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US attorney to review classified documents found in Biden’s private office

Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, confirmed that Biden’s attorneys were the ones to find the documents

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President Joe Biden waves before boarding Air Force One at El Paso International Airport in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, to travel to Mexico City, Mexico. The Justice Department is reviewing a batch of potentially classified documents found in the Washington office space of President Joe Biden’s former institute, the White House said Monday, Jan. 9.

President Joe Biden waves before boarding Air Force One at El Paso International Airport in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, to travel to Mexico City, Mexico. The Justice Department is reviewing a batch of potentially classified documents found in the Washington office space of President Joe Biden’s former institute, the White House said Monday, Jan. 9.

Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

Nearly 10 documents assessed as classified were found at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington. The papers were from when President Joe Biden was vice president.

Now, Attorney General Merrick Garland has assigned Chicago U.S. attorney John Lausch, Jr. to look into the matter, as CBS News first reported.

What they’re saying: Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said that The White House is cooperating with the National Archives and Records Administration and the Department of Justice.

  • He also confirmed that the documents were discovered “when the President’s personal attorneys were packing files housed in a locked closet to prepare to vacate office space at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.,” a space that the president used from mid-2017 until 2020.
  • “On the day of this discovery, November 2, 2022, the White House Counsel’s Office notified the National Archives. The Archives took possession of the materials the following morning,” Sauber said, per CNN.
  • Sauber said that these papers have not been the subject of a past request or inquiry and since the discovery, appropriate measures have been taken.

State of play: The DOJ is still investigating roughly 300 classified documents that were recovered at Former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida, according to The Associated Press.

  • Trump was requested to give back the documents but had failed to comply, which is when the FBI served a search warrant and retrieved 15 boxes full of documents.

Worth noting: Trump was the one to nominate Lausch to be U.S. attorney. He is one of two remaining Trump-era U.S. attorneys, CBS News noted.

Lausch is expected to submit a report to Garland.