During a press briefing on the afternoon of Jan. 12, Jean-Pierre told reporters that the president’s lawyers had looked through locations where additional documents could be stored and that the search was “completed.” On Jan. 14, however, White House special counsel Richard Sauber said he went to Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and found more classified material.
“Last week [you said] that we all can assume, the American people could assume that the searches were completed and all the documents have been recovered,” the Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller said during Tuesday’s press briefing. “On Saturday, the White House Counsel’s Office said that five additional classified documents had been found.”
“Is it safe to assume now that all the documents have been recovered, all the official records, all the classified documents are back in the custody of the National Archives?” Miller asked. “Or are more searches underway to find out if there’s anything out there?”
Jean-Pierre refused to answer the question, insisting that she will stay “prudent” by not commenting on the legal process that is now in the hands of the Justice Department.
“I’m not going to comment from here,” she told Miller. “When it comes to the Department of Justice, when it comes to legal matters, when it comes to legal issues, we have been very clear that we’re not going to comment. We are not going to politically interfere.”
At another point of the press conference, Jean-Pierre was asked if Biden himself was physically involved in going through his belongings at his private offices.
Jean-Pierre initially laughed off the question, asking him, “Are you listening to the question you’re asking me?” She then reiterated that she would not comment on the investigation or matters related to the investigation.
“Is he physically joining in the search for these things, rummaging around these boxes in the garage and wherever else?” asked AFP reporter Sebastian Smith. “I mean, literally.”
At least three batches of classified documents dating from Biden’s vice presidency have so far been discovered. The locations are his former office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington and his Delaware home.
While the Justice Department’s probe into Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents continues, congressional Republicans also started their own investigation.
The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee will conduct “an oversight of the Justice Department’s actions” related to the the matter, said Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mike Johnson (R-La.) in their letter sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who chairs the House Oversight Committee, has also sent a letter to White House chief of staff Ron Klain, asking him to hand over the visitor logs for Biden’s Wilmington home and all records related to the search that happened there.