The National Archives told Congress its staff obtained nine boxes of materials from the Boston office of a personal attorney to President Joe Biden.
A letter sent to a pair of Republican senators this week reportedly divulges new details about the inquiry into Biden’s handling of government documents, specifically about Patrick Moore, the attorney identified as the one who initially found classified materials while packing up the president’s former think tank office in early November.
“When NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] contacted President Biden’s personal counsel on November 3, 2022, to arrange to pick up boxes from the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., they informed NARA that Mr. Moore had moved other boxes from the Penn Biden Center to Mr. Moore’s law firm in Boston,” Acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall wrote in the letter dated Tuesday.
Wall divulged that the National Archives was informed Biden’s counsel began their review of the materials in the Penn Biden Center in October 2022 — earlier than previously known — and had moved some boxes to Boston at some point afterwards.
“NARA staff retrieved nine boxes from Mr. Moore’s Boston office” at the request of the Justice Department on November 9 and these boxes were secured in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Wall wrote. It is not clear whether there is any classified materials in these boxes, as Wall noted that her agency “has not reviewed the contents of the boxes found at Mr. Moore’s Boston office.”
The letter is addressed to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), who have written to Wall seeking more information about the discovery of documents marked classified dating back to Biden’s time as vice president and U.S. senator at multiple locations.
The documents controversy dates back to early November, when Biden’s attorneys found about 10 records marked classified while clearing out Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center, according to his legal team. However, the discovery was not revealed to the public until CBS News broke the story of an inquiry by U.S. Attorney John Lausch. After the revelation, Biden said his team immediately contacted the National Archives to turn over the materials.
Following the initial review by Lausch, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to examine whether “any person or entity violated the law in connection with this matter.”
Moore spoke with a team led by Lausch during the initial review of the president’s handling of documents, sources told CNN. A Freedom of Information Act request revealed emails showing Moore in contact with the National Archives about picking up boxes of materials from his office on November 9, however the number of boxes were not clear at the time the Washington Examiner reported about it last month,
FBI searches for documents have taken place at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, his beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware, and the Penn Biden Center, a think tank located in Washington, D.C., which have turned up more materials of interest to investigators. Biden’s personal attorneys and the White House have insisted throughout the process that they are cooperating with the National Archives and Justice Department.
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Classified documents have also been found in the homes of former President Donald Trump, who is facing an investigation by a separate special counsel, and former Vice President Mike Pence, prompting the National Archives to call on other former presidents and vice presidents to check for such materials.
Sen. Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned U.S. intelligence community leaders on Wednesday that a lack of transparency to Congress about the documents might jeopardize the Biden administration’s efforts to renew a surveillance law this year. “This trust relationship has to go two ways,” he said.