During a 13-hour search of President Joe Biden’s Delaware residence, US Department of Justice (DoJ) investigators reportedly discovered six additional secret documents, according to Mr. Biden’s attorney.
On Friday, documents spanning both his time as a senator and his time as as Barack Obama’s vice president were found on the Wilmington home.
Personal handwritten notes and “surrounding papers,” according to attorney Bob Bauer, were also removed.
In a statement on Saturday, Mr. Bauer stated that the president had provided “access to his residence to allow DoJ to undertake a search of the full premises for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material.”
Donald Trump, a former president, is under criminal investigation for allegedly handling secret documents improperly.
The Penn Biden Center, a Washington, DC-based think tank that the president created, was where a first batch of sensitive materials were discovered on November 2, according to Mr. Biden’s attorneys earlier this month.
His Wilmington home’s garage held a second set of documents that were discovered on December 20, and on January 12 a different document was discovered in a storage area, according to his attorneys.
The president said that as soon as they discovered the records, his team quickly turned them over to the Justice Department and the National Archives. Why Mr. Biden preserved them is unknown.
The Presidential Records Act stipulates that after an administration ends, White House records must be transferred to the National Archives, where they can be safely stored.
Robert Hur has been designated as a special counsel to oversee the inquiry into how the confidential materials were handled.
As he gets ready to announce whether he would run for a second term in 2024, the president finds the protracted search and subsequent discovery of additional documents to be a political issue.
Mr. Biden and his wife, Jill, are staying the weekend in the Delawaren seaside community of Rehoboth Beach, where they also own a home. The New York Times said that it was searched earlier this month but no records were discovered.
According to BBC North America journalist Anthony Zurcher, the two-month delay between the first Biden discovery, which occurred just before the midterm elections, and the news becoming public in January poses uncomfortable issues for the president about transparency.
The team for Mr. Biden maintains that the president gave the DoJ investigation his full cooperation. The incident has been downplayed by Mr. Biden as an oversight, and he claims he has “no remorse” about holding off on making the finding of some secret documents public until after the November midterm elections.
The finding comes at the same time as former US President Donald Trump is under investigation for allegedly mishandling hundreds of confidential documents at his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate and for allegedly failing to appear as ordered.
Prior to the FBI raiding Mr. Trump’s Florida vacation property in August of last year, he and his attorneys delayed turning over the records. He asserts that the FBI is treating President Biden more kindly.
At the time, President Biden called Mr. Trump’s handling of the materials “extremely reckless.”
Legal experts have disputed Mr. Trump’s assertion that he had the authority to declassify them despite the fact that he has not provided any explanation for why they are there.