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Five more classified documents found at Biden's Wilmington home, lawyer says

Five more classified documents from President Biden’s time as vice president were found at his Wilmington, Del., residence on Thursday, the White House said Saturday.

Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said in a statement that one classified document was found in a room adjacent to Biden’s garage on Wednesday night. The lawyers who discovered that document did not have security clearances and paused their search as a result, Sauber said.

Sauber, who has a security clearance, arrived Thursday night to facilitate the transfer of documents to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages,” Sauber said. “The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them.”

The discovery of five more documents brings the total number of materials with classified markings found at Biden’s old office and Wilmington home to roughly two dozen. Biden arrived at his Wilmington residence on Friday night. He is set to spend the weekend there, as he does frequently.

Sauber referred further questions to the special counsel who was appointed Thursday to review the matter moving forward, and he reiterated that the White House will cooperate with the special counsel.

“The President’s lawyers have acted immediately and voluntarily to provide the Penn Biden documents to the Archives and the Wilmington documents to DOJ,” Sauber said in a statement. “We have now publicly released specific details about the documents identified, how they were identified, and where they were found.”

Attorneys for the president found roughly 10 documents with classified markings on Nov. 2 at a Washington, D.C., office Biden used from 2017 to 2019 while working as an honorary professor for the University of Pennsylvania. That discovery was confirmed by the White House on Monday after it was reported by CBS News.

On Wednesday, it was reported that additional documents were found in a second location. The White House confirmed Thursday that attorneys searched Biden’s homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Del., after the office discovery, and they found classified materials in Biden’s WIlmington garage as well as one document in an adjacent room.

The five additional documents were found Thursday evening, but the findings were not disclosed until Saturday morning.

The White House has repeatedly deflected questions about the process to the Justice Department, where Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to handle an investigation into the handling of the documents.

But the administration has come under scrutiny for the slow drip of disclosures to the public about its findings.

Bob Bauer, a personal attorney to the president, said in a statement Saturday that Biden’s lawyers “have attempted to balance the importance of public transparency where appropriate with the established norms and limitations necessary to protect the investigation’s integrity.”  

“These considerations require avoiding the public release of detail relevant to the investigation while it is ongoing,” Bauer said, adding that regular disclosures undermine authorities’ ability to obtain new information or risk that information is incomplete as the situation develops.

Biden has said he was surprised to learn that classified documents were found from his time as vice president, and he has said repeatedly he takes the handling of sensitive government materials seriously.

The president has said the garage at his home is locked, and he at one point suggested some of the documents may have been found in his personal library.

The appointment of a special counsel to review the matter now means there are two separate special counsels reviewing how the two most recent presidents have handled classified materials, though their cases differ in significant ways.

Garland in November appointed a special counsel to oversee the investigation into former President Trump’s handling of classified documents. Federal officials found hundreds of sensitive government materials at Trump’s Florida home last year, including some marked top secret. 

The FBI searched the property in August after Trump and his team for months stonewalled investigators and would not cooperate to turn over documents sought by the National Archives.

Updated at 12:13 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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