Several classified documents from US President Joe Biden’ time as vice president, were discovered last fall in a private office. Attorney General Merrick Garland has asked the US attorney in Chicago to investigate the matter, CNN reported, and congressional Republicans are also taking notice.
The materials were discovered in November at a Washington, DC-based office, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, while it was being closed. The office was used by Biden as part of his relationship with the University of Pennsylvania. He was an honorary professor from 2017 to 2019 at the said university.
CNN further reported that under a dozen documents were found, although it isn’t clear what they were about or why were they in Biden’s private office. As per law, official documents and classified records need to be returned by a federal official once their service ends.
Some top-secret files with the “sensitive compartmented information” designation, also known as SCI, were reportedly part of the discovery. The designation is used for highly sensitive information obtained from intelligence sources.
“The White House is cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records, including a small number of documents with classified markings,” Richard Sauber, special counsel to President Biden, said in a statement.
“The documents were discovered when the President’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. The President periodically used this space from mid-2017 until the start of the 2020 campaign. On the day of this discovery, November 2, 2022, the White House Counsel’s Office notified the National Archives. The Archives took possession of the materials the following morning.”
Reporters hit Biden with questions on the subject at a summit in Mexico City on Monday evening, which he ignored. Garland is accompanying the President at the summit and was with him at the time.