Joe Biden Expresses His Surprise After Boxes of Classified Documents Were Found in His Private Office in Washington, D.C.


    President Joe Biden declared on Tuesday that he was surprised by reports of “boxes” of classified documents found in the office he had used following his departure from the vice presidency and claimed that he was unaware of the documents.

    “I was briefed about this discovery, and surprised to learn that there are any government records that were taken there to that office,” Biden stated in his first reaction to the news at a press conference in Mexico City on Tuesday.

    The news broke on Monday that classified documents had been found in his office by one of his lawyers. The documents were then reported to the National Archives.

    However, Biden said that Americans should not be skeptical about his respect for classified documents.

    “People know I take classified documents, classified information seriously,” Biden declared while explaining that the documents were found in a “locked” closet in his old office.

    He also said that he was not aware of what information was contained in the documents, even though CNN disclosed on Tuesday that they contained issues concerning Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom. Some of the documents that were discovered had been classified as “top secret.”

    “I don’t know what’s in the documents. My lawyers have not suggested I not ask what documents they were,” Biden explained, referring carefully to his notes and observing that some boxes of documents had been turned over to the National Archives.

    The White House said that the documents were discovered on November 2 by one of Biden's lawyers, who found them in the president’s private office located in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. This D.C. office is where Biden worked as part of his paid arrangement with the University of Pennsylvania's Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement following his departure from the vice presidency under former President Barack Obama.

    President Biden is cooperating with the Department of Justice (DOJ), as Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed an attorney to look into the issue. At the moment, Garland has not turned over the matter to a special counsel, as was the case with the classified-records investigation of former President Donald Trump.

    “We're cooperating fully with the review, which I hope will be finished soon,” Biden stated.

    The documents were found a week prior to the 2022 midterm elections. However, they were finally disclosed in a report by CBS on Monday.

    The incident quickly drew comparisons to the Justice Department’s investigation of former President Donald Trump for having classified documents in his possession, which prompted investigators to search his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

    “When is the FBI going to raid the many houses of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House?” Trump asked on social media. “These documents were definitely not declassified.”

    A president has the legal authority to declassify documents, but a vice president has no such authority.

    Trump has accused Biden's think tank of being financed by China, raising the question of whether the president had given them classified information.

    “How much more information has China been given?” he posted via social media.


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