President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he was surprised to hear that classified documents were found in an office he used to work in. He also said that he and his team are fully cooperating with an investigation into what happened.
At a press conference with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, Biden told reporters that he takes classified documents very seriously. He said he didn’t know what the papers said.
Biden said, “We are fully helping with the review, which I hope will be done soon.”
Republicans have criticised Biden, who is a Democrat, because his Justice Department is looking into how Republican former President Donald Trump handled classified documents that were found at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, last year.
There are many ways that the cases are different. Biden’s lawyers found less than a dozen classified documents in the think-tank office. They told the US National Archives, gave the documents to the Archives, and said they were working with the Archives and the Justice Department.
Biden used the think-tank office space often from the middle of 2017 until the beginning of his 2020 presidential campaign. This is when his term as Vice President under Democratic President Barack Obama ended.
Trump, on the other hand, kept thousands of government records, some of which were classified, in his Florida home for more than a year after leaving the White House. He did not return them right away or voluntarily, even though the National Archives asked him to do so many times.
In January 2022, when Trump finally gave over 15 boxes of records, the Archives found that more than 100 of them were secret. The Justice Department was then asked to look into the situation.
With a grand jury subpoena and a visit to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, investigators tried to get any classified records that he still had. During that visit, Trump’s advisers returned a few dozen more classified records and confirmed that there was no other classified material left in the residence.
The FBI got permission from a court to search his Florida home in August because they thought he might be trying to stop the law from being done. When they did, they found more than 13,000 records, about 100 of which were highly classified.
In November, Merrick Garland, the US Attorney General, asked Special Counsel Jack Smith to look into the matter.
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To prove a crime, investigators would need proof that Trump or one of his associates kept the records on purpose and with knowledge, and tried to stop the department’s investigation in order to get them back.
Avril Haines, the head of US national intelligence, was asked by Republican Representative Mike Turner of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to “immediately review and assess the damage” of the Biden documents case.
Turner said in a statement on Tuesday, “This discovery of classified information could put President Biden in violation of laws like the Espionage Act and the Presidential Records Act that are meant to protect national security.”
Representative Elise Stefanik, who chairs the House Republican caucus and is a close ally of Trump, said in a statement that the documents raised serious concerns about national security.
She said it was “worrying” that they were given to the National Archives right before the midterm elections in November and that the corrupt Biden DOJ hid it for two months.
Biden defended the way the papers were dealt with.
“They found some papers in a box in a cabinet or closet that was locked. They knew right away that there were some secret papers in that box. And they did what was expected of them. They immediately called the Archives “What he said.
“I was told about this discovery and was surprised to hear that government records had been taken there to that office,” he said. “I don’t know what’s in the documents, though.” He said that his lawyers told him not to ask what the papers were about.
“I gave them the boxes, and they gave them to the Archives. We are doing everything we can to help with the review, which I hope will be done soon. At that time, there will be more information “What he said.