Classified documents from Biden’s tenure as US VP found in his former private office

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Several classified documents from US President Joe Biden’s time as vice-president have been discovered in a private office.

 

Biden was the vice-president from 2009 to 2017 under former President Barack Obama.

 

In a statement to CBS News on Monday, Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said the files were discovered on November 2, 2022, just before the US mid-term elections.

 

Sauber said roughly 10 documents were discovered when Biden’s personal attorneys “were packing files housed in a locked closet to prepare to vacate office space at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC”.

 

The Penn Biden Center is a think tank about a mile from the White House, in Washington, D.C., that is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and named for the sitting president.

 

The documents were contained in a folder that was in a box with other unclassified papers, CBS News quoted sources to have said.

 

Although the content of the classified documents were not revealed, they were said to “not contain nuclear secrets”.

 

Biden reportedly learned about the presence of the documents when his lawyer reported them to the White House counsel’s office in November,  CBS News quoted sources to have said, adding that the president is also unaware of their contents.

 

On Tuesday, Merrick Garland, attorney-general, asked the US attorney in Chicago to review the secret documents and to uncover how the documents got from Biden’s vice-presidential office to the private office.

 

US federal officeholders are required by law to relinquish official documents and classified records when their government service ends.

 

The development comes amid investigation of former President Donald Trump for potentially mishandling classified records at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida where roughly 325 documents were found.

 

According to Biden’s attorneys, they turned over the classified materials and contacted the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which started looking into the matter as soon as they were discovered.

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