The decade's most triggering comedy
Classified documents from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president found at his private academic office last fall reportedly contain information on Iran, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
Biden’s personal attorneys found 10 classified documents while searching the president’s academic office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington last year. The White House notified the National Archives and the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the findings, prompting the DOJ to launch a review of the incident, according to Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president.
A source familiar with the matter told CNN that the classified documents contain U.S. intelligence memos and briefing materials on Iran, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, though it is unclear what exact information is contained.
“The discovery of these documents was made by the President’s attorneys,” Sauber said. “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.”
The documents were first discovered by one of the president’s attorneys days before the November midterm elections as he was closing down a private office Biden used for his work with the Penn Biden Center. Despite being discovered months ago, the incident only became public knowledge on Monday after multiple reports.
The lawyer found an envelope with markings that the documents inside were the president’s personal records. The attorney opened the envelope and found the classified documents within, according to CNN.
President Biden and his team were unaware of the classified documents that were stashed in his office, sources told CNN. The president was also ignorant of what information they may have contained.
The White House has attempted to limit any possible fallout over the discovery. White House officials held a phone conference with top allies recently and downplayed the classified documents as not “particularly sensitive” and “not of high interest to the intelligence community,” according to CNN.
The documents are currently being held by the National Archives, according to Sauber.
“The documents were discovered when the President’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 said. “The President periodically used this space from mid-2017 until the start of the 2020 campaign. On the day of this discovery, November 2, 2022, the White House Counsel’s Office notified the National Archives. The Archives took possession of the materials the following morning.”