Classified documents from Joe Biden’s private office have been discovered and according to US intelligence the information includes material relating to Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom.
The documents were from the time when Biden was vice-president and they were tucked away at the University of Pennsylvania’s Biden Center for Diplomacy in Washington, where he was an honorary professor at the time.
News of the discovery came out on January 9 and Biden is saying he knows nothing about them.
According to a report in the Guardian newspaper he was quoted as saying, “I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there are any government records that were taken there to that office. I don’t know what’s in the documents.”
The classified documents were discovered when Biden’s personal attorneys “were packing files housed in a locked closet to prepare to vacate office space at Penn Biden Center in Washington DC,” said Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president.
According to a CBS report, the documents were in a folder that was in a box with other unclassified papers.
“The discovery of these documents was made by the President’s attorneys. The documents were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the Archives. Since that discovery, the President’s personal attorneys have cooperated with the Archives and the Department of Justice in a process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives,” said Sauber.
Although news of them appeared on Jan 9, the documents were discovered on Nov 2, six days before the midterm elections. The timing also coincides with the investigation into the mishandling of national security materials and obstruction of justice by Donald Trump during his tenure as President for which the Attorney General Merrick Garland is looking into. The FBI seized hundreds of records marked classified at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in August.
“We are cooperating fully with the review. I hope it will be finished soon,” said Biden.
Initial investigations show that Biden does not appear to have retained a vast quantity of classified materials to support an inference of misconduct unlike Trump’s case.
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