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White House

Biden faces scrutiny after two sets of classified documents found

The revelation that Biden potentially mishandled classified or presidential records could prove to be a political headache.

US PRESIDENT JOE Biden’s legal team has discovered additional documents containing classification markings in an unnamed second location, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

The revelation comes days after an attorney for the president said Biden’s lawyers had discovered a “small number” of classified documents at his former office space in Washington.

Earlier this week, the White House confirmed that the Department of Justice was reviewing “a small number of documents with classified markings” found at the office.

Biden’s attorneys had discovered the documents at the offices of the Penn Biden Center and then immediately called the National Archives about the discovery, the White House said. 

Biden kept an office there after he left the vice presidency in 2017 until shortly before he launched his Democratic presidential campaign in 2019.

The person who spoke to the AP yesterday said the president’s legal team found additional classified material at a second location.

They were not authorised to publicly discuss details of the sensitive matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

embedded270521815 The revelation that Mr Biden potentially mishandled classified or presidential records could prove to be a political headache for the president

The revelation that additional classified documents were uncovered by Biden’s attorneys came hours after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged questions about Biden’s handling of classified information and the West Wing’s management of the discovery.

She said the White House was committed to handling the matter in the “right way”, pointing to Biden’s personal attorneys’ immediate notification of the National Archives.

But she refused to say when Biden himself had been briefed, whether there were any more classified documents potentially located at other unauthorised locations, and why the White House waited more than two months to reveal the discovery of the initial batch of documents, which were found on 2 November, days before the midterm elections.

“As my colleagues in the Counsel have stated and said to all of you yesterday, this is an ongoing process under the review of the Department of Justice. So we are going to be limited on what we can say here,” Jean-Pierre said.

The White House and Justice Department declined to comment on reports of the second set of classified records. It was first reported by NBC News.

The Justice Department is reviewing the records that were found at the Penn Biden Center and attorney general Merrick Garland has asked John Lausch, the US attorney in Chicago, to review the the matter, another person familiar with the matter told the AP this week.

Lausch is one of the few US attorneys to be held over from former president Donald Trump’s administration.

Irrespective of the Justice Department review, the revelation that Biden potentially mishandled classified or presidential records could prove to be a political headache for the president, who called Trump’s decision to keep hundreds of such records at his private club in Florida “irresponsible”. 

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