Classified documents found in Joe Biden’s former office and private residence were “inadvertently misplaced,” a White House lawyer said Thursday, insisting that the US president “will cooperate” with special counsel appointed to investigate the case. business.
“We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the President and his attorneys acted swiftly upon discovering this error,” Richard Sauber, a senior counsel with the White House Office of the Attorney, said in a statement, according to the AFP.
This comes after Biden said on Tuesday that he was unaware of the contents of classified documents from his time as vice president, found in a Washington think tank.
“I was informed of this discovery and was surprised to learn that there were government records that were brought to that office. But I don’t know what’s in the documents,” he told reporters during a post-North American Leaders Summit press conference in Mexico City.
Attorney General Merrick Garland had assigned the US attorney in Chicago to review documents marked as classified found at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington.
The 10 or so documents are from President Biden’s vice presidential office downtown, sources told CBS News, which has also learned that the FBI was also involved in the US attorney’s investigation.
Biden had also said on Tuesday: “We are fully cooperating with the review,” Biden said, adding that he hoped it would be completed soon.
Biden’s special counsel, Richard Sauber, said Monday that the president’s lawyers discovered the documents last November while clearing out office space and turned them over to the National Archives, which handles all such material.
He described it as “a small number of classified branded documents” found in a locked cabinet at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania.
“The documents were not the subject of any prior request or consultation” and since they were handed over, Biden’s lawyers have also cooperated “to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are properly in the Archives’ possession,” he said.
In August, authorities searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence after he failed to respond to repeated requests for cooperation in recovering documents taken from the White House following his defeat in the 2020 election.
The FBI found thousands of government documents, including more than 100 that were marked classified and some marked top secret, at the former president’s Florida club. Topics covered in the documents reportedly included classified intelligence on China and Iran, and nuclear secrets.