The FBI turned over to the Justice Department at least six new classified documents found at Joe Biden's Wilmington home. The DOJ and the president's personal lawyers had agreed upon the search and it was conducted discreetly, with no media present. This is the fifth batch of confidential information from Biden's time as vice president to appear in the homes of the current president.
According to Bob Bauer, Biden's personal attorney, the search lasted more than 13 hours. The FBI entered the home after making an agreement with Bauer's team. The agreement, among other points, included the commitment that it would be "discreet." Furthermore, they agreed that the search would not be reported to the media before it was carried out. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Fitzpatrick corroborated in statements to CBS News that the "FBI executed a planned, consensual search of the president's residence in Wilmington." The search was carried out in a completely different way than what happened at Mar-A-Lago with former President Donald Trump.
DOJ and the lawyers agreed on where to look
The search was meticulously arranged by the president's lawyers and Attorney General John Lausch, the federal prosecutor overseeing the preliminary investigation into the matter. Lausch will relinquish his job to special prosecutor Robert Hur, who has been appointed to the case. This is expected to occur later this month. As reported by CBS, Biden's legal team signed a form outlining the parameters of the search. Included in the agreement were areas of the president's home where they could search for documents. A Justice Department attorney was present at the home on Friday.
Richard Sauber, one of the White House lawyers handling the matter, said that Biden's entourage again insisted: "since the beginning, the President has been committed to handling this responsibly because he takes this seriously. The President's lawyers and White House Counsel's Office will continue to cooperate with DOJ and the Special Counsel to help ensure this process is conducted swiftly and efficiently."
"Full access to the president's home"
"DOJ had full access to the president’s home, including personally handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades," the statement said. Neither the president nor his wife were on the premises during the search. However, Biden's personal attorneys and White House lawyers were present at all times.
After registration, "DOJ took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from the President’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as Vice President. DOJ also took for further review personally handwritten notes from the vice-presidential years."
"There's nothing there"
Ironically, on the same day of the search, the president tried to downplay the importance of the documents found on his properties. "There's no there there," Biden assured during his visit to California. These were the only statements he dedicated to the matter, which he described as inconsequential. However, his words were used by Republican representatives, such as Darrell Issa, to ironize the new findings.
I guess there wasn’t nothing there there, Mr. President.
— Rep. Darrell Issa (@repdarrellissa) January 22, 2023
White House says search was "complete" Jan. 12
Including this last batch, the authorities have found between 25 and 30 documents. The contents of the papers have not been released, prompting criticism from the Republican Party about the White House's alleged transparency and cooperation with the investigation and citizens. In a Twitter post, the Republican National Committee recalled that the White House said as many as six times on January 12 that the search was "complete."
On January 12, the White House said SIX TIMES the search for classified documents was complete.
ANOTHER batch of classified documents — including some from Biden’s years in the SENATE — we’re just discovered at Biden’s Wilmington home.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 21, 2023