, a position that legal experts have disputed.
Biden files timeline
– From January 2009 to January 2017, Biden served as President Barack Obama’s Vice President.
– From 2018 to 2020, a private citizen used an office in the Penn Biden Center thanks to his ties at the University of Pennsylvania.
– 2 Nov 2022 -This office was the site of the first discovery of classified materials;
– 11 Jan 2023: NBC News reported a second discovery at a distinct location.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland has asked John R. Lausch, the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and a holdover Trump appointment, to review how the classified documents ended up in a closet.
“We’re collaborating fully,” Biden said on Tuesday.
The Justice Department is initiating a federal criminal investigation into Trump’s possession of over a hundred documents with classified markings despite being subpoenaed for their return.
Trump has frequently cracked wise about Biden’s revelation on his Truth Social account, claiming that federal investigators have unfairly targeted him. Even though the facts in his case are vastly different from those in Biden’s, he called it a massive con.
Bradley Moss, a frequent Trump critic specializing in national security issues, tweeted following the NBC report: “So far, I haven’t seen anything that makes me believe Biden and his crew are at risk of being exposed for criminal action. Furthermore, I see no reason to believe this changes the equation of whether or not to indict Trump. Nonetheless, I am frustrated by Biden’s team’s recklessness.”