Classified Documents Found in Biden's Former Office

Papers were turned over to National Archives after discovery, president's counsel says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2023 7:30 PM CST
DOJ Reviews Classified Papers Found at Biden's Former Office
Attorney General Merrick Garland, shown at the Justice Department in August, has a US attorney looking over classified records found at an old office of President Biden.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Federal officials are reviewing approximately 10 classified documents that were discovered in an office President Biden had at a Washington think tank. The president's personal lawyers spotted the papers while packing up files to move Biden out of the office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement on Nov. 2, CBS News reports. The files had been kept in a locked closet, said Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president. The papers were found in a box with unclassified documents, per CBS. The FBI is looking into the matter, as is the US attorney in Chicago, at Attorney General Merrick Garland's direction.

The National Archives was informed the same day, Sauber said, and took control of the documents on Nov. 3. He said that the Archives had not inquired about the papers and that Biden's lawyers "have cooperated in a process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives." Under the Presidential Records Act, all presidential and vice-presidential documents must be turned over to the Archives. Officials at the Archives did not immediately comment on the matter.

Biden kept the office at the Penn Biden Center from the time he left office as vice president in 2017 until he announced his presidential candidacy in 2019, per the AP. The think tank is independent of the administration, though it's named for Biden as well as the University of Pennsylvania, with which it's affiliated. After US Attorney John Lausch determines how the classified documents came to be in the office, it will be up to Garland to decide whether an investigation is warranted, which could include appointing a special counsel. The attorney general has appointed a special counsel to handle the investigation of classified documents seized by FBI agents at former President Donald Trump's Florida home. (More President Biden stories.)

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