Merrick Garland assigned an Illinois attorney to review classified documents which were discovered at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, just blocks away from the White House, reports CBS News. The documents were from Biden’s time as vice president, two sources told the outlet.
The documents, which were found in a folder inside a box along with other unclassified materials, was identified by the president’s attorneys prior to the November midterm elections last year, special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said.
The documents were found when Biden’s personal attorneys “were packing files housed in a locked closet to prepare to vacate office space at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.,” Sauber said in a statement.
“The discovery of these documents was made by the President’s attorneys,” Sauber said. “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.”
CBS reports that US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch will take over the investigation. “Lausch was nominated to be U.S. attorney by former President Donald Trump, and he is one of only two current Trump-era U.S. attorneys still serving. The other is Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who is leading an investigation into the president’s son, Hunter Biden.”
The outlet continues, “The Presidential Records Act requires all presidential and vice-presidential documents be turned over to the National Archives. There are special protocols to keep classified information secure. President Biden learned about the presence of the classified documents when his lawyer reported them to the White House counsel’s office in November. A source familiar said the president is unaware of their contents. The documents are believed to be currently held in a secure location in Washington.”
Former President Trump responded to the news on Truth Social, saying “When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House? These documents were definitely not declassified.”