President Joe Biden responded to what he said is an “easy” question about the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center.
While speaking with reporters at the North American Leaders Summit in Mexico City, Biden was asked how the documents got there and if the public should have been notified sooner.
“Let me get rid of the easy one first. People know I take classified documents and classified information seriously,” Biden said.
The president mentioned his personal lawyers discovered the documents as they were cleaning out the office.
“They did what they should have done. They immediately called the [National Archives] … turned them over to the Archives, and I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office,” Biden said.
He added, “But I don’t know what’s in the documents. My lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents they were.”
Watch Biden’s remarks below:
Attorney General Merrick Garland has given the U.S. attorney in Chicago the job to review the classified documents, as IJR reported.
Richard Sauber, special counsel to Biden, said the documents were found 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, D.C..”
He explained, “The documents were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the Archives. 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 records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives.”
A source familiar with the matter told CNN among the 10 classified documents from Biden’s vice presidency include U.S. intelligence memos and briefing materials on Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom.
According to the source, the documents were dated from 2013 to 2016, as CNN reported.
The outlet noted the majority of the items in the office included personal documents surrounding the Biden family, including information about the arrangements for Beau Biden’s funeral along with condolence letters, citing the source.
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