Officials in the United States have discovered six more classified documents during a new search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a lawyer.
Some of the classified documents and “surrounding materials” dated from Biden’s tenure in the US Senate, where he represented Delaware from 1973 to 2009, the president’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, said in a statement on Saturday.
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Other documents were from his tenure as vice president in the Obama administration, from 2009 through 2017, Bauer said.
The level of classification and whether they remained classified was not immediately clear.
The search on Friday was carried out by officials from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and lasted more than 13 hours, according to Bauer. It came more than a week after Biden’s lawyers found six other classified documents in the president’s home library from his time as vice president, and nearly three months after lawyers found a small number of classified records at his former offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC.
It came a day after Biden maintained that “there’s no there there” on the document discoveries, which have become a political headache for the president and complicated the DOJ’s probe into former President Donald Trump’s retention of classified documents and official records after he left office.
The president offered access “to his home to allow DOJ to conduct a search of the entire premises for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material,” Bauer said.
Neither Biden nor his wife was present during the search, the lawyer said. They were in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for the weekend.
It remains to be seen whether additional searches by federal officials of other locations might be conducted. Biden’s personal lawyers previously conducted a search of the Rehoboth Beach residence and said they did not find any official documents or classified records.
Bauer said the DOJ requested that the White House not comment on Friday’s search before it was conducted, and that Biden’s personal and White House attorneys were present. The DOJ, he added, “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”.
The DOJ, he added, “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”.
The DOJ also took some notes that Biden had personally handwritten as vice president, he added.
Friday’s search shows investigators are swiftly moving forward with a probe into classified documents found in Biden’s possession.
This month, US Attorney General Merrick Garland named a special counsel to probe the matter.
Special Counsel Robert Hur, who was appointed during the process, is investigating how the president and his team handled Obama-era classified documents that were recently found in Biden’s private possession.
Biden’s lawyers found all the documents discovered before Friday’s search by the DOJ, according to the White House. The latest search was the first time federal law enforcement authorities have conducted a search for government documents at Biden’s private addresses, according to information released publicly.
Republicans have compared the investigation with the ongoing probe into how Trump handled classified documents after his presidency.
The White House has noted that Biden’s team has cooperated with authorities in their probe and had turned over those documents.
Trump resisted doing so until an FBI search in August at his Florida resort.
Biden said on Thursday he has “no regrets” about not publicly disclosing before the midterm elections the discovery of classified documents at his former office, and he believed the matter will be resolved.