Biden aides find second batch of classified documents at different location: media

2023-01-12 13:30:08Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A second batch of classified documents belonging to U.S. President Joe Biden was reportedly discovered by his aides at a new location, according to multiple U.S. media outlets on Wednesday.

The news emerged two days after White House special counsel Richard Sauber released a statement, saying that "a small number of documents with classified markings" were found at one of Biden's former private offices in Washington, D.C.

The new batch was reported to have been found at a separate location from the initial one inside the Penn Biden Center, a think tank affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and named for Biden.

Sauber said Biden, a Democrat who served as U.S. vice president from January 2009 to January 2017, periodically used this space from mid-2017 until the start of his 2020 presidential campaign.

Since the discovery of the first group of classified documents on Nov. 2, 2022, White House aides have been looking for any additional classified documents in other locations, according to NBC News.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say on Wednesday why the Biden administration did not inform the public sooner. The discovery was made six days ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Jean-Pierre told reporters at the White House briefing that the situation was under review by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and that she would not comment on it further.

Biden said on Tuesday he was "surprised to learn there were any government records that were taken there to that office" while in Mexico City, where he had a trilateral summit with the leaders of Mexico and Canada.

He added he did not know "what's in the documents" that were found in a locked closet when his attorneys were vacating office space at the Penn Biden Center.

The classified documents inside the Penn Biden Center closet are reportedly U.S. intelligence memos and briefing materials covering topics including Ukraine, Iran and Britain.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is said to have tasked the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, John Lausch Jr., with reviewing the matter.

U.S. Congressman James Comer, a Republican who chairs the House Oversight Committee, has said that he plans to press the National Archives, which his committee oversees, for information about the classified documents.

The DOJ is also investigating former President Donald Trump's handling of a trove of classified documents seized from his estate in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, by federal agents in the summer of 2022.

The Presidential Records Act requires all presidential and vice-presidential documents to be turned over to the National Archives. 


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