FBI investigators found additional classified footage during a search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware on Friday.
Bob Bauer, the president’s personal attorney, said in a statement that during the search, which lasted nearly 13 hours Friday, “the DOJ took possession of materials it deemed pertinent to its investigation, including six items, consisting of documents with classification marks and surrounding materials, some from the President’s service in the Senate and others from his tenure as Vice President. The DOJ also personally received handwritten notes from the Vice President’s years for further review.”
These six items are in addition to materials previously found at Biden’s Wilmington residence and in his private office.
The federal search of BIden’s home, while voluntary, represents an escalation of the investigation into the president’s handling of classified documents and will inevitably draw comparisons to his predecessor, former President Donald Trump — even if the FBI search of Trump’s residence was carried out under different circumstances.
The FBI obtained a search warrant five months ago to search Trump’s Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, an unprecedented move taken because federal investigators had evidence Trump had failed to turn over all classified materials in his possession after he had received a subpoena to address classified documents to the National Archives. Trump’s handling of classified material at Mar-a-Lago is also the subject of an investigation by the special counsel led by Jack Smith.
The search shows that federal investigators are moving ahead rapidly investigating the classified documents found in Biden’s possession. IIt was overseen by the office of Trump-appointed US Attorney John Lausch, who conducted the first review of the Justice Department’s investigation.
According to a source familiar with the investigation, Lausch did not request a search of Biden properties during his initial review. Nor did he wait for the Biden team to complete its voluntary searches before recommending a special counsel.
Robert Hur, who was appointed just over a week ago, is still transitioning to his role as special counsel. A Justice Department spokesman told CNN, “We expect Special Counsel Hur to be on board shortly.”
The FBI search was conducted with the consent of the president’s attorneys, people with knowledge of the matter said. The FBI also previously picked up documents found at the residence that the Biden team disclosed last week.
According to a person familiar with the matter, the search did not require a search warrant or a subpoena.
Bauer said representatives from Biden’s personal legal team and the White House Office were present during the “thorough search,” during which they had “full access” to the Biden home.
Bauer added that the DOJ “has requested that the search not be released in advance, per its standard procedures, and we have agreed to work together.”
The first documents were found in Biden’s private office on Nov. 2, but were not publicly disclosed until earlier this month, when CBS first reported their existence.
Since then, another search in December found a “small number” of records with classified markings in the garage of Biden’s Wilmington home, and a third discovery was made at the Wilmington residence in January as Biden’s legal team combed the rest of the property for documents . They found her in a room next to the garage.
Bauer said in a Jan. 11 statement that after finding the classified documents, Biden’s personal attorneys left the document where it was found and ceased their search for the room it was in.
“We found that a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden said Thursday while touring storm damage in California.
“I think you’ll find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets,” Biden continued Thursday.
Neither Biden nor First Lady Dr. Jill Biden was present during the search, Presidential Special Counsel Richard Sauber said in a statement.
Biden, Sauber wrote, “is committed to doing this responsibly because he takes this seriously,” and he and his team are “working quickly to ensure the Justice Department and the Special Counsel have what they need to conduct a thorough review.” .”
Bauer said investigators had full access to Biden’s home during the search, which contained “personally handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules and memories spanning decades.”
Biden is spending this weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. When asked by the Associated Press Friday whether the visit had anything to do with documents found at Biden’s Wilmington home, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre referred reporters to the White House Office and the Justice Department , but said that Biden “often travels to Delaware on the weekends.”
This story has been updated with additional reports.