FBI search of Biden’s Delaware vacation home turns up no classified files

A search of Joe Biden’s vacation home in Rehoboth, Delaware, by FBI agents Wednesday as part of the federal investigation into the US president’s handling of classified documents ended with the president’s attorney saying no such files were found.

Bob Bauer, the president’s personal attorney, confirmed Wednesday morning that the DoJ had dispatched FBI agents to the property as part of a “planned search.” Bauer said the Justice Department attempted to conduct the search “without prior public notice.”

“Today’s search is another step in a thorough and timely DoJ process that we continue to fully support and facilitate,” added Bauer.

In a second statement released later Wednesday, Bauer said the three-and-a-half-hour search was “complete” and “no documents with classified markings were found.” However, Bauer added that the DoJ “took away for further review some materials and handwritten notes” that appeared to relate to Biden’s time as vice president in the Obama administration.

Ian Sams, a White House spokesman, later told reporters that the administration and the President had been “fully cooperative” in the investigation.

“We worked directly with the Justice Department from the beginning,” he added.

Wednesday’s search is the latest development in a legal and political morass that has cast a long shadow over the White House as Biden prepares to announce his bid for re-election in 2024.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland last month appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Biden’s handling of classified materials after the White House announced sensitive government documents had been found at Biden’s private office and residence in Wilmington, Delaware, since November last year .

A subsequent FBI search of the Wilmington home last month turned up another batch of potentially classified documents, including material from Biden’s tenure as a US Senator and as Vice President.

White House special counsel Richard Sauber said last month that after initially finding government documents at the Penn Biden Center, Biden’s former Washington think tank, the president’s attorneys searched his homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth and found no documents at the vacation home .

The White House has come under increasing criticism for its response to the investigation. Critics said Biden’s team failed to speak openly about their collaboration with federal investigators and the National Archives, which is tasked with maintaining presidential files.

The investigation has also raised general questions about the handling of sensitive government documents, particularly among former presidents and vice presidents. It was revealed last week that Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s former vice president, turned over a “small number” of documents with classified markings to the DoJ after asking his own attorneys to search his home for the Biden revelations.

Garland had already appointed a separate special counsel to investigate Trump’s handling of classified material after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago resort last year. Trump has announced that he will seek the Republican Party nomination for the presidential nomination in 2024. Pence is widely expected to launch his own presidential bid in a direct challenge to his former boss.

A Justice Department spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

https://www.ft.com/content/e1e638f8-cab4-4c39-a329-a586e5494aaf FBI search of Biden’s Delaware vacation home turns up no classified files

Adam Bradshaw

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