More classified documents found at Biden's Wilmington home, White House counsel says

Richard Sauber said DOJ officials "immediately took possession of them."

January 14, 2023, 1:56 PM

Five more classified documents have been found at President Joe Biden's home in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a new statement from White House counsel Richard Suaber.

Suaber said the personal attorneys for the president, who do not have security clearances, stopped searching the residence after discovering a document Wednesday with a classified marking in a room adjacent to the garage.

"Because I have a security clearance, I went to Wilmington Thursday evening to facilitate providing the document the President's personal counsel found on Wednesday to the Justice Department," Suaber said. "While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages. The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them."

This latest set adds to the discovery of classified documents from Biden's time as vice president at his previous office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington and in his garage in the Wilmington residence.

This week, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed former Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to lead the investigation into the handling of the classified records.

Suaber reiterated Saturday that the White House will cooperate with the special counsel.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden responds to questions from reporters in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus, in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 12, 2023.
President Joe Biden responds to questions from reporters in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus, in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 12, 2023.
Andrew Harnik/AP

According to a timeline from Attorney General Garland and Biden's attorneys, a first set of documents were discovered at the Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2 and given to the National Archives. Biden aides then launched a search for more documents and found "a small number" of additional records in Biden's garage and an adjacent room, reporting the discovery to the DOJ on Dec. 20.

The White House has been under pressure to explain why it didn't disclose the matter publicly until this week after media outlets broke the news. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday declined to substantively answer questions on Biden's handling of classified records, referring nearly all inquiries to the White House counsel's office and the Justice Department.

Biden's personal lawyer, Robert Bauer, on Saturday released a statement on the "process and protocol" Biden's attorneys have taken amid the search for classified documents.

Bauer said whenever a document bearing classified information was found, the search was suspended and the government promptly notified.

"It is for this reason that the President's personal attorneys do not know the precise number of pages in the discovered material, nor have they reviewed the content of the documents, consistent with standard procedures and requirements," he said.

"In addition, the President's personal attorneys have attempted to balance the importance of public transparency where appropriate with the established norms and limitations necessary to protect the investigation's integrity," Bauer continued. "These considerations require avoiding the public release of detail relevant to the investigation while it is ongoing."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the timeline when the first set of documents were discovered is from both AG Garland and the president's attorneys.