The U.S. Justice Department found more classified items when searching homes in Biden

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By Nandita Bose and Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware on Friday by the US Justice Department found six more items, including documents with classification marks, a lawyer for the president said in a statement Saturday evening.

Some of the classified documents and “surrounding material” date back to Biden’s tenure in the U.S. Senate, where he represented Delaware from 1973 to 2009, according to his attorney, Bob Bauer. Other documents were from his tenure as vice president in the Obama administration, from 2009 to 2017, Bauer said.

The Justice Department, which conducted a search that lasted more than 12 hours, also took some notes that Biden had personally written as vice president, the lawyer said.

The president provided access “to his home to allow DOJ to search the entire property for potential vice presidential documents and potential classified material,” Bauer said.

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Neither Biden nor his wife were present during the search, the lawyer said. Biden is in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, this weekend.

Justice Department investigators coordinated the search in advance with Biden’s attorneys, Bauer said, and personal attorneys for the president and the White House were present at the time.

Other classified government documents were discovered this month at Biden’s residence in Wilmington, and in November he maintained a private office at a Washington, D.C. think tank after ending his tenure as vice president in the Obama administration in 2017.

On Saturday, Bauer did not clarify where in the Wilmington home the documents were found in his statement. The previously classified documents were found in the house’s garage and in a nearby storage room.

The search shows that federal investigators are moving quickly to investigate classified documents found in Biden’s possession. This month, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate the case.

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Special counsel Robert Hur, who was appointed during the trial, is investigating how the president and his team handled classified Obama-era documents recently found in Biden’s private property.

According to the White House, Biden’s lawyers found all documents discovered by the DOJ before Friday’s search. The latest search marked the first time federal law enforcement agencies have conducted a search for government documents at Biden’s private addresses, according to publicly released information.

Republicans have compared the investigation to the ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents after his presidency. The White House has noted that Biden’s team cooperated with authorities in their investigation and turned over those documents. Trump resisted this until an FBI investigation in August at his Florida resort.

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The search raises the legal and political interests of the president, who has insisted that the earlier discovery of classified material in his home and former office should ultimately be considered unimportant.

Biden said Thursday he has “no regrets” about not going public before the midterm elections about the discovery of classified documents in his former office and believed the matter will be resolved.

“There’s none there,” Biden told reporters on a trip to California on Thursday.

Since the discovery of Biden’s documents, Trump has complained that Justice Department detectives treated his successor differently.

“When is the FBI going to raid Joe Biden’s many homes, maybe even the White House?” Trump said in a social media post earlier this month.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose, Matt Spetalnik, Steve Holland and Joel Schectman Editing by Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio)

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