from President Biden’s tenure as vice president were discovered in a private office in Washington and turned over to the National Archives in November, a White House lawyer confirmed Monday.
The small number of documents with classified markings were found in a locked closet at Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and are now under review by the Justice Department and National Archives, Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said in a statement.
Biden used the office “periodically” between 2017 and the start of his 2020 presidential campaign, and the documents were discovered by Biden’s attorneys as they prepared to vacate the space. The Penn Biden Center is a think tank located about a mile from the White House and is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania.
“The White House is cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records, including a small number of documents with classified markings,” Sauber said in the statement, which was tweeted by White House Counsel’s Office spokesman Ian Sams.
The documents were discovered on Nov. 2, right before the midterm elections. The National Archives took possession of the materials the next morning.
“The discovery of these documents were made by the President’s attorneys,” Sauber said. “The documents were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the Archives. Since that discovery, the President’s personal attorneys have cooperated with the Archives and the Department of Justice in a process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives.”
The Presidential Records Act requires all presidential and vice-presidential documents to be turned over to the National Archives.
Former President Donald Trump has been under a investigation for allegations he took government documents with him when he left the White House in early 2021. In August, FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago home and uncovered thousands of documents, including more than 100 marked classified.
In December, the House oversight and reform committee called on the National Archive to determine if there are more documents from Trump’s presidency that are unaccounted for after reports surfaced that additional presidential records were found in a Florida storage unit.
“President Biden has stated that taking from the White House is ‘irresponsible,’ House committee on oversight and accountability chair James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement Monday.
“Under the Biden administration, the Department of Justice and National Archives have made compliance with the Presidential Records Act a top priority. We expect the same treatment for President Biden, who has apparently inappropriately maintained in an insecure setting for several years,” Comer said.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.