US President Joe Biden said Thursday that “a small number” of classified documents had been found at his private residence, prompting calls for a congressional investigation into the alleged mishandling of official documents.
The potentially embarrassing discovery for Biden came as authorities investigate a much larger scandal involving his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Documents dating to the Obama-Biden administration were found at Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware, after other similar documents were found at a Washington think tank where Biden used to have an office.
Former President Trump amassed a slew of documents at his Florida residence after leaving the White House in 2021, and the FBI made off with some 11,000 documents after serving a search warrant in August.
Trump could face obstruction of justice charges.
But the discovery of documents at Biden’s home is politically complicated for a president who touts his high ethical standards, and could also complicate Trump’s investigation.
“People know that I take classified documents and classified material seriously,” Biden told reporters on Thursday.
“We are fully (and) fully cooperating with the DOJ review. As part of that process, my lawyers reviewed other places where documents from my time as vice president were stored, and they completed the review last night.
“A small number of classified branded documents were discovered in storage areas and filing cabinets in my home and personal library.
“The Department of Justice was notified immediately… So we’re going to see how this all plays out,” he added, declining to answer questions from the press.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, demanded that “Congress has to look into this,” pointing to the Justice Department’s investigation of Trump.
“When is the FBI going to raid Joe Biden’s many homes, maybe even the White House?” Trump had previously written on his Truth Social social media site.
Biden’s team has said that if mistakes were made with his official documents, the administration has moved immediately to rectify any errors.
After the first batch of documents were discovered in Biden’s former office at the Penn Biden Center think tank last November, lawyers turned them over to the National Archives, which handles all such materials, the attorney’s office said. White House.
Biden’s lawyers then scoured potential locations for any other misplaced documents.
In an attempt to defuse allegations of political interference, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a Chicago federal prosecutor appointed during the Trump administration to review Biden’s missing documents.
That response is in stark contrast to that of Trump, who did not cooperate with authorities’ repeated attempts to track down the missing documents, prompting the FBI to enter his home with a search warrant.