The FBI raided Biden’s former office last year after his lawyers found classified documents: sources
The FBI raided the Penn Biden Center in November after President Joe Biden’s lawyers reported finding classified documents in a former office he used there, according to three sources familiar with the situation.
It is unclear whether the FBI found additional documents during the search, which was conducted in coordination with Biden’s lawyers and came after his aides told the National Archives that classified documents were found in his old office in -November 2, Sources said.
According to a source, the FBI audited the center to ensure that all documents related to Biden were recovered.
The White House, the Justice Department and the FBI all declined to comment.
CBS News first reported on the FBI search.
The Penn Biden Center is a think tank in Washington, DC that Biden helped found after he left office as Vice President under Barack Obama. He “used this room regularly from mid-2017 until the start of the 2020 campaign,” Richard Sauber, a special adviser to Biden, said earlier this month in a statement confirming that the documents were found in the an office.
MORE: Key events in the Biden investigation in classified documents: an updated timeline
Classified materials have since been found at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, according to his lawyers, and all records have been returned to the government.
His lawyers said the videos date from his decades as senator or vice president from 2009 to 2017.
The White House did not specify what was in the documents or how they were kept during the years that Biden was out of office, in apparent violation of classified records management laws.
PHOTO: An office building that houses the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement is seen in Washington, DC on January 23, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
Although the materials were discovered in early November, days before the midterm elections, the matter was not made public through news reports until early January.
Since then the White House has come under scrutiny – even from members of Biden’s party – over the decision not to reveal what happened.
“I think the government will have to answer that question. I will reserve judgment until they do,” the Rep recently said. Adam Schiff, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with ABC’s This Week.
Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., told NBC’s Meet the Press last week that the president was “irresponsible.”
“We make mistakes,” Manchin said at the time. “I can tell you that I don’t think that anyone had the intention, they certainly didn’t have the intention to fall into the wrong hands and use it against our country. I know that’s not what they meant.”
Appearing on CNN Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield pushed back on questions about transparency: “We’ve been clear from the beginning that the President will cooperate with any request from the Department of Justice, and we made several statements.”
Earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur, a former federal attorney, as special counsel.
Hur is expected to officially begin work this week, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
In addition to the November search of the Penn Biden Center, the FBI conducted a similar voluntary search of Biden’s home in Wilmington earlier this month and found additional classified documents, after Biden’s lawyers sought the house itself in December and found some classified materials belonging to the President’s office. said the lawyers.
In a statement in mid-January, Biden’s lawyer, Sauber, said, “We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the President and his lawyers acted immediately as soon as they discovered this error.”
PHOTO: President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on January 13, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)
Secret documents were also seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home last summer in an FBI court-authorized search, after the administration said it had been trying for months to get Trump to release all classified information that Material was holding. to return after leaving office.
Attorneys for former Vice President Mike Pence recently conducted their own search of his Indiana home and found some secret records he kept after leaving office that he returned to the government, the attorneys say. Pence said on Friday that it was a “mistake” and he did not know the documents were there, but he takes “full responsibility”.
Biden has largely declined to comment on the classified documents found in his home and office, but said he was “surprised” the records were found at the Penn Biden Center.
He also defended his conduct of the investigation.
“We found a small number of documents… they were filed in the wrong place, we gave them to him immediately [National] archives and the Department of Justice,” he told reporters on January 19. “We are cooperating fully and look forward to resolving this quickly.”
“I think you will find there is nothing,” he said then. “I don’t regret it. I follow what the lawyers told me what they want from me. It’s exactly what we do. There is no ‘there’. Thank you.”
ABC News’ Adam Carlson and Alexander Mallin contributed to this report.
The FBI searched Biden’s former office last year after his lawyers found classified documents: sources originally appeared on abcnews.go.com