Before we begin, let’s be clear there are some major differences from taking classified documents, ignoring requests to turn over said documents versus one’s legal team (Not Rudy G) finding documents and turning them over WILLINGLY.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has assigned the U.S. attorney in Chicago to review documents marked classified that were found at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington two sources with knowledge of the inquiry told CBS News. The roughly 10 documents are from President Biden’s vice-presidential office at the center, the sources said. CBS News has learned the FBI is also involved in the U.S. attorney’s inquiry.
The material was identified by personal attorneys for Mr. Biden on Nov. 2, just before the midterm elections, Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president confirmed. The documents were discovered when Mr. 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, D.C.,” Sauber said in a statement to CBS News. The documents were contained in a folder that was in a box with other unclassified papers, the sources said. The sources revealed neither what the documents contain nor their level of classification. A source familiar told CBS News the documents did not contain nuclear secrets.
Sauber also said that on the same day the material was discovered, Nov. 2, the White House counsel’s office notified the National Archives, which took possession of the materials the following morning.
Senior Justice Department officials have assigned John R. Lausch Jr., the U.S. attorney in Chicago who was appointed by former President Donald J. Trump, to look into the matter.
But while Mr. Trump tried to suggest a parallel, the circumstances of the Biden discovery as described so far are significantly different. Unlike Mr. Trump, Mr. Biden was not under review for his handling of documents nor did he refuse to turn them over, according to the White House statement. By promptly revealing the discovery to the archives and returning them within a day, Mr. Biden made no known effort to resist the proper disposition of the papers.
“The documents were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the archives,” Richard Sauber, a special White House counsel, wrote in the statement. “Since that discovery, the president’s personal attorneys have cooperated with the archives and the Department of Justice in a process to ensure that any Obama-Biden administration documents are appropriately in the possession of the archives.”
By contrast, in 2021 the archives repeatedly asked Mr. Trump to turn over large numbers of documents it determined were missing. He put them off for months, then allowed them to take 15 boxes of material in early 2022, including scores of classified documents, but it was later discovered that he kept more.