The White House Attorney’s Office on Tuesday did not comment on why it had not been publicly disclosed for more than two months. classified government documents Found in a Washington, D.C. private office used by the president Joe Biden Before the 2020 election.
“This is an ongoing process, [the Department of Justice]So there’s only so much we can say at this point,” White House Attorney’s Office spokesman Ian Sams said when asked why the Biden administration hadn’t previously disclosed the November discovery of classified materials. He told NBC News when he did.
“But we are committed to doing this the right way and will provide more details if needed,” Sams said.
Biden did not respond to reporters’ questions about documents discovered by his personal lawyer during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the North American summit in Mexico.
NBC News later reported on Tuesday that fewer than a dozen classified documents were found at the Penn-Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement on Nov. 2.
President Joe Biden shakes hands with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a bilateral meeting at the North American Summit in Mexico City, Mexico, January 10, 2023.
Kevin Lamarck | Reuters
former president donald trump On Tuesday, when his Republican candidate fell short of expectations, the Justice Department suggested it had kept quiet about the discovery of the documents so as not to affect the outcome of November’s congressional elections.
“Why didn’t the Justice Department release classified documents found in the Biden office before the election?” Trump posted on his social media site Truth Social.
Trump is under criminal investigation by the DOJ for withholding a number of government documents, including classified and highly classified documents, when he resigned as president.
The documents were found in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., during an FBI raid in early August, three months before classified records were discovered in Biden’s office. Found in a residence.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said Tuesday his committee needs to be briefed by senior government officials about the discovery of documents in Biden’s office.
“Our classified classification system exists to protect the most important national security secrets, and as part of our constitutional oversight mandate, we have no control over what happens in Mar-a-Lago and Biden’s offices,” Warner said. I look forward to receiving an explanation as to what happened.
“From what we know so far, the latter is a matter of finding and submitting documents with markings, clearly a multi-month effort to hold onto materials that the government is actively seeking. “But then again, that’s why we need to be briefed.”
Also on Tuesday, Ohio Rep. Mike Turner asked Avril Haynes, Republican leader of the House Permanent Intelligence Committee and Director of National Intelligence, to conduct an immediate review and damage assessment on Biden’s documents. I sent a letter to
US President Joe Biden attends a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 15, 2022.
Evelyn Hochstein | Reuters
“Discovery of classified information could lead President Biden to violate laws protecting national security, such as the Espionage Act and the Presidential Records Act,” Turner wrote.
“Those who are entrusted with access to classified information have a duty and an obligation to protect it. This issue requires a complete and thorough review,” he wrote.
The discovery of documents linked to Democrat Biden was announced Monday afternoon, CBS news.
Soon after, Biden’s attorney said a “few” classified records were found on Nov. 2 in a locked closet in the Penn-Biden Center office.
It was six days before the midterm elections, when Democrats had won enough seats in the House and Senate to maintain control of both houses. The Democrats actually won seats in the Senate and narrowly lost control of the House to Republicans.
Biden used the office from January 2017 to January 2021 when he was a private citizen.
According to Biden’s special adviser, Richard Sauber, the documents discovered are believed to be from the Obama administration, during which Biden served two terms as vice president.
Sauber said the White House Attorney’s Office notified the National Archives and Records Administration of the fact on the same day the documents were discovered.
Sauber said in a statement: “The archives obtained the material the next morning.
He also said that Biden’s personal lawyers are working with the National Archives and the Department of Justice to “ensure that the records of the Obama and Biden administrations are properly preserved in the archives.”
After the documents were discovered, Biden-appointed Attorney General Merrick Garland told John Rausch, the top federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Illinois, how the classified materials ended up at the Penn-Biden Center. ordered to investigate. Rausch was one of only two U.S. attorneys Trump appointed under the Biden administration, and Garland nominated him to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Another Trump-appointed federal prosecutor, David Weiss of Delaware, is overseeing criminal investigations related to tax matters and commerce of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, on Tuesday praised how President Biden and Garland handled the discovery of the documents.
“I commend President Biden and Attorney General Garland for their professional and nonpartisan handling of this situation,” Durbin said in a statement.
“Unlike former President Donald Trump, who is said to have sabotaged efforts to recover hundreds of classified documents, the few classified documents reportedly found at the Biden Center were immediately sent to the National Archives. , President Biden is allowing the Justice Department to operate without political interference,” Durbin said.