President Biden has said he has “no regrets” about his decision not to inform the general public about the discovery of classified documents at his former office ahead of the midterm elections back in November.
Biden made the comments at a press conference in Aptos, California on Jan. 19 where he has been assessing the damage caused by deadly storms that have hit the region in recent weeks.
The Democrat was persistently questioned by reporters regarding the discovery of classified documents and official records at his former office in Washington and his home in Delaware.
At one point, Biden appeared to become frustrated when asked if he has any regrets about the classified materials.
“You know, what quite frankly bugs me is that we have a serious problem here we’re talking about. We’re talking about what’s going on. And the American people don’t quite understand why you don’t ask me questions about that,” Biden said.
He then went on to explain the administration’s actions after discovering the classified materials, adding that he has no regrets about choosing not to reveal the existence of the documents back in November, before the midterms elections.
Documents Were ‘Filed in Wrong Place’
“Okay, look, as we found, we found a handful of documents were failed, were filed in the wrong place,” Biden said. “We immediately turned them over to the archives of the Justice Department.”
The president added that he was “fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly.”
“I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets. I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. That’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s no ‘there there,’” Biden added.
Classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president have been discovered at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, where Biden previously had an office, and at one of his homes in Wilmington, Delaware.
White House attorneys disclosed that the first batch of materials was found on Nov. 2 at the Penn Biden Center, which prompted a follow-up search leading to the discovery of more documents on Dec. 20 in the garage of the president’s Wilmington home. On Jan. 11 and Jan. 12, more documents were found in the president’s home library.
White House special counsel Richard Sauber has previously said that the White House was “confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake.”
Discovery Won’t Impact Biden’s Re-election Bid: White House Spokesman
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Robert Hur, a former Maryland U.S. attorney, to serve as special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s inquiry into the documents and establish whether or not Biden or those around him broke the law in their handling of the documents.
The White House counsel’s office has stated that Biden is committed to operating with the Justice Department’s investigation into the classified documents.
The discovery of the classified materials comes amid an ongoing DOJ investigation into former President Donald Trump, who had over 11,000 documents and materials—including around 100 documents marked classified or top secret—seized from his Mar-a-Lago residence in August.
Speaking to CNN on Thursday, White House spokesman Andrew Bates was asked whether he believes the latest discovery of the classified documents could impact support for Biden ahead of a possible re-run.
“Look back from shortly before the president launched his campaign to now, the accuracy rate of pundits’ negative predictions about him or his strategies is dismal,” said Bates, adding that the administration is unfazed by the political backlash regarding the discovery. “Our MO, by contrast, has aged well: Tune out the noise, do the work, deliver; and remember that the president knows the American people and they know him.”
When asked again if the discovery will have an impact on support for Biden, Bates said, “It doesn’t.”