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FBI searches Biden’s home and finds more classified materials

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigators have found additional classified material while conducting a search of US President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home, an issue that has lowered his approval ratings to near-record lows.  

The FBI search took place over nearly 13 hours on Friday. Bob Bauer, Biden’s personal attorney, said that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) "requested that the search not be made public in advance, in accordance with its standard procedures, and we agreed to cooperate." 

“DOJ had full access to the President’s home, including personally handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades,” Bauer continued. “DOJ took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from the President’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as Vice President. DOJ also took for further review personally handwritten notes from the vice-presidential years.”

According to reports, the six items are in addition to materials previously found at Biden’s Wilmington residence and in his private office.

The White House confirmed last week that additional documents were found at the garage of Biden's private home in Wilmington, Delaware. Bauer said a total of six pages of documents with classification markings were discovered at the president’s Wilmington residence. The White House had previously said that only one page was found there.

The disclosure of the latest discovery comes days after the White House confirmed media reports that Biden’s personal lawyers had found an initial batch of classified documents on Nov. 2 in an office he had used for his work at a Washington think tank.

The files were handed over to the National Archives, which notified the Justice Department of the discovery on Nov. 4. By mid-November, Attorney General Merrick Garland had tapped John Lausch, a Trump-appointed US Attorney in Chicago, to oversee an assessment of the classified materials.

The White House has been hardly forthcoming about the way it has handled the classified documents. It has declined to answer questions beyond limited statements issued over the past week, and has had to update its narrative multiple times as more information has come to light.

Republicans have accused the Biden administration of deliberately keeping the initial discovery of sensitive files secret for two months and until the public learned about it from news reports.

Republicans -- fresh out of their disappointing midterm election performance and their chaotic effort to elect a new speaker-- have already vowed to use their new House majority to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents and how federal agencies responded to it.

The FBI search of Biden’s home marks an escalation of the probe into the president’s handling of classified documents and will inevitably draw comparisons to his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

FBI agents raided Trump’s personal property at his sprawling Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on August 8, 2022. The raid was part of an investigation by the Department of Justice into the former president’s handling of classified documents after he left office in January 2021.

The agents retrieved 11 sets of classified files at Trump’s residence, including four that were marked “top secret/SCI,” one of the highest levels of classification in the US government.

FBI agents took more than 30 items including more than 20 boxes, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Trump's ally and longtime adviser Roger Stone, a list of items removed shown. Also included in the list was information about the "President of France."

Trump has railed against the search of his private property by the FBI, which was unprecedented, and has said previously that he would take legal action.




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