‘He doesn't know…’: White House on discovery of classified records tied to Biden

Jan 13, 2023 09:08 AM IST

The US Attorney General has appointed a Special Counsel, Robert Hur, to investigate the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. and the Bidens' personal residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

Amid a political storm brewing over the discovery of classified documents in US President Joe Biden's residence and private offices, the White House on Thursday said the Democrat takes classified documents and information "very seriously". White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the US president was surprised that these records have been found.

Biden periodically used an office at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, between 2017-2019.(AP)
Biden periodically used an office at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, between 2017-2019.(AP)

"It is important for the American people to know this, is that the President has said, he takes classified documents and information very seriously," Jean-Pierre said at her daily news conference.

"He does not know what's in them and his team, once they identified that these documents were there, they immediately reached out to the archives of the Department of Justice and did the, rightfully so, did the right thing by turning that over," she said.

"And they have been cooperating very closely with the Department of Justice. Attorney General (Merrick) Garland, say today that they heard from his team really shortly after the discovery. And so I just want to make sure that this is understood, that he takes this very seriously," Jean-Pierre said.

The Attorney General has appointed a Special Counsel, Robert Hur, to investigate the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. and the Bidens' personal residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

The White House official exuded confidence that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced.

In November, Biden's personal attorneys came across Obama-Biden administration documents in a locked closet while packing files as they prepared to close out the president's private office in the Penn Biden Center. The National Archives took possession of the documents after the lawyers notified the federal agency charged with the preservation and documentation of government and historical records.

The White House earlier said the additional documents were found in the President's Wilmington residence garage and in an adjacent room. But when the President mentioned this himself in person earlier, he said they were found in storage areas and in his personal library.

"In stark contrast to former president Trump's repeated attempts to obstruct efforts to recover hundreds of classified documents, President Biden’s team immediately turned over records to the National Archives once they were discovered," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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