Biden’s aides discovered another batch of classified docs at a second location, NBC News reported.
They’ve been conducting an exhaustive search for additional documents since first discovering what the White House described as a “small” batch at Biden’s old office in November.
Biden’s team notified the National Archives and turned the documents over, and they’re cooperating with a DOJ investigation into the matter, the White House said.
President Joe Biden’s aides discovered a second batch of classified documents stored at a separate location than his private office at a Washington, DC think tank, NBC News reported Wednesday.
The report said that it’s unclear how many documents were in the batch, where or when exactly they were discovered, or what their classification level was.
Wednesday’s news comes after the White House disclosed earlier this week that a “small” number of classified documents were found in a “locked closet” at Biden’s old office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, prompting lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to request more information about the files and the potential national security risks.
CNN reported that Biden wasn’t aware the documents were in his office at the Penn Biden Center, and didn’t become aware of that fact until his personal attorneys notified the White House counsel’s office. The report also said Biden and the White House’s legal team don’t know what’s in the documents.
According to NBC News, Biden’s aides have been conducting an exhaustive search of materials stored at places other than the Penn Biden Center to determine if any other documents need to be turned over to the National Archives and reviewed by the Justice Department.
Attorney General Merrick Garland tapped John Lausch, the Trump-appointed US attorney in Chicago, to look into the matter, according to CBS News, and Lausch been investigating it since November. A source familiar with the matter told CNN that Lausch has finished the initial part of his investigation and presented his preliminary findings to Garland.
Reporters grilled White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at Wednesday’s news briefing for additional details, but she said she wanted to be “prudent” and not comment beyond what Biden and her White House Counsel’s office colleagues have said while the DOJ reviews the matter.
“He was surprised by this, he definitely, truly, respects the process here,” she said of Biden. “He takes classified documents very seriously.”
Jean-Pierre was asked whether Biden has looked into whether any other documents had been taken to any other of his offices.
“I’m just not going to speak to this,” she said. “I’m going to let the process continue.”
Jean-Pierre said she has talked with Biden about the revelation of the documents and the CBS story, but what’s in the documents is “something that the president doesn’t even know and I’m just going to leave it there.”
The press secretary also responded to former Vice President Mike Pence’s accusation that the DOJ and the media are using a “double standard” in their treatment of Biden compared to the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s home last year.
“As soon as his lawyers realized these documents were there, they did the right thing,” Jean-Pierre said. “And they turned over the documents to the archivist.”
“His team is cooperating fully” with the DOJ, she added.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy pointed to Biden calling Trump’s retention of classified documents “totally irresponsible” and asked, “How can President Biden be trusted moving forward with America’s secrets?”
Jean-Pierre responded: “Because his lawyers, his team, did the right thing.”
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