Specifically, President Biden’s counsel discovered five additional pages with classified markings at the president’s Wilmington, Del., home this week, Special Counsel Richard Sauber said Saturday. Sauber said after Biden’s personal attorneys discovered one classified document at Biden’s home on Wednesday, they ended their search because they did not have the appropriate security clearances to view the materials.
“Because I have a security clearance, I went to Wilmington Thursday evening to facilitate providing the document the President’s personal counsel found on Wednesday to the Justice Department,” Sauber said. “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. The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them.”
This revelation comes after a set of classified records from Biden’s time as Vice President were first recovered by Biden’s lawyers on November 2 at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank that served as Biden’s private office from 2017 to 2019, after his time as Vice President came to an end. The White House Counsel’s office then searched Biden’s homes in Delaware this week and discovered “a small number of additional Obama-Biden administration records with classified markings,” the vast majority of which were found in a storage space in Biden’s Wilmington garage, White House lawyers said earlier this week.
The discovery of these classified documents has led to the appointment of a special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents. “We have now publicly released specific details about the documents identified, how they were identified, and where they were found,” Sauber said. “The appointment of the special counsel in this matter this week means we will now refer specific questions to the special counsel’s office moving forward. As I said Thursday, the White House will cooperate with the newly appointed special counsel.”
The Republican House Judiciary Committee has raised questions about the situation, asking in a tweet early Saturday, “How many more classified documents will they find at Joe Biden’s house?” While White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has claimed the White House has been “transparent” about the investigation, reporters have noted that the White House only began acknowledging the situation after news of the documents had broken in the media — two months after the first set of documents were recovered.
Jean-Pierre repeatedly claimed there is “an ongoing process” in the works. “The Department of Justice is independent,” she said during a press briefing on Friday. “We respect that process, but again I have taken questions. I can take two questions, 200 questions. I have answered your questions almost every day on this issue and again anything else you may have, anything that’s related to the review, I would refer you to the Department of Justice.”
She claimed the White House has dealt with the DOJ and the National Archives “in a transparent way” and that the president takes the matter “very, very seriously.” Yet asked when Biden might speak about the issue, Jean-Pierre replied that she doesn’t have a “magic wand.”
The discovery of these classified documents raises many questions about how they ended up in Biden’s possession and what will be done to ensure that classified information is handled appropriately in the future.