The revelation came days after the president’s lawyer said that Biden’s lawyers had discovered classified documents in his former office in Washington.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s legal team has uncovered additional documents containing classified markings in a second location, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The discovery comes days after the president’s lawyer said Biden’s lawyers had discovered a “small amount” classified documents in his former office in Washington.
Earlier this week, the White House confirmed that the Justice Department was reviewing “a small number of classified documents” found in the office. Biden’s lawyers discovered the documents in the offices of the Penn Biden Center and then immediately called the National Archives about the find, the White House said. Biden has maintained an office there since leaving the vice presidency in 2017, shortly before launching his 2019 Democratic presidential campaign.
A person who spoke to the AP on Wednesday said the president’s legal team found additional classified material in a second location. The person was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the sensitive issue and spoke on condition of anonymity. The person did not say when or where the material was found, or specific details about the level of secrecy of the documents.
The revelation that Biden’s lawyers had discovered additional classified documents came hours after White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre dodged questions about Biden’s handling of classified information and management of the West Wing opening. She said the White House is committed to handling the matter “the right way,” pointing to the immediate notification of Biden’s personal attorneys to the National Archives.
But she declined to say when Biden himself was briefed, whether there were any other classified documents potentially in other unauthorized locations, and why the White House waited more than two months to disclose the discovery of the initial batch of documents that were found on Nov. 2. , a few days before the midterm elections.
“As my legal colleagues stated and told all of you yesterday, this process continues under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice. So we will be limited in what we can say here,” Jean-Pierre said.
The White House and Justice Department declined to comment Wednesday on reports of the second set of classified records. It was reported for the first time NBC News.
The Justice Department is reviewing the records found at the Penn Biden Center, and Attorney General Merrick Garland has asked John Losch, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, to look into the matter, another person familiar with the matter told the AP this week. That person also was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.
Lausch is one of the few remaining U.S. attorneys in former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Regardless of the Justice Department’s review, revelations that Biden potentially mishandled classified or presidential records could be a political headache for the president, who named Trump decision to keep hundreds of such records “irresponsible” at his private club in Florida.
Biden has said he was “surprised to learn that there were any government documents that were delivered there to that office” but his lawyers “did what they had to do” when they immediately called the National Archives.
The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee has demanded that the US intelligence community conduct a “damage assessment” of potentially classified documents.
The revelation could also complicate the Justice Department’s consideration of whether to bring charges against Trump, a Republican who is seeking to win back the White House in 2024 and has repeatedly said the department’s investigation into his own conduct amounted to “corruption.”
there significant differences between Trump’s and Biden’s situationsincluding the seriousness of the ongoing grand jury investigation into the Mar-a-Lago case.