WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – A new search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware by the U.S. Justice Department on Friday turned up six more items, including classified documents, the president’s lawyer said in a statement late on Saturday.
Some of the classified documents and “surrounding materials” date from Biden’s tenure in the U.S. Senate, where he represented Delaware from 1973 to 2009, according to his attorney, Bob Bauer. Other documents are from the Obama administration, when he was vice president from 2009 to 2017, Bauer said.
The Justice Department, which conducted a search that lasted more than 12 hours, also took some handwritten notes Biden personally wrote as vice president, according to the attorney.
“The vice president granted access to his home to allow the DOJ to search the entire campus for possible records and potentially classified material,” Bauer said.
Neither Biden nor his wife were present during the search, the prosecutor said. Biden is spending the weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Justice Department investigators coordinated the search with Biden’s lawyers, Bauer said, adding that the president’s personal and White House lawyers were present at the time.
Other classified government records were discovered this month at Biden’s Wilmington home, which in November he maintained at a Washington, D.C., think tank after ending his term as vice president in the Obama administration in 2017.
On Saturday, Bauer did not clarify in his statement where the documents were found at the Wilmington home. Previously classified documents were found in the home’s garage and nearby storage space.
The search shows that federal investigators are making rapid progress in their investigation into classified documents in Biden’s possession. This month, US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate the matter.
Robert Hurr, the special counsel appointed during the process, is investigating how the president and his team handled classified Obama-era documents recently discovered in Biden’s personal possession.
According to the White House, Biden’s lawyers found all of the documents discovered by the DOJ prior to Friday’s search. The latest search marks the first time federal law enforcement officials have sought government documents at Biden’s private addresses, according to publicly released information.
Republicans have compared the investigation to former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents after he became president. The White House has indicated that Biden’s team officials have cooperated with their investigation and turned over the documents. Trump resisted doing so until the FBI searched his Florida resort in August.
The search raises legal and political stakes for the president, who has insisted that earlier discoveries of classified materials at his home and former office would ultimately be deemed inappropriate.
Biden said Thursday that he had “no regrets” about not publicly disclosing the discovery of classified documents in his former office before the midterm elections, and that he hoped the matter would be resolved.
“Not there, not there,” Biden told reporters during a trip to California on Thursday.
Since the discovery of Biden’s documents, Trump has complained that Justice Department investigators are treating his successor differently.
“When is the FBI going to raid Joe Biden’s multiple homes, maybe even the White House?” Trump said in a social media post earlier this month.
Reporting by Nandita Bose, Matt Spedalnick, Steve Holland and Joel Schechtman Editing by Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio
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