U.S. President Joe Biden said he was “fully cooperating” after the White House said on Thursday a “small amount” of classified documents had been found in his private residence, prompting calls in Congress for an investigation into alleged mishandling of official documents.
Biden could make the potentially embarrassing discovery as authorities investigate a larger scandal involving his predecessor, Donald Trump.
The Obama-Biden administration documents were found at Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware, after other similar documents were found at a Washington think tank where Biden once had an office.
Former President Trump has hoarded documents at his Florida residence after leaving the White House in 2021, with the FBI taking about 11,000 documents after executing a search warrant in August.
Trump could face charges of obstruction of justice.
But the discovery of documents at Biden’s home is politically tricky for a president who has boasted of his high moral standards, and could complicate the Trump investigation.
“People know that I take classified documents and classified material seriously,” Biden told reporters on Thursday.
“We are cooperating fully (and) fully with the DOJ’s review. As part of that process, my attorneys reviewed other places where documents were stored while I was vice president, and they completed their review last night.
“They found a small number of confidentially marked documents in storage areas and filing cabinets at my home and in my private library.
“The Justice Department was immediately notified … so we’ll see how this unfolds,” he added, refusing to take questions from the media loudly.
– stray files –
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy demanded that “Congress must look into this,” referring to the Justice Department investigation of Trump.
“When will the FBI raid many of Joe Biden’s homes, possibly even the White House,” Trump wrote earlier on his social media site Truth Social.
Biden’s team said that if there were errors in his official documents, the administration would act immediately to correct any mistakes.
After the first documents were discovered in November at Biden’s former offices at the Biden Center think tank in Pennsylvania, lawyers turned them over to the National Archives, which handles all such material, the White House counsel’s office said.
Biden’s attorneys then scoured possible locations for any other stray documents.
In an effort to defuse allegations of political interference, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a Chicago U.S. attorney appointed during the Trump administration to review the missing Biden documents.
That response was in stark contrast to Trump, who failed to cooperate with repeated attempts by authorities to track down the missing documents — leading the FBI to enter his home with a search warrant.
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