WASHINGTON—A lawyer for President Biden told the Justice Department in November that he had no reason to believe that a copy of official records from his vice president ended up anywhere but a Washington think tank, in an issue said Sunday. Savvy.
That allegation is based on interviews with former officials involved in the packaging and shipping process for such materials. After discovering a handful of confidential files in the closet, we investigated them and tried to understand how the files got there.
But Mr. Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware, would also turn out to have had a handful of classified records. This false premise is reinforced by the fact that Mr. Biden’s attorney examined a box in his Wilmington home garage on Dec. It helps explain why it took about 7 weeks before I found the box. Papers with higher confidentiality.
The escalating scrutiny Mr. Biden faced over the handling of the materials led to the discovery of even more classified documents at Mr. Biden’s residence earlier this month, and Attorney General Merrick B. Garland also appointed a special counsel. And on Friday, FBI agents, at the invitation of Mr. Biden’s attorneys, conducted an unusual search of every room in his home in Wilmington and found another marked as classified dating back to his time as a senator. I found half a dozen files in
Accounts from people familiar with the matter have shed new light on the chain of events that caused Mr. Biden to face significant political turmoil. Former President Donald J. Trump is also under investigation by special counsel for repeatedly refusing to return classified documents after leaving the White House. his Florida residence.
Understanding the Biden Papers Case
The discovery of classified documents from President Biden’s vice presidency in two locations prompted the Justice Department to scrutinize the situation.
A former official familiar with the demolition of Biden’s White House office and the vice president’s Naval Observatory home during the final years of the Obama administration told Biden’s lawyers that there were two main sources.
One set is said to be materials that could be useful in Biden’s career as vice president after his public service and teaching career, including speeches and uncategorized policy memos on topics Biden is interested in. was thought. When the Penn-Biden Center opened in 2018, he transitioned offices and moved into his office at the Penn-Biden Center.
Another set was believed to contain no official records, officials said. It was supposed to be material, such as political campaign documents and old campaign memorabilia, which were the exception to what counted as presidential records. said the people.
Biden’s personal attorneys, led by Bob Bauer, told the Justice Department on Nov. 10 that the Penn-Biden Center was scrutinizing classified files, after which official records were found outside the Penn-Biden Center. He said he had no reason to believe it leaked. Lawyers stopped conducting their own investigation into how the documents got there and told the Justice Department what steps they had taken up to that point, they said.
Biden’s legal team will also notify the Justice Department if Vice President Biden’s government records were later stored elsewhere, or if they learn of reasons to believe such files are elsewhere. said to do. Shortly after, Garland left Trump’s nominee, Chicago federal attorney John R. Rausch, to decide whether a special counsel should be created.
Things to consider before using anonymous sources. Do the sources know the information? What motivates them to tell us? Have they proven trustworthy in the past? Can the information be corroborated? Even if these questions are resolved, The Times will use anonymous sources as a last resort. The reporter and at least one of her editors know the identity of the source.
Biden’s lawyers initially hoped the Justice Department’s preliminary investigation would be brief. But as the weeks went by, and not just because there was new information, we came to the conclusion that, out of an abundance of caution, it made sense to check the boxes in the garage as well, the insider said. The attorney did not notify the Justice Department in advance.
On December 20th, they notified the Department of Justice that they found some classified records in those boxes.
Against that backdrop, Biden’s personal lawyers decided to search several work and storage areas within the residential area of the house, the person said. This time, they said they would inform the Justice Department of the plan and inform the government of the outcome.
After finding a classified page in one of those rooms on Jan. 11, they stopped searching and alerted the Department of Justice. 5 sensitive pages discovered.
All involved understood and agreed that those six-page findings meant the government would have to independently search the home’s workplace and storage areas identified by Biden’s legal team. Biden’s legal team has asked the FBI to search every room in the residence, including bathrooms, bedrooms and utility rooms, the people said.
The reason, according to people familiar with the matter, was that an independent investigation by the FBI could quickly and reliably determine whether any more sensitive files were improperly stored in the home.
House Republicans, who now have a majority, have vowed to proceed with their own investigation. On Sunday, Ohio Republican Rep. Michael R. Turner, who is likely to oversee the House Intelligence Committee, accused Mr. Biden of “hoarding a series of classified documents,” accusing him of showing the documents to the public. He suggested that he must have been.
“I think this will be very important to the special counsel’s investigation, but why did the president have these documents?” Turner told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” says. “Who did he show them to? And does it have to do with the Biden family business?”
Illinois Sen. Richard J. Durbin emphasized that Biden and Trump reacted very differently to the discovery of classified material after their resignations, but he told CNN’s “State of the Coalition.”
Durbin said he downgraded Biden even if it turned out to be an aide’s fault because “ultimate responsibility rests with elected officials.”