WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden offered for the Justice Department to search every room of his Delaware house for government documents – a search that ultimately turned up additional classified records, the White House said Monday.
After the discovery of the latest batch of documents, one of the key questions had been whether the Justice Department asked Biden for permission to search the Wilmington residence and Biden consented or whether Biden had offered to let them do the search.
The discovery was a product of negotiations between the president’s lawyers and the Justice Department, culminating in the consensual search, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, said Biden directed his lawyers to make clear that he welcomed a thorough search.
“The president’s personal lawyers, at the direction of the president, offered for the Justice Department to come to his house and conduct a thorough search of ever room of the house to ensure that any material that should be in possession of the government is in possession of the government,” Sams told reporters.
The 13-hour search last Friday came amid a special counsel’s investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents. Investigators found classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president and in the U.S. Senate, Bob Bauer, Biden’s personal attorney, said in a statement Saturday.
Investigators took possession of “six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials,” Bauer said. Personally handwritten notes from Biden’s vice presidential years were also seized.
Sams would not clarify how many classified documents were among those six items.
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Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.